One year from today, you’ll be happy you started today. That’s what I’m telling myself this evening. You see I made this little discovery last week. Discovery is too intentional a word, more like stumbled clumsily upon. After lamenting for nearly my entire PC service about a lack of roads deemed suitable for running and resorting to biking aimlessly for school break exercise, I took a side road. A side road that cut through rice fields I took on a whim. Then I realized it looped back around to behind my house, just a hard to see turn from what looks like a dead-end.
I’m a shy person and an even shyer exerciser. Thais are not the type to hold back their exclamations about your activities either, whether walking down the street or doing something so peculiar as exercising. It gets to the point that walking out of the house can feel like a burden, much less exposing yourself in the vulnerable state of out of shape exercising.
I had pretty steep qualifications for a road. It should have very few houses so there aren’t many spectators, but some people on it for safety reasons. Shade would also be nice because lets face it, this is Thailand, it’s really fucking hot and the sun is very strong. Dogs should also be minimal because it is much harder to put the Mario super star power when running for the first time in well over a year rather than on the bike. To be honest, I had given up on finding this elusive road and had decided to wait to lace up my shoes back in America.
But all this time, it was right there! ‘So much time wasted!’ I thought at first, until I realized I wasn’t in the mental state to keep up any physical regiment as my sporadic attempts at yoga demonstrated. This feels different though, like the cosmos all aligned, and I don’t want to run, I feel a need to.
I had heard about a nine-week program called Couch to 5K that starts you off very slowly with interval training. Once I had found my road, I did some more in-depth research. It looked a little easy to me as someone who had been doing competitive athletics for more years than I haven’t, but my body has also steadily declined to mush in Thailand. I had my road, I had a doable program, I was ready to go.
I tried to put my enthusiasm on ice. Traveling, in my opinion, can be seriously debilitating to running. With my month-long trip with my Mom planned, it would be better to start once I got back home in December and could establish a routine. But I worried by then I would have lost my need and put it on the back burner again until I went back to the U.S. in March. Combine that concern with a kick in the butt from Manfriend and today I took those first (painful) steps.
Within the first five minutes of a light warm-up, muscles in my legs that typically aren’t used during bike rides were politely voicing their concerns. After the first run interval, they became more along the lines of angry pro-life protesters outside of an abortion clinic. This continued until I hobbled through the last bit as my jelly legs eventually cut off communication with the rest of my body. It hurt, I’m still feeling the effects hours later and it was fantastic.
I hope to keep this up while on the (metaphorical) road with my Mom and keep the excuses down to a minimum (I am a little nervous to run in urban areas) because this is something that I want, to be in running shape again. There is no perfect time to start something that is not easy, only right now or putting it off until later. Out of those two, now is the only viable choice.
Love this fake commercial from the movie, What Women Want.
I’ll keep you updated with my relationship with my road and experience with the C25K program. If you’re interested in the idea, I got a lot of information from this website and a good overview from this one.