Yesterday morning I went on my first really good walk/run in….well, I just don’t know how long. I stayed in my neighborhood and went around the same block four times. Dressed in lilac calf-length Danskin exercise pants, magenta Danskin sleeveless top, and pink and silver running shoes, I was a deranged Easter Peep mash-up as I
lumbered walked about two-thirds of the time and ran a third. I mention my clothes because at my age and condition, they are very important.
I still have quite a bit of extra skin from my obese life in the Before. If my muscles are ballet – controlled and strong, my skin is the Alvin Ailey dance company – fluid and organic (doesn’t that sound so much better than floppy?). The Danskin clothes compress everything to decrease my chances of tissue syncopation and self-induced whiplash. I’m sure the outfit doesn’t look either as good as I hope or as bad as I fear. In either case, I really don’t care because: 1) I don’t have to look at it, and 2) it does what I need it to. So there.
The block I circled is a rectangle with two sides being longer than the other two. I walked the long sides and ran the short ones. I started out on one of the long sides – walking. When I got to the first turn and began running, the Couch Potato in my head began finding reasons to stop. “I have to use the bathroom.” “My legs are too weak.” “I’m running out of energy.” “I’m sucking air! For the love of all that’s holy – stop!” These are all things I’ve heard in my head before. As I did before, I trash-talked my way through it. “I went to the bathroom before I left the house.” “They’ll never get stronger if you wimp out.” “There’s plenty of energy stored up in that keister. Move it!” “Suck it up, buttercup.” Sometimes keeping my eye on the prize isn’t enough. Sometimes I have to be my own drill sergeant.
As I ran the first of the short sides, I looked back on the first time I ever ran that. It was late one night and I went with my son, Jaegar – son of Brodin, god of Swole. I remember REALLY sucking air on that run. I mean, I ended up with pebbles in my teeth I was gasping so hard. On that run and during the whole Great Reduction, my son was my biggest cheerleader. There was no trash-talk from his sector. He encouraged me the whole time, telling me that I was almost there, it was just a little further, I could do it. Along with my own trash-talk, I heard his encouragement even though he is thousands of miles and two time zones away. That encouragement was integral to my success the first time and it will be no less important this time.
I was a little worried about my right knee – the one that stopped my running to begin with; however, I finished the distance I set out to complete and my knee felt GREAT! It wasn’t that it just didn’t hurt, it was that it felt perfectly healthy. I can’t even tell you how thrilled I am about that.
By the time I finished my walk/run, my apoplectic red face was split ear to ear with a giant smile. I did it! This is the start of some really good things.