I have always loved the idea of fitness. When I was little I did the moves along with Body Electric on PBS in my living room, I had a plastic step and workout DVDs. I wasn't consistent with it though and I had asthma that flared when I exerted myself. In high school I was the last person to finish when we had to run the mile in gym class. I will always remember being out there walking to finish when everyone else had already gone back into the gym. But man did I want to run! I so wished I could but figured I just couldn't because it was so hard for me. It seemed so easy for everyone else.
I kept up my inconsistent workouts through college and early adulthood. I took group exercise classes. I went for a lot of walks. I memorized everything Billy Blanks said in the Tae Bo DVD I had. I still wasn't running. I would try now and again but always gave up after a minute or two. When I turned 33 I decided I was going to give it a try for real. I was trying to turn over a new healthier leaf and wanted to lose some of the almost 20 pounds I had packed on in the previous few years. Since I had always wanted to be able to run, and my childhood asthma was more under control, I committed to the idea of running a 5k. I started running in October with the plan to run the 5k in May of the next year.
It. Was. Not. Easy. I started with alternating walking with bouts of running. My running spurts started at 30 seconds to maybe a minute then walking for 3 or 4 minutes, then running a minute, then walking 3... and so on. As the weeks went by, I slowly started to see I could run for longer periods and after 6 months I could almost run 3 miles without walking breaks. Almost. I did run that 5k in May that year. I cried when I crossed the finish line. I don't usually stick with things that don't come easily to me, and I hate to admit, I don't always put a lot of effort into things. This was the one thing I always thought I couldn't do and after lots of dedication and hard work, I was able to do it. I realized that I could probably do many of the things that I instantly dismiss that I can't do.
I still run today because it makes me feel great both physically and mentally. It clears my mind and is truly my meditation. Because of that, it has helped me to finally exercise consistently. Some days I don't feel like going but I know I will feel better after the run or whatever workout I might be doing. The first mile is always the hardest but it usually gets better after that. Such a metaphor for life. Running has given me so many life lessons!
Whether it is running or something else in your life, give it a try and keep going for a while. Good things don't always happen immediately, but if you keep at it you will see progress and know you are capable of more than you ever thought.