Running for my life… one baby step at a time

As part of my resolution to become a more optimistic person (Resolutions of the Eternal Optimist), I have decided one of the best ways to stay optimistic is to feel optimistic. As I mentioned in my previous post Namaste, I have discovered yoga. It allows me an hour, several times a week, to honour myself to relax my body and mind. I felt yoga was a good start, but was not enough. I needed something more, something to really get my heart racing, my mind focused and really make me feel good.

I debated joining a gym for quite some time as it seems like “everyone” is going to the gym. I have joined in the past, but like most fitness endeavours I’ve taken on, my gym membership just ended up being a way to watch money fly out of my bank account every month with nothing in return, other than the cool key tag that made it look like I was attempting to get fit. I just couldn’t stick to going. I found excuse after excuse, but my biggest deterrent was sacrificing that hour to be stuck in a sweaty gym. It just isn’t for me. I’ve always been afraid of trying to figure out a way to work out at home thinking I needed fancy gym equipment and a personal trainer, neither of which I could afford. I thought maybe if I joined a gym with more to offer than just weights I would have incentive. There is a YMCA close to home which has a running track, pool, gym, rock climbing and the list goes on and on. As I soon discovered, the prices go up and up the more the facility has to offer. I even tried fitness classes at the local community hall but alas, an hour a week was tough as I could find excuses for that too.

I know, you’re thinking what is my issue when I joined a yoga studio? True, and I considered that myself and realized it really came down to the activity. I don’t enjoy traditional weight training. I like to shake it up (and sometimes quite literally). I took my desire to feel more positive to the one place I know will inspire me, motivate me and keep me going back… the great outdoors.

I enjoy walking Chili, I love skiing and snowboarding so why not start the one obvious fitness move that doesn’t have to cost a dime? In all fairness, the health and wellness team at my office gave me the idea and made it an offer I couldn’t refuse so I found myself signing up for a 10K marathon in May. I was now calling myself a runner. I immediately went home and sat on my MacBook for hours searching all the possible apps to get me off the couch and hitting the pavement. I spent a few more hours compiling the perfect running play list for my iPod and signed up on Nike+ to make sure I was accountable for actually following through. (My runs are all posted to Facebook which has been a huge source of support. I had no idea the positive impact a simple “like” on my run would have!) I run 3 times a week and some days it feels like I won’t make it home, but then I have those days where I want to keep running after my app has told me it is time for a cool down. Thankfully the weather has co-operated and I am ever thankful that the majority of the community does shovel the sidewalks. I am looking forward to not having to dodge ice and snow, but for now, as I embark on week #3, I can’t complain running with the Rocky Mountains as my backdrop.

*photo courtesy of Google Images

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