For me, exercising has always been work. I’ve forced myself to do it. Sometimes I’ve even managed to enjoy it. But mostly, it was a chore. Something I dreaded. Something I made excuses for not doing. And, up until yesterday, it was something I would always eventually quit.
And every time, the voices in my head would clamor. The sympathetic, understanding ones said, “Hey, you’re a busy, working mom. You were a great athlete when you were younger.” The mean ones whispered behind my back, “Maybe you’re just too lazy. And anyway, even if you did exercise, it wouldn’t make any difference.”
I’m not sure why I kept on trying. I guess in my heart I believed that one of these days, I’d find something that would stick, that would work for me. A few months ago, I downloaded the Couch-to-5K (C25K) iPhone App. The C25k program is exactly what its name says. It’s a program that gives you a day-by-day plan that will take you from sitting on your couch with a bowl of chips in your lap to crossing the finish line of your first 5k. Even better, new technologies make the whole process fun, interactive, and social.
Um, yeah, but does it work?
When I started, I literally could not run around the block. Yesterday, I ran 30 minutes without stopping.
What made it different this time?
I attribute this shift in my behavior to new motivation factors and technology.
- I wanted some relief from self-deprecating thoughts and an overly negative body image.
- I wanted time that was just for me, not as a designer, a wife, a mother, a friend … time solely dedicated to *me.*
I love my iPhone, sometimes more than I love most humans.
- C25K integrated my music with an app that told me when to warm-up, walk, run and cool down
- Sharing my progress and pictures on Twitter made me feel accountable and allowed others to encourage me to reach my goal
Now that I have completed the C25K I will continue to run 3-4 times a week, and have recently added swimming laps on my lunch hour to my “me time” routine. In September, as a challenge and birthday gift to myself, I will complete a Sprint Triathlon. Honestly, I don’t care if I come in last, I just want to finish it.
Just. For. Me.