Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Joel: The Art of Slow Slow Slow Running

I read a comment today on the Couch To 5K's Facebook wall that sorta got to me.

One person commented that she ran a mile in 33 minutes. Someone asked if she meant that she ran it in 13 minutes, because she couldn't see how someone could run for 33 minutes and only go a mile. One more person chimed in basically saying that even someone walking slow could walk a mile in 20 minutes.

While I understand that it was an issue of confusion, I responded:

How does it take someone 30 minutes to run a mile? They have the guts to get out there no matter how out of shape they used to be in and run slower than most people walk.

They get over the years of excuses to not work out and just set out with a plan to push themselves harder than they have in years (or decades). The first day they realize that 60 seconds nonstop is miserable. ONE TIME.

But they don't give up.

They don't make it through the first day, but they don't give up. Maybe it takes them two months to get to Week 1 Day 1, maybe it takes longer.

But they don't give up.

The weight loss is slow, it's not like the fad diets they have tried numerous times in the past. It's frustratingly slow, because they know that when they lose the weight, their speed will go up and their risk of injury will go down dramatically.

But they don't give up.

By the time this person is to the point where they can run 1 mile nonstop, something inside of them changes.

So they don't give up.

They see the benefits, they feel that they can breathe like a normal human being again (at least sometimes), they can't imagine going back to the place they were just a few months ago.

So they don't give up.

It may take them an hour or more to finish a 5K race. But they run the entire time. How many people finish the race in 30 minutes and can't run the whole thing? It took years of bad decisions to get them to this point, but they have seen the results and have developed the fortitude to push through no matter what other people are doing.

So they don't give up.

I have a friend who can run 5K in 17:30. I can walk/run it in 53:00. Now. But eventually, I'll be running 10K, and half marathons, and who knows what else...

This is why people like me don't go to the gym for years and years...not because there are a bunch of rude and judgmental people (you're not, just confused...I understand that), but because the fear exists that there are a bunch of rude and judgmental people.

3 comments:

  1. Thanks again for your inspiration. Unfortunately, I keep giving up. Thank you for reminding me that it takes perseverance, no matter how slow, to succeed in anything. I get down when I see how little I can do compared to what everyone else can do around me.

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  2. I really enjoyed this article. I continue to think about all the things I have given up because of lack of perseverance. Thanks for reminding me it takes just one small step to move forward.

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