Fat girl running!

A couple of weeks ago, the most amazing thing happened…

I ran. Well, okay, I jogged. It was miraculous.

I haven’t run, or tried to run (at least for “fun”) since I was in 8th grade and they forced us around the track in some sort of torture experiment which managed to make me feel like even more of a loser than I already did (insert memory of sneering gym teacher here).  I’ve been chubby my whole life, and up until a couple of years ago it’s been all about doing things that fat people are supposed to do to “work out”: walking, taking the stairs (as long as there weren’t too many), lifting light weights over and over again but not really feeling much, believing that laying in front of the TV doing leg lifts would suddenly shift all my body fat around in more appealing ways – especially if I made sure to eat Baked Lays for a snack afterwards.  Hey!  They’re baked!  They must be good for me.

Sweating was bad, feeling muscles aching was bad, doing more than was immediately comfortable was bad, and I guess I just assumed that I was born to be an overweight person my entire life until I was so old it wouldn’t matter what shape I was in anymore.

So here I am, 34, having been fat all my adult life, and I’ve finally had enough of all the namby-pamby mental games I play with myself in deciding what kinds of things I “can” do and “can’t” do (translation – the things I am able to do while hiding from other people vs. the things that seem scary or have the potential to create embarrassment)

I AM lifting heavy weights on the weight bench in the basement, and no, it does NOT belong to my husband (although I still have an offer open to him to lift with me someday…). 
I can do any kind of workout I WANT, and I can learn to do it longer and longer the more I work at it.
I can do jumping jacks! I can kickbox! Nothing is going to break, or fall off me, or be embarrassing.

And finally, I can RUN. Or jog. JOG.

When I finally got the energy to try it out and not worry about anyone seeing me do it, I was excited.  I went out and wrapped the do-rag around my head, I laced up the sneaks, and off I went around the lake. And I didn’t die! My heart didn’t stop, I didn’t fall down gasping for air, I didn’t cry, no one pointed and laughed, I didn’t get mugged, I made it longer than I thought I would without being in agony.
I ran for 5 minutes, I walked a little, I ran for 4 minutes, walked, and on and on it went for 40 minutes. And when I was done, I felt GOOD. And HAPPY. And PROUD. Glad to feel the little aches, glad to feel my quads, and glad to know that I really can do anything I want, even if I wasn’t really convinced I could when I started.

I have gone on runs since this first one, and each time I go I feel stronger and my endurance is a little bit longer.  I’ve started bringing my boys with me, to avoid that whole “I don’t have time because I’ve been with the kids all day” business.  The little one rides his bike with the training wheels and sticks close to me, while the 7 year old goes on ahead and scouts out the bike trail.  When they start to get bored (how exciting can it be to watch your mom run behind you for 40 minutes?) I try to run up behind them and wheeze “I’m gonna……getcha…!”  and they squeal and bike away faster.  Hey, it passes the time. 

I don’t know if I will be able to keep it up once the freezing cold Minnesota winters come, but for now, it is a good practice.

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Wendy on August 26, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    I’m going to stalk you….and your adventure!!!

    And, I’ll invite you (and maybe a few other family members) to join Brendan and I for a Thanksgiving morning run — this will be our fourth year doing it!!!

    Reply

    • Ok, I may just take you up on that! I’m nowhere near as practiced as you are at running, and I certainly need breaks to walk every 5 minutes or so. But, maybe by Thanksgiving I will have gotten a little further 🙂

      Reply

      • Posted by Wendy on August 29, 2011 at 1:10 am

        Woot! Woot! Running, and working out, took a back burner this summer, so I’ve lost a lot of base. I’m looking into/thinking about increasing my at-home workouts, but my gym membership doesn’t expire until January or February. Decision, decisions.

        But, yes….I’ll send turkey-day race info to you a little closer to the date…..probably in October.

        Keep going, lady!

  2. Congratulations! keep it going, and it becomes a way of life 🙂

    Good luck in good health,
    David

    Reply

    • Thanks David! I’m trying to roll with it and just enjoy every day…I know that if I make it too much of a job I won’t have the enthusiasm to keep going. Good luck to you as well!

      Reply

  3. […] he’s been letting me steal away from an extra hour after work to go running by myself – without children on bikes.  So I woke up at an unholy hour on my workday  to get all my gear together, make sure I […]

    Reply

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