Here’s this week’s Past Deadline, published in The Perth Courier on Feb. 14/13.
High fives and wahoos all ’round
Back in July 2009, I revealed in this here space that I had embarked upon a new exercising adventure, thanks to my good friend Heather, who lives in Calgary.
That was the dawn of my indoctrination into The Cult of Running™, which was a brief and torrid affair.
See, Heather and I share some motivational issues when it comes to staying on the healthy diet and exercise bandwagon. She’s a great one for encouragement, though.
She had posted a “Super Beginner Learn to Run Plan” on her blog back in 2009. I lamented that I wished I, too, could be one of those graceful, calorie-burning runner types.
I was never a good runner as a kid. Long-legged and lanky (yes, there was a day when I looked as if I truly needed many cookies to sustain me), I never mastered my breath. I looked like a windmill and generated a lot of puff.
Heather encouraged me. She urged me to get some good shoes and, when she came to Ontario to visit family that July, we took my inaugural run.
The beginner plan is a walk-a-minute-run-a-minute scenario. Those first 18 minutes led to many more runs over the next two years.
Then, in August 2011, my right foot had a nervous breakdown. For many months, walking, never mind running, was a painful thing. Apparently I have silly feet. Orthotics have helped, but I still can’t push it.
I have struggled to find a way to replace running, which I found to be the Best! Stress! Reliever! Ever! Y’all may recall how I lamented about my lack of enthusiasm for cycling (“I’m gonna die!) and I may have offered up lame-ish excuses about scheduling swimming and disliking gym, and blah blah blah.
Heather of Calgary to the rescue with her enthusiasm! Two months ago she started a private fitness group on Facebook and invited a bunch of her friends to join. The aim is to post a message in the group about our “daily” fitness activities. (So far they haven’t kicked me out of the group for not fitnessing daily.)
One of the things I liked about running was going off on my own and trying to beat my own bests while listening to my “Run Forrest Run” playlist. (Say – has anyone seen my iPod? I think my desk ate it.)
Solitary running was good, but chatting with others about exercise is great. Plus I am very vain and I like to talk about myself. No really!
There are some very active people in the group, which is inspiring. Fortunately, I am comfortable enough with my lethargy to not feel intimidated.
Meanwhile, Heather is awesome at prodding and prompting, too. If you have shown no sign of movement after a few days, she’ll ask you what you’re up to before calling 911.
The best thing is that this group is really supportive. When I post something saying the only exercise I did all week is shoveling, I get cyber high-fives and wahoos, which makes me want to try harder.
So let it snow! (Okay…maybe not.)
Actually, as exciting as shoveling is, I am much more enthused about the fact my foot is tolerating power walks. Apparently my long arch appreciates the fact my ample weight is not crashing down upon it with every running step. Walking is gentler.
I’m walking farther and faster these days (High fives! Wahoos!), so there is hope for me yet. Maybe, if I am careful, I could work up to the Kilt Run this summer. Or maybe a Kilt Run/Walk. Or just a random walk while wearing a kilt.
Whatever! Exercise is good! Let’s shovel!