Welcome to the newest installment of the “Kicking Butt in 2012″ series where we examine adopting simple, everyday habits which together add up to a life filled with more purpose and inspiration rather than just plain chaos. Sick of feeling as if you’re hanging on for dear life? Start kicking butt!
Did you catch my post the other day about getting dressed? Well, another reason why it’s good practice to get out of your jammies is that you never know quite how chubby you’ve been getting until you venture away from pants with an elastic waistband.
Today’s Kicking Butt in 2012 post is a no brainer. It’s about exercise. Many a January first have I resolved to exercise more, done good for a while and then returned to my old habits by the end of February. New Year’s resolutions don’t work for many people. With this post, I’m not going to try to convince you to exercise more. I’m just going to show you that even when it seems overwhelming, it is possible.
Here I am about 3 years ago. At the time, I was in the first weeks of my pregnancy gearing up for the swimming portion of a triathlon. I was a triathlete. Five months later I found myself in the hospital on bedrest where I remained for the better part of 8 weeks. Then I had a C-section…and then I had twins. I had lost so much muscle mass that 2 weeks after giving birth I was 10 pounds lighter than my pre-pregnancy weight. Sounds awesome, right? Except that I could barely walk to the end of the block without getting tired – and running, even to catch the bus, was out of the question.
If there is one thing that a new mother wishes for, it’s more energy. I knew I needed to work out if I was ever going to survive infant twins. But I just had no idea where to begin. I took a yoga class and then hobbled around on sore muscles for 3 days afterward. I couldn’t decide which was more depressing, actually being so desperately out of shape or just admitting it to myself.
One day while I was tooling around the internet, I came across the Couch to 5K Program. What intrigued me immediately was the clever name. It kind of made me laugh a little bit and feel less embarrassed to admit that yes, at this point in my life, I was on the couch. I checked it out and it seemed like a great plan to start slow, avoid getting discouraged and avert injury. The first few weeks are about interval training, for example: running for 60 seconds and then walking for 90. Doable. They recommend working out 3 times a week for 20-30 minutes at a time. The plan is 9 weeks in its entirety, but I repeated one week that was particularly tough for me.
The point is, I did it. I followed the plan and actually ran in a 5K race. The training was intense enough to be productive, but mellow enough to still be fun. I felt strong during my race and when I crossed the finish line, I was sprinting. I had never felt so triumphant!
What I learned is that everybody’s got to start somewhere. All you have to do is start.
Here’s a pic of me and my #1 cheerleader after the race.
Have you done Couch to 5K? What did you think of it? Where did you go from there?
Want to kick more butt? Start here – and then check out these posts: