Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Keep Going/Get started: a message to those who are new to exercise!

I figure I have been posting a lot of blogs about things pertaining to the fun that is epilepsy.  Which, by the way, it's still kinda weird to think that I actually have something long-term to deal with.  But I guess nobody is really completely healthy forever, and we all have things we have to learn to deal with as we get older.  Anyways! Onto positive topics.

I figure I will write this blog entry about running (surprise!)  More specifically, why it makes me so happy to see people get out and run - or exercise in general - even if they are completely out of shape, obese, whatever.  Some people, particularly those who are fast and have run their entire lives, tend to judge others who aren't as fast, or complain about the culture of running these days - how everyone is just trying to run a marathon to say they did it, even if it takes them six hours to finish.  You know what I say to those people: screw you.  Okay, I'll say it more nicely...  it doesn't really matter what you think.  I mean, as much as I'd like to be really really fast and win races rather than merely place in my age group, it isn't necessary to be fast in order to use running to improve your life.  I specifically say running because that's what I do, and it doesn't really require special equipment (though I really like all my little gadgets, lol).

I think it's awesome when people push their limits and try to make themselves better - whether it is to lose weight or just to feel better, or even just to push limits.  I will probably never be a world class runner (the chance of that happening is probably like... less than 1%), but I love pushing my limits.  I prefer pushing distance over speed, maybe because I don't need to be super fast to keep running further and further.  My limits are probably different than someone who has just started.  For me three miles is an easy run, but for someone else, running a 5k is the ultimate goal.  For someone who has never run or who is carrying 200 pounds, running a 5k is pretty awesome.  I say keep going.  You are putting in the effort that most Americans wouldn't bother with.  We all have to start somewhere.  Heck, when I have had a long lay off, three miles isn't easy for me either.  It takes time and dedication to improve, whatever your level of fitness.  Just having that dedication to make yourself more fit generally translates into dedication in other areas.  When I was at West Point I used to keep telling myself (very eloquently I must say) that "everything that sucks eventually comes to an end."  I think running helped instill that mindset in me.  Every race, no matter how terrible I feel, eventually has an end.  I think I told myself that on my most recent race of 18.12 miles.  I wasn't really prepared for the distance, but it eventually was over, and I felt great knowing I pushed my limits.  It doesn't matter whether it's 18.12 miles or 3 or 4 or even 1 mile, working hard and accomplishing your goals is one of the best feelings and confidence boosters.

So here's what I will say to those of you who are thinking of starting an exercise program but are too intimidated because you're out of shape:  just do it.  There's a reason Nike took that up as their motto.  Even if you have to walk at first, or you have to cycle at the lowest gear.  It doesn't matter.  If your lower body won't let you do anything, but you want to get fitter, try lifting weights.  Lift the lightest weight if you have to.  Your body will eventually adapt, and you'll feel amazing when you realize that suddenly the weight you first struggled with becomes too easty.   Don't worry about what other people will think, because in fact, most people will admire you.  The ones who are judging you will judge regardless, but it doesn't matter what they think.  It's your health and your body.  You may not be able to control everything in your life, but take charge of what you can!  You'll be glad you did!


  1. I put a post on FB this evening "A year from now, you'd wished you started today". We're all at different points in our journey, the important thing is to start on the road rather than not even start because it looks too scary or like too much work.

  2. I think I saw that, actually. It's so true! Getting started is definitely the hardest part :)

  3. This blog actually reminded me of an article I read in the latest Runner's World magazine.,7120,s6-238-520-492-14545-0,00.html (in case you don't subscribe...and if you don't, let me know cause I think you'd love it and I'll get you a subscription as a gift ;))

    but you're right! You just have to do it without outside stigma! Very motivational <3

  4. Thanks girl! Like I told my mom, I like inspiring/motivating people! The article is good too. Heck, sometimes it's hard just to restart, even if someone has been a runner in the past. Oh, and I don't have a subscription, though I go through phases where I spend a lot of time on their site :)