I am a zero to sixty kind of girl…I’m either all in or I’m all out… it’s either black or it’s white, it’s right or it’s wrong… there is no gray area with me! And so when it comes to my workouts I work hard…or I don’t work out at all. However this past summer I learned a very valuable lesson about balance.
You see this summer I trained to run a marathon. In fact I started training for that race around this time last year by preparing myself to run a half marathon (the same half that I will be training to run again this year). Well after running the half I gave myself a few weeks off from the sport before jumping in and preparing again to be ready to run a full 26.2 miles. And when it came time to get back into training mode, I went all out….pushing myself beyond my limits and my body to extremes. Sadly what happened was that within a month or so I had completely burned myself out by running too much, too fast, too quickly. Well that in turn lead me to take a few more weeks off from training…and then I made my second bad decision and after not running anything for weeks on end jumped right back into my training from where I left off…only to end up with a stress fracture that lead to even more time away from running and ultimately forcing me to make the decision that a marathon just wasn’t in the cards for me this year. To Come to the place where I had to make that discussion completely disappointed me. I felt like a failure…like a fraud…like a quitter, and even though I did run another half on the day of the full marathon, watching the runners cross that finish line at mile 26.2 made me only regret my poor decision making skills.
You see running, much like weight loss, is all about endurance… and when you train for an event you are suppose to follow a training schedule that builds you up to the point where you are ready to take on a massive distant in the most prepared way possible. When you veer from that plan and push your body in ways it’s just not prepared to be pushed you set yourself up for failure. In the same way exercise is something that builds upon itself. You might have to start off doing “girly” pushups but the more you work at it the closer you get to doing full out military pushups and then maybe even someday one armed pushups. But you see, just like running…you have to be willing to work your way up to it…to take the baby steps… to crawl before you walk.
Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely believe in pushing your limits and live in the belief that if you want to achieve results you’ve never had you have to be willing to do what you’ve never done. However it’s also important to be smart. If you’ve never worked out a day in your life… start out walking…. If you’ve never picked up a weight, start with something light. Push yourself…but use your head. We all have to start somewhere.