First Steps

I was catching up on Diane’s blog this evening and this post on Exercise and Fear really caught my attention, especially the last paragraph:


Diane speaking on fear of exercise when she started her weight loss journey at 305 pounds.

Leaving the comfort of the house took some courage. I walked in the early morning, just before daybreak, so my neighbors couldn’t see me. That morning, thighs rubbing together like sandpaper, I walked 10 minutes away from the house turned around and walked 10 minutes home. Slow were my steps but they would prove to be some of the most important first steps I would take for the rest of my life. Day after day I put aside my feelings of insecurity and walked out the front door. Every day I exercised I put a check mark on my calendar and watched as the calendar filled up and my body shrunk. Overcoming the emotional fears of exercise took courage and perseverance, but the results were worth every hard moment.

It brings me to a recent exercise fear of sorts I had.
Yesterday I met my friend to jog at the park. This was the first time for us to jog together. She kept telling me how slow she was, but I knew I was slower still. I gave her the go ahead to leave if she needed to speed up. She didn’t think she would, but it was only a minute or two before she realized she would have to. I was fine with that because I know that I jog really slow.
Yet, while I’m very aware that my personal best jogging rate of 4.5 mph is slow watching her slowly get farther and farther away from me was a brutal realization of just how slow I am. I felt like a turtle-whale ….. huge and jogging so slow.
It was the first time in a long while that I was embarrassed of my attempt at running. I saw her going on at her easy pace, not fast by any runner’s standards, but still faster than me. I was proud of her, because I knew she just started running last spring.
At the same time I was a bit miserable. I missed my treadmill at the gym, where I could feel strong and fit jogging along next to people running at a “normal” pace. Instead I felt every heavy, slow step. Every heavy breath seemed to be as loud as if I was breathing into a megaphone. I didn’t like it at all.
Then I realized something.
As I watched my friend shrinking out of my sight I remembered that she is 50 pounds lighter than me, and only five pounds over my goal weight. Suddenly she became my hope on that tortuous jog. If I kept going with this plan of exercise and my weight keeps going down, then someday I’ll be jogging along like her.
I’d like to say that it made the rest of my jog a breeze but it didn’t. I still struggled and felt like a turtle-whale. I was glad I went, but it wasn’t only until tonight after reading Diane’s post that I realized I can overcome the fear of getting back out there on that trail to run. I may be slow, but these are my “important first steps” that will lead me to success in my health for the rest of my life.
In fact, before ever reading Diane’s post tonight, I had already made a date to jog with her again. We’re going to the same trail tomorrow, and I will do my best. One. jogging. step. at. a. time.
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3 Responses to First Steps

  1. I love how you found hope in the situation. Bravo!

    Like

  2. Christine says:

    Awesome post Leah!!!

    It is so great that you did not allow this experience to take you to a bad place….I don't know if I would have been so positive.

    Blessings Leah!!! You are a beautiful person.

    Like

  3. Sandra says:

    I don't run any faster than 4.5mph either. I'm not jogging right now to win a race, I'm in it to get healthier and if it means I start out slow, then good for me and for you for getting out there and doing it. I figure once I am 50lbs lighter, and stronger, then I will work on the speed but for right now just doing it is fantastic! YOU too should be proud!

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