I debated this title for two days. Naturally I am NOT a runner. I am short. I am stocky. I am not long and lean with limbs waving from my body like lovely flags in the wind. In fact, I have checked with the Kenyans, and they do not even consider my legs to be limbs. I have asthma. I turn very red when I run. People turn their heads, and look at me with grim concern when I pass by. It is not pretty.
But then I started thinking.
Right now, I do not suck at running. Surely, I am not fast. I am firmly hangin’ with the turtles. My average mile is 10 minutes. But who cares? I’m not running to win anything. It does NOT matter how fast or slow I move on pavement.
I talk to a lot of moms, and a lot of them know I run. In fact, I invite many of them to run with me. And do you know what? Most of them tell me they want to run. But will they ever come with me?
So I’m going to tackle your excuses one by one. The standard ones anyways.
1. You say: I am not good at running.
I say: Well, of course you’re not. How often do you run? Oh, never? Well then, why in the world would you expect to be good at it?
Practice. Start small. Aim big. Take time. It will happen. You must be dedicated. But seriously, if you honestly want to run, don’t kill yourself by starting out with 5 miles. Start with a quarter of a mile, a tenth of a mile, one minute, thirty seconds. Just start.
Take little steps and just. keep. at it.
And if you don’t want to run, there’s nothing wrong with that either. More room for me to dance!
2. You say: It’s really uncomfortable for me to run (i.e. there’s a lot of me jiggling in an unpleasant way).
I say: Me too, sister. Suck it up. If it’s your boobs, then here’s my preach: My boobs are giant. I could own Hooters. Most other boobs aspire to hang out with my boobs. Some nursing mothers comment that their boobs are larger than their babies heads; well, my boobs are bigger than my husband’s head. When I am nursing I wear a ridiculous bra size. J. Yes, I said J, as in Joking. I WISH I were joking. So, find a good sports bra. Find an amazing sports bra. Make it your best friend. Moving Comfort can cover you. I mean that literally. You will be amazed. And will quite possibly start running just from the sheer joy of it.
If it’s other things that jiggle, then find inspiration in the fact that 10 minutes of running burns roughly 100 calories. The jiggling will stop, but not after one day, or one week or even one month. Again, little bits at a time. I really think that you have to make fitness a habit for it to be effective and fun. Ages ago, I read that it takes people about 3 weeks to form a new habit. Three weeks! That’s it! 21 days! Just THINK of the things you could do in 21 days!!
3. You say: I don’t have time.
I say: Make time. You don’t need much to start with. If you’re starting out with no running experience, you need 10 minutes. For 10 days, run/walk for 10 minutes. Run for one minute, then walk for nine. Then bump it up by one minute for the next 10 days; run for 2, walk for 8. And another for the next 10 days. Keep going until you’re at 10 minutes of running. By then you will probably have run a mile! That’s a big deal, and a fantastic start!
4. You say: I don’t know how to start.
I say: Listen, its running. No lessons are necessary. Your body can do this without much teaching. All you really need is a good pair of shoes and a good sports bra. Take one evening and visit a running store. Get fitted for shoes. You don’t always need to go to a running store to buy equipment, but the people at running stores are runners. Tap into their know-how and use it to get your know-how growing.
Then, after you’ve got your boobs and big toes covered, open the front door…and go. That’s it. Really.
It’s time to get off the excuse wagon. The wheels have fallen off, its run out of gas, and it’s not going anywhere. You can either sit there and wait, doing nothing, or you can get off and start walking.
And in fact, that’s a great place to start.