One Excuse Is As Good As Another

     I saw the picture below on Pintrest and ooooh did I relate. I love the powerful feeling of running (ok, at the speed I go it’s really jogging, but none the less). However, I know I don’t look much like a runner and am not yet “powerful” at it.

     I haven’t said much about the jogging this week, but that’s not because it hasn’t happened. I am still jogging almost every day, though the big 3.1 miles all in one doesn’t happen every time.

     I was so proud of that 5k distance accomplishment, slow though it was, but it was followed by some consequences. I find myself suffering a little pain in the shin, ankle, and in the thigh now, especially when I get over that 1.5 mile mark. I am not working on speed yet, trying to get my body use to the stance, improve the strike, and get comfortable with the distance. I’m not digging the discomfort and find myself favoring the left leg, which is already visably more muscular. The right leg is living up to it’s reputation as the weaker of the two.

     Several times a week I contemplate taking it outside. I have run on both my personal treadmill and the treadmill at the gym. Mine feels like a lot more work. The one at the gym is firmer and going 4 mph is as comfortable as 3.5 on mine. I don’t know why. I have finally jogged outside a short distance, from my house to the gym, at 5:10 a.m., when no one is around to see. Jogging outside intimidates me and I have plenty of excuses not to do it.

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     What excuses you ask? For starters I don’t have much time and the treadmill is close and readily available. It’s going to be hot and uncomfortable outside, too. My house is nicely air-conditioned, outside is not. If I wait long enough it’s cold can be the excuse, my house is nicely heated,too. I don’t have an outdoor route. I haven’t taken the time to check out any of the many great possible places to run in Blacksburg. I know there are lots of options. I have several friends who run and each has a favorite place. I understand running around the block even counts and of course that starts right outside my own front door, but there is a steep hill and who wants that? I have a walking rout of 1 mile that I could use, right on main street but my next excuse gets in the way of that. I don’t want to look like an idiot or a victim of some crime in need of rescue. Being seen in public, struggling to run in embarrassing. I have been greatly inspired by the beautiful young college girls who run along main street. They look so tough and make the running look so easy. From time to time though I see someone like me. Someone who is struggling to keep going, who looks like they are stumbling as they run, who looks out-of-place. I find myself looking to make sure the aren’t being chased and then wondering if they will be ok or if their heart or legs are going to give out leaving them stranded. Maybe if I stick to the treadmill long enough I won’t frighten people when I move it outside.  Of course it’s also going to be harder outside. The road doesn’t move under me like the treadmill. I have to propel myself forward and the ground doesn’t give under me, the ankle and shin aren’t going to love the hard pounding against solid pavement. So many reasons to keep it inside, but arethey  all just more or less “making soup”?

     When the subject of excuses comes up my husband Tony likes to tell this  story:

      There was a man who had purchased an old farm that had been unoccupied for some time, and trees and brush had overgrown much of the land. As he was clearing the land he accidentally broke the handle on his axe. Not wanting to quit, he walked a mile to the home of his new neighbor. He approached the large farmhouse and knocked on the door. The owner came to the door and greeted him. The man introduced himself and told his neighbor the story of buying the farm up the road, and of breaking his axe handle. He asked his neighbor if he could borrow his axe just for the rest of the day so he could finish up what he was working on. Upon hearing his request his neighbor simply looked at him and said “Sorry, I’m making soup right now.” Confused, the man restated his request and clarified the fact that he did not need his neighbor to come with him to help, he only needed to borrow his axe. The neighbor simply replied “Sorry, I’m making soup.” Not sure how to interpret the neighbor’s reply the man once again clarified his question and said that he did not understand how making soup had anything to do with his need to borrow an axe. The neighbor simply replied “If I don’t want to lend you my axe then any excuse will do, and that’s the one I picked.”

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     Where weight loss is concerned, I vowed early in the year “No more excuses“! I don’t have to run outside in order to continue losing weight but my new mindset demands that I learn to work outside of my comfort zone. I don’t have to do all of my running outdoors and I do need to be sensitive to the realities of any limitations that would cause injury and hinder further progress. That being said I am going to set as one of my goals for next week an outdoor jog. It will be a start and then from there I can figure out the best way to proceed in order to eventually be the tough girl who makes it look easy.

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