A Twitter user I follow started #workoutwednesday . I’m playing, too.
A couple years ago, I got off the elliptical and got serious about working out. I’m not sure what finally gave me that kick in the pants to step up my fitness. Maybe it was the fact that I was 30 and not getting any younger. Maybe it was that I found myself in a fresh, healthy emotional space and wanted to be there physically, too. Maybe it was because I saw too many people too young to be dependent on someone else for care that I wanted to do everything I could not to put myself in that position.
I know there’s a lot I can’t control in life, but if I find myself with heart disease, diabetes, bad knees or other maladies that I could have done something to prevent, I’ll regret it the rest of my life.
So, I bought some shoes started running. Actually, first I started running in some old sneaks I’d bought off a clearance rack and used for years. I thought running was just hard on the body, and it was normal to ache for days after until someone told me to get new shoes. Turns out, no, it’s not normal to spend the rest of the week on a heating pad.
My favorite training place at the time was Seattle’s Green Lake. It’s approximately three miles. Once you start, you have to finish. The lake was conveniently located between my office and my apartment, so I’d bring my running clothes to work and change there (or in the restrooms at the park), and lock my stuff up in the car while I ran. I could take breaks to walk, but I had to go all the way to get back to my car, and it was faster to run. I tracked my run with an app on my iPhone, so I could set my goal to run a little more and walk a little less the next time.
I tried to run a couple days a week. Other days, I’d turn on an Exercise TV class and do that in my apartment, or I would take a class at the yoga studio a 10-minute walk from my apartment. The studio had a terrible parking situation, so I never drove. Even when it was pouring out.
Although my routines have changed, the habit became permanent along the way. I feel healthier and fitter than ever. I give most credit to my boot camps, which whip me into shape fast. In between buying boot camp class packages, I workout at a gym where I can take challenging classes or have solo time on the treadmill. I’ve completely shunned auto-pilot ellipticals.
My keep-at-it trick for the treadmill is to turn on ESPN while I work out. Watching Serena Williams kick ass on the tennis court or NFL highlights is inspiring. This started because I used to use a former apartment building’s workout center during Seahawks games since I didn’t have a TV. Sometimes I’d be in that room a long time, watching the game. I also position myself on a treadmill in front of a window, if possible. When I feel like quitting, I look myself in the eyes in the reflection, and know I’d regret it.