How I made myself to exercise and run

It's 2020. New beginnings, at least according to the Gregorian Solar Calendar. In this post, I will share how I started in running and how I made myself do it. Exercise. Fitness. An activity most of us can not find time to do.

I used to think it was a waste time, after all I love to walk. I have all the exercise I ever need. Instead of using public transportation, like a jeep or taxi, I walk. But the rest of the day, most of us are sitting in front of a computer because our line of work requires the use of it.

It was not enough. That mindset, it was wrong.

When I say walk as an exercise, I'm talking no less than a 10 km walk, outside, within a 24-hour period. I've been doing it since I learned to explore the city. Being in a vehicle does not offer one a view and appreciation of their surroundings. Not enough time to imprint an area into memory so next time it is very familiar. For that reason, I learned to appreciate walking … far.

Then location-based games came into the picture. These are games wherein a player must go outside and walk for the game to progress. One such game heavily based on moving is Ingress by Niantic (a few years later they released Pokémon GO and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite). It gave me more reasons to walk 10 kilometers and more, and before I knew it I was clocking 20 kilometers.

Until I learned there is a huge difference between walking and jogging or as it is more commonly called today--running.

I admit, my lovely partner has been pushing me to run with her but like everybody else, I felt lazy too. As I've said, walking was enough. She kept reminding me and slowly it grew on me.

I started running …

The 29th of November 2019. I finally started running. It was hard. In a scale of 10, it was an 8 or a 9. All those walking did nothing to prepare me for this. It did not increase my endurance and stamina, it did not strengthened my legs, it did not teach me how to breath properly.

By my fourth run, I pushed myself. Two things which allowed me to do it. First, don't completely run the stretch, you can walk. Restricting yourself into purely running a stretch results in disappointment and discouragement, and is dangerous too. I kept thinking I can't, I can't, I'm tired. Take a break by walking. Don't stop unless you have to, walk. A few minutes later, you can run again.

This is something I learned from my Spartan Ambassador cousin Wericobear (Instagram, Facebook Page, Twitter) and his wife Laura (Instagram), and of course my lovely girlfriend Sherlene. How to finish a 5 km run? By not running the whole stretch. What matters is you finish it. It is true. By finishing the stretch you set yourself, it gives you accomplishment and it helps your body to adjust. To put it simply, do not force your body but at the same time do not stop, walk when you have to.

The second I learned is this: it is easier to achieve a target if I am not running in circles. If I go from one place to another place it makes the challenge achievable. The view, the sounds, the smell, all these things kept my mind focus elsewhere and my quiet chant in my mind changed to just a few more, I can do it. By the time I reached my target stretch, I was over by a kilometer. I finished 6 km!

It is only the beginning

Correct. It is only the beginning. My original plan was to start running in Spring, the true New Year. I started early because I knew I won't do it if I waited that long. The excitement build up is already flowing, I have to use it and I did. Five runs in 2019. Who could have thought I can do it? Not me definitely and our greatest enemy is ourselves.

When Wericobear and Laura were here, he convinced me to try the wall obstacles (I still don't know what those are called). The first one was easy, the second one was a challenge but eventually I did it … twice too. The third one, the highest wall to cross, almost. But instead of thinking I will never be able to do it, after that second wall, my mindset has changed. I can do it. Not now, sure, but I can do it. I will get there.

Getting into exercise or fitness activities is no different. There is a wall before us that we first must conquer. For me, it was the mindset of "walking is more than enough", "I don't have time for it", and "I sweat a lot". The latter, I realised now, is the most lame excuse.

If you are already into fitness activities, what was the wall you had to conquer to make yourself start your road to welfareness? If you have not yet started but you are aware that you should, what are those things keeping you from starting your road to optimal well-being?

Share your thoughts and experiences below and let's support each other!

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