Friday, November 15, 2013

Motivating a Lazy Ass

I have a formidable goal ahead of me...  I have to run 2.5 miles.  Now, some of you out there are runners, so you're probably scoffing at me right now, but to ME, this is a formidable task.  I hate running... always have.  Even in high school I hated it.  I'd pace myself. "Don't start too fast,"  I'd tell myself, "Pace yourself."  I'd start slow, and on the last half a lap, I'd give it all I had, knowing the end was near.  Then I'd cross the finish line feeling like I could have gone faster earlier in the race, in spite of my runny nose.   Damn, I never DID get the timing right.  Now, I don't have to worry so much about over conserving my energy.  If I make it to the end of 2.5 miles without dying, that means I've succeeded.  If I make it to the end without FEELING like I'm going to die any second, that will be even better.  

Exercise in general kind of bores me unless there is a purpose to it.  Running for the sake of running feels pointless.  Now, if zombies chased me on a regular basis, I would have a much easier time training.  Raking the leaves in the yard makes sense.  Push ups - not so much although, I hate the blisters I get from raking and I love the defined arms you get from push ups...  just not enough to remember to do push ups every day.  Can't I just sleep late and dream about running and doing push ups?  I don't hate exercise all the time, I just hate it often enough to get really fit.  I admire my husband, who goes to the gym year after year and pumps iron and he looks better than a lot of guys 20 years younger.  So what if he quits every fall and reemerges at the gym every spring like a groundhog?  Me,  I'm like a smoker trying to quit smoking, but instead of quitting cigarettes, I'm quitting lazy.  I attempt to change my ways at least once a week, with varying degrees of enthusiasm.  By the way, I'm not doing dumbell curls with one hand as I type this, I'm eating ice cream. And I've got the ass to prove it!

In an attempt to conquer my lazy ways, in September I decided that I was going to walk every day during my lunch hour.  The short and long term plans were and still are as follows:  short term - walk often, building up speed and endurance, so that: Long term - I can actually run for 2.5 miles.  There were a few problems almost immediately, though.  The phrase "every day" was quickly amended to "three times a week," which seemed so much more realistic since there were bound to be times when it was raining or I had errands to run during that time.  I found a walking partner at work, who was equally enthusiastic and was willing to join me.  "Yeah, I'm THERE," she said, in September when I proposed this idea to her.   We planned a time to walk on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  She is a social worker, however, and as you may have guessed, student issues take precedence over a walk in the great outdoors.   It's now mid November and we've walked together twice so far.

Most of the times I've walked, I've walked by myself, which was not bad... at first.  The first few times I appreciated the stretching of my limbs, my muscles in motion, the views of the surrounding neighborhood, the warm fall breezes, the smells of the plants and the nearby bay.  I felt like Walt Whitman in "Song of Myself."  Ah, it was wonderful!  And then, very quickly, it was boring.  I brought my camera.  I took pictures, which was fun, bbuuuttttt... it slowed down my walk considerably.  So I walked and thought about how every walk through that town reminds me of William Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County...  But I'm no William Faulker, so that didn't stay interesting for too long, either.

Maybe if I got new sneakers...?  I imagined that new sneakers might make me want to walk.  When I first got my current pair of Adidas sneakers I remember thinking they actually felt springy, and maybe if  I got a NEW pair of Adidas, those would feel springy and they'd spring me right into that 2.5 mile run.  In theory, this was another good plan, but after several trips to the store, I couldn't decide which pair I wanted.

Then a friend of mine told me about the iphone app, MapMyWalk.  She showed me all the walks she had taken, all logged neatly and accurately in her phone.  Awesome!  I downloaded MapMyWalk... and proceeded to be unable to take a walk for the next week.  It was last week on Friday when I finally got a chance to go out for a walk with my new app.  I stepped outside, phone in hand, and loaded my app...  it was cold and windy as hell.  I didn't have a hat, and my ears were cold immediately.  Walking slowly so I could see what I was doing, I attempted to turn on the feature that would log where I was going and how fast...  I poked around some more, looking for that command...  Hummm...  Why does this stuff have to be so damn difficult?  My nose started running and I didn't have any tissues.  I walked down the street very slowly, still searching...  And then I got really pissed off and turned around and went back inside.  Dammit, if I couldn't get credit on my app for walking I was NOT GONNA WALK!  Why take a wasted walk when I could go inside where it wasn't windy?  This is the kind of exerciser I am.

I finally figured out how to use my app.  I just press the BIG yellow button marked RECORD and then the even BIGGER button marked START.  I must have been intimidated and distracted by the buttons marked distance, duration, calories, heart rate, pace, speed, laps, etc. under the LOG button.  Leave it to me to make a simple thing complicated.

So tomorrow morning I'm going to attempt to quit lazy again.  I have my app at the ready and my OLD pair of Adidas.  And I friend is joining me for the walk.  The Dunkin Donuts coffee after the walk is over is the real draw for both of us.  Ah, Saturdays!  I'll keep you posted.

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