Okay, jogged a mile. It doesn’t really count as running at 5 mph, does it? But still. This is a big thing for me! I can kill myself on the elliptical, pedal on the stationary bike like nobody’s business, but the treadmill, and running in general, has always been my white whale.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve not been fast or a “good” runner. Never the very slowest one in the class or on the team, but always at the back of the pack. I think the fastest mile I’ve ever run was right around ten minutes, in eighth grade. Once I was no longer forced to run, I stopped and avoided it altogether, only occasionally flirting with jogging on the treadmill (at the beginning of college) and working on the Couch to 5k Program (more recently) off and on.
I know it’s important to pick exercises that you actually like (or prefer) so that you’re more likely to keep up a routine and stuff. So why jog if I don’t actually like it? Well, it really bothers me that I can’t. People much heavier and more out of shape than I are better runners, and that drives me nuts. I’m not a very competitive person, but I hate feeling like there’s this fairly achievable fitness goal out there that so many others have reached and I haven’t. Besides, running is kind of romantic, isn’t it? Think of all the Nike commercials. Just you, the road, your breath, no fancy equipment.
So on Friday I started jogging on my aunt and uncle’s treadmill, figuring I’d do the whole routine of “jog for 3 minutes, feel like dying, turn the speed down to 3.5 mph for a few minutes, rinse, repeat.” But after a few minutes I felt okay, remembered B.’s philosophy of getting over the mental hurdles, and just went for it. Proved I’m capable of making it a whole mile without walking. And it felt damn good.
I owe a lot of it to a good lineup of songs that randomly occured on my mp3 player: Christina Aguilera’s “Fighter,” Kanye West’s “Stronger,” and Nelly’s “Heart of a Champion.” Highly recommend. And don’t worry, my music taste is a lot better when I’m not exercising.