“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”
(John Bingham, No Need for Speed: A Beginner’s Guide to the Joy of Running)
John took the words right out of my mouth. I think the fact that I run for pleasure is as big a shock to me as it is to my family and friends. I was an avoider of anything physical as a child. It got to the point at secondary school that I didn’t even bother taking an excuse note for PE, it was just an unspoken agreement that I didn’t do PE. I was self conscious, uncoordinated, over weight and under tall. Looking back, sport could have been so right for me, it could have taught me the lessons about myself that I’m only just beginning to learn now in my 30’s.
But it’s different now, I’m an advocate. I’m no longer self conscious, I’m no longer over weight. I am, however, still incredibly uncoordinated and most definitely under tall. You win some, you lose some.
I guess there are lots of reasons for not giving jogging a chance.
‘I’m not built for running’,
‘I’ve got dodgy knees’,
‘I look daft in lycra’,
‘When I’ve lost weight’,
‘I can’t afford the kit’,
‘I haven’t got time’,
‘I haven’t got childcare’.
I can see those reasons are valid. I can see that for someone who doesn’t have great memories of previous exercise attempts those reasons are just the tip of the iceberg. But let me tell you, if you can just leap in to the first session, try it and have an open mind, that the second session isn’t nearly as bad. By the end of the second week, you’ll be hooked. Something happens when you put trainers on, something that can’t be put in to words. It’s a feeling shared by people all over the world. It’s a little bit magical.
For the record, you don’t need to be built for running. You don’t need to be a particular body type to be able to do it. As long as you can walk, you can run. Ok, so running is fairly high impact activity but it still has so many health benefits, even if you have dodgy joints (and as a sufferer of inflammatory arthritis, I know ALL about that). Losing weight, weight bearing and being active will not only keep your muscles and bones strong but it will also improve the condition of the bits we can’t see- your heart and lungs. Your mental health will improve too, all sorts of wondrous chemical stuff happens in your brain while you exercise and for a while after. It’s almost better than wine.
Most of us feel awkward in tightly fitting clothes,but you don’t have to wear it; jogging bottoms or leggings with a baggy t-shirt is fine attire for jogging in. Lycra is most definitely not essential. However a good bra and a decent pair of trainers will certainly be good investments, once you’re hooked (that’ll be week 2 then…)
As for not having time or childcare well sometimes you do just have to put the family first. But taking an hour out a few times a week, just for you will make the time you do spend running around after everyone else so much easier. You’ll be fitter, less tired, more motivated. And if you’re honest with yourself, what would you be doing with that hour otherwise? Vegged in front of the tv? That does have its time and place but I promise that vegging in front of the tv after a good run feels a million times better than vegging with out the run. They say that you never regret going for a run, only regret not going.
I suppose some people just don’t want to run <shock> and I guess that is fine (really, are you definitely sure you don’t want to? Really?) but if you do want to try, even a little bit just to try it out once, then please have the courage to start.
SheCan are running taster sessions ahead of our first beginner group in September. The sessions are free. Why not bring a friend along and have a go? We promise to make it as easy for you as we can- easy, free car parking, warming up in a quiet corner and then a programme which will support you through to running 5k (3.1miles- that .1mile is very important…) by Christmas if you sign up. How amazing is that? And running in a group is so much more fun than by yourself. We know what it’s like to be a beginner and we want nothing more than to support you through to achieving something you had always thought wasn’t for you….
Check our our Pinterest board for motivational bits. Contact us if you fancy our taster sessions.