When I was in 5th grade, we started doing the Presidential Physical Fitness test in gym class. Pushups, sit-ups, the reach-past-your-toes thing, the rope climb, and running. I was tubby with no upper body or core strength. I did like 15 pushups, maybe 10 sit-ups. No way I climbed the rope. I think I did ok on the flexibility thing. But when it came to running… hoo boy. I remember it took me 16:30+ to run a mile. I was 2nd to last in my class, about a minute in front of a dude with awful asthma. I was unbelievably embarrassed, and I’m pretty sure I went home, told my mom, and cried.
Fast forward to 9th grade. I’d been running around my block pretty frequently, playing more sports, growing, and so on. I knocked out 40 pushups easy. I did 106 sit-ups, which got my name up on the board. I did great on the stretch thing. I climbed the rope (!!!!!!!). And as for the run… well, they had switched to a 12-minute run by then, seeing how far you could get in that amount of time. I did 1.5 miles in 11 minutes, and called it quits. I was super stoked with myself.
But that was 9th grade. I’m now 27, and haven’t been able to run in forever. Pain and discomfort in my ankles, knees, and/or hips, plus a general shortness of breath, made me disheartened and prone to giving up. I tried on Tuesday and could barely go a half mile before my leg started to kill.
Come to find out, it was my shoes. A new pair of light stability shoes later, and I just knocked out 2 miles in 23:30 (running and walking). Not exactly world class, but I can’t even describe how good it feels to be able to run that distance without pain anywhere in my body.
Becca and I decided that we’re going to run a 5k together at the end of June. That gives me about 13.5 more weeks to get into shape. I just did day 2 of the 9-week Couch to 5K program, and so by my math, I’ll have roughly a month to improve my pace a bit before giving it a shot.
It just feels great to finally hit my stride with something (pun totally intended). Between eating healthy and exercising, I feel great, and can’t wait to see all the changes. I’ve got 30 pounds I want to knock off, and I’ve taken the steps to make that happen.