I want to run a 5 K. Sounds like a pretty simple task, huh? Right now, it is my Everest. Of course, I won’t need a parka but there could be danger from lack of oxygen lol. This not simply a matter of go forth, wear a tutu and run. Let’s go back in history on a little tour of how this became a monumental task.
Once upon a time, I was in very good shape. I did gymnastics. I did cross-country and track. As an adult, I went to the gym and worked out everyday no less than two hours a day. Then I got sick. It took them a year and a half to figure out what was wrong with me. Please take note that this was almost 20 years ago. In that year and a half, I gained 100 lbs. I went through many tests several times a week, medication and even a doctor who told me it was all in my head(he wasn’t my doctor after that) . So picture where not only my physical health went but also my mental health which wasn’t too stellar from the get-go. Needless to say what I have affects both physical and mental health and it has been a rough road. It affects my autoimmune system and basically cause havoc when it feels the need to flare up. Needless, to say it has been a serious up and down roller coaster for the last 20 years. Last year, I had some pretty intense issues with it. Meanwhile, what health and fitness I did have basically went down the toilet. Life stress, medical, etc…. had really left me at a low point with my depression and I have to admit thinking some pretty dark thoughts. I am not a talker. When it is extremely difficult or personal I clam up. So my family (even those who live with me) really didn’t know or understand what was going on. That is not their fault. I wasn’t ready to talk about it when I can’t even deal with it myself.
I wasn’t sure what to do or how to fix this but I knew I had to do something. Oddly enough it was a simple game that got me going. I started playing Pokemon Go with some of my family. I was thinking “This will be fun. We can do it as a family and get a little exercise.” I am kind of laughing about this now because it sounds like a ridiculous way to get started on fitness. Especially as an adult. I found that I could actually go much farther than I thought I was capable of. Plus, it was kind of fun catching the pokemon and collecting things, etc…. I distracted myself right into exercise and proper nutrition. (I was not eating enough.I was barely eating 800 calories and definitely not making my goals on nutrients.) Soon, I found myself doing it everyday. It got me away from the house, gave me some self time and I felt good that I was accomplishing something . I then started to think bigger. I looked at the fitness bands but wasn’t sure I wanted to commit to it. I did the research and finally found a good one for a decent price. It also came with an added app that tracks my food and nutrition intake. It really helped me find more motivation to get out there as well as eat properly. I had even gotten up to walking 6 miles a day. That is no easy task where I live considering that in the summer 95 degrees with 98% humidity is a regular occurrence. Then my family and I were out on a simple trail(which we picked because it was easier for the youngest of our group) I did not see a hole that had been dug by feral hogs(nope, not making that up) and had been covered over and severely sprained my ankle. I was on crutches for weeks before I could walk. It still isn’t totally healed but I can exercise on it, just not run yet.
So after months of hard work, I basically had to start over. That bit my pride A LOT. It has taken a long time but I am getting back to where I started. Yesterday, I went the longest distance I have ever gone since starting this whole fiasco. I went 8.14 miles. As, I was sitting here last night mentally praising myself for kicking butt, I started wondering what I could do. My next thought was how the hell did I get on the fitness train? When did that happen? See, walking and yoga are Gateway drugs. Next thing you know, I will be running a marathon. Then I had a sudden thought. Why can’t I do that? It doesn’t have to be now or even in the next year or two. Why can I not have that goal? I may not be the fastest or the best but what if I could finish one? The problem isn’t whether I can or not. I need to give myself permission to think that big, to give myself the okay to make a goal like that. The rest is logistics.
I have made a 5 K my goal. I don’t know how long it is going to take but it is a start and I am determined to do it. I understand that I am a plus size girl. I am aware that I have chronic health issues and my doctor doesn’t want me running. However, there are people who are blind, have medical issues, are amputees, that are plus sized, have cancer, etc…. that have accomplished far greater tasks than a 5k so if they can do it, I can too.
Exercising has given me something back that I didn’t think was possible. It has given me the hope that I will feel better and be able to have a long and healthy life.