Do you remember that Sandra Boynton book, But Not the Hippopotamus? The giraffe and squirrel dance in a whirl, but not the hippopotamus. The dog and the pig have fun doing the jig, but not the hippopotamus. The animals keep doing all kinds of stuff, but the hippo is never included. Finally at the end, she joins in the fun, but YES the hippopotamus! Everyone cheers. Then you turn to the last page. But not the armadillo. We were like, “Include yourself, little armadillo!”
Our family always wanted to be runners. A few years ago, we pulled ourselves off the sidelines. I was 47 years old. It was so hard, and so exciting! When we went to sign up for our first 5K, there was a space to put a team name. We cracked up and put our family team down as The Armadillos.
A few years before, I tried to run continuously on the treadmill, adding a little each time. I hated every single run, and it was just a deal breaker. Then a buddy suggested just jogging whenever I felt like it on my walk. Huh. I love being outside, and had a 5 mile route that I walked all the time. What I wanted, long term, was to be able to jog 2.5 out of the 5 miles and be okay with it.
I use a free app called MapMyWalk, where you can map out your route and see your distances. The first time, I jogged just a 1/10th of a mile segment. And I hated it. I made myself do it. After a few times, it got easier, and I added another 1/10th of a mile segment. It was challenging for me, but not a deal breaker. I was patient with myself. I never compared my runs to Susie down the street who was training for a marathon or Robert who leveled from couch to 10K in two months. I was happy for them and let their work inspire me. I was kicking last week Jennifer’s ass! She could do 1/10th of a mile last week, and was getting 2/10ths of a mile this week. Boom! Progress. I let myself be proud instead of that nonsense of being dissatisfied because I was a beginner.
I was up to 2.5 out of the 5 miles last summer. One day I told my husband I might go out for another run. When I was 40, I got my lifeguard certification, and doubling up workouts to build up endurance really worked for me. He didn’t even look up from his computer, as he said, “Yeah. Right.” I mean, he was right. I wasn’t going to do another run. But him thinking it wasn’t even a consideration fueled me. LOL! I went out and jogged another 2.5 out of 5 miles. And it was fine! I was absolutely shocked and thrilled that I could do it!
It’s covid-19 quarantine time, so it’s a great time to try out new things! We live in the suburbs, and see everyone out practicing safe sunshining. People are crossing the streets away from each other and yelling boisterous, joyful hellos. Spring flower smells are perfuming the air.
This armadillo jogged 9 out of 10 miles yesterday! That’s my new best! I was pushing myself a little at first, then I spaced out in the beautifully sunshiney day, and just forgot to walk and kept running. Every once in awhile I have to make myself go, because it’s cold and windy or something, but it’s not hard because I’ve put in too much work to get here to backpedal now. Usually it’s my zen time and I enjoy it. And I love that I *can*! I may not have my 20 year old metabolism, but 49 year old me can run circles around her. And I wouldn’t trade that, which is a really pleasant thing to realize.
You can! Whatever new thing you want to try out and be good at one day, you can. Go out and start sucking at it! You wont suck forever! ((Hugs))
This is what I’m going to suck at next, and I can’t wait!