I’ve just been out for another run. I am getting SO much out of it, not just physical exercise.
When I made Aliyah almost three years ago, I was not doing any exercise whatsoever. It bothered me, though, so I bought a bike and started, as one does on a bike, to cycle. Sometimes I would cycle with my wife but I was doing it mostly on my own. I still cycle and I still enjoy it. It don’t only benefit me physically but also mentally. If I don’t get out and exercise at least 3 times per week, I start to feel stressed and jaded. I need to blow away those cobwebs. Moreover, my time out on the bike is my most productive thinking time, adrenalin and endorphins flowing, away from the laptop (yes, ok, Facebook), it is a great mental workout, too. As ‘they’ say, healthy body, healthy mind – it’s true!
The problem was, however, that I wasn’t really pushing myself and I was getting bored. I was cycling the same route three times per week and had been doing the same route for over two years! My eldest son, he is very different from me, LOVES exercise, loves sport (as do I but just watching it on tele!), he pushes himself to the max (beyond, if you ask me). He is only 16 but is running about 90km per week! So I thought I’d go out for a run. Oh, dear! I started to run and slowed to a walking pace after about…………..250m. I started in such a negative frame of mind that I’m surprised I managed 250m! So a couple of days later my son ran with me and I ran, quite easily, about 3.5k. It was a start.
After about 4 weeks of 3 x 3.5k per week, or two runs and a cycle, I decided to increase the distance. I chose a new route, just over 6km, getting on for 4 miles. Tried it a couple of days ago, I was doing ok, listening to music, all was going well but after about 4km, I started to think about what I was doing, running, and then it became tough and I slowed to a walk. I walked for about 1km and then ran just over 2km back home.
Running gear on again this evening, musical accompaniment provided by two Taylors, a Rhodes and a Le Bon and it went very well. I even found, mid-run, that I was enjoying it, I was in the music, not in the running, I even found myself running to the beat (and singing out loud when my breathlessness allowed). At one point, I felt a ‘rush’, like I could just keep on running and running (I feel another song coming on…). I felt good. I was overcoming. I was finding more inside me than I thought was there. I know it’s a short run by a lot of people’s standards but it’s all relative. Only a few weeks ago, the mere thought of going out for a run was mentally exhausting and now I’m enjoying it. Another example of what one can get out of taking those first few small steps.
When I say to myself “You can’t”, that’s it, there’s not even any point in trying. When I say to myself “You can”, I really can. Simply having a few positive words with yourself makes ALL the difference. That penny has dropped and it’s truly liberating.