Baby Steps

I have had a love-hate relationship with running.  Here’s how the cycle usually goes–First, I am quite out of shape, and I start running.  I hate it.  It’s uncomfortable, miserable, hard, and I suck.  I stick with it for awhile, for some reason, and in a few weeks I realize that I love running.  It’s no longer uncomfortable, my body has started to adapt and get into shape, and I absolutely love the feeling of having worked my body really hard.  Then I stop for awhile, for some reason, and eventually crave the feeling of running again, and the cycle starts again.  Except, lots of times when I start the cycle I stop before it gets good.  I get discouraged with the first couple of weeks and just quit.

So I think the trick is to stay with it.  It’s getting going with the habit that makes me hate it.  If I could just stay with it enough to stay in shape, even if I’m not working hard enough to improve, I would never have to go through the beginning part. 

I’m really embracing the idea of baby steps recently.  It’s fine to have my eye on the long-term goal, but I need to embrace the small progress along the way, or I get discouraged.  Want to get out of debt?  Pay a little extra on my credit card this month.  Want to decide whether or not to move far away?  Start today by looking up how I would get my teaching license in the states I’m considering.  Want to eat more healthfully?  Get some fresh vegetables this week when I buy groceries.  Want to have a neat, clutter-free home?  I can start by getting in the habit of making my bed in the morning.  Have the long-term goal, but focus on taking baby steps to get there.

So, I want to get in shape?  I’m not going to be doing an Iron Man triathalon tomorrow.  (Can women even do Iron Man triathalons?…)  But, I can take a baby step in the right direction.  Any forward progress deserves to be celebrated. 

Right now I’m craving the feeling of running.  But I’m going to embrace the baby steps that it will take to get there, because I don’t want to go for it, gung-ho, and crash and burn.  A while back, my friend Tara suggested making a consistent time every day to work out, and I think that’s my first baby step.  I’m not sure, but I’m thinking mornings.  If I can get myself up and going, it would be so nice to have it out of the way.  Plus, if I’m doing it outside, it will be cooler.  But I’m not even going to get specific about what I do.  I’m just hopefully going to do something every day at whatever consistent time I plan.  I could go for a walk or eventually a run outside, I could go to the fitness center and ride a bike or swim, or lift weights, I could do yoga, or an exercise video, I could do some combination of that.  But this week (starting tomorrow of course, because I didn’t do it today), my baby step will just be to make a consistent time to work out, and do something at that time.


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