I am one of those people who never worked out. I am serious when I say that until very recently, I had done some sort of cardio a total of 15 times or fewer my whole life (excluding the mandatory gym classes in high school). I had to take a physical exercise class in college, and I chose badminton. I got a B. I also struggle with basic physical coordination when hitting or throwing objects.
I try to do yoga occasionally, I take long and somewhat strenuous, hilly walks at the insistence of my friend Tracie, and I can hike for some time if I am with friends, but cardio where I can, at any point, say, “Screw this. I’m going to slow down and/or stop”? That’s a new one.
I used to say things like, “If I’m running, call the cops because someone is chasing me,” or “I hear running is bad for your ankles, and feet, and shins. Come sit down with me and have a glass of wine instead.”
But I ran my first 5K this weekend. Well, I mostly ran. There was a bitch of a hill at the 2 mile mark that I walked. In our Couch to 5K training that I started with two neighbors and my 23-year-old daughter a couple months ago, we’d never ran for more than 2.3 miles straight. But I completed a 5K, along with Katey who had also never been a runner, with a time of 41:56. That’s a very slow 13:40 minute mile (not much faster than a brisk walk). But we finished, and I have another 5K in two weeks. I hope to run my slow but steady pace the whole distance on the next one.
I sent a note to a friend who began running a few years ago to apologize for any snarky remarks I may have made (see above) and to let her know that I kind of get it now. Personal accomplishments at any pace feel good. And the pain becomes manageable or at least subsides. And the only record you have to worry about beating (at least for people like me) is your own speed and distance.
I can recommend it. Movement is good.
I think I can apply what I’ve learned to writing as well. Just keep moving. Don’t compare yourself to experienced writers and their paces, nor to other novices. Compare yourself to yourself, keep moving, and get better. Then a little better. Talk to other people who write, but more than talk, do.