Start Small

I started running after I was inspired by a yoga instructor, whom I came upon randomly on youtube. It wasn’t even something she put out deliberately to inspire. Not like a social media post. It was something she mentioned as she was demostrating yoga in one of her videos (this one, if you’re interested).

She said:

If you’re really ready to change your life and be strong and healthy, take yourself seriously, make this a part of your lifestyle, and I promise you you’re gonna start to see difference in your life, physically, mentally, spiritually. – Sanela Osmansovic

Would you do something if you knew it would do you a lot of good? Logically, you would think so, right? But I hadn’t.

Find your own pleasure

I like yoga but my real pleasure is slow jogging along the waterway, close to nature. It gives me a feeling of peace and improves my mental clarity. I also love the feeling of being entirely drained at the end of a run. It helps me get a good night of sleep.

Left: Caught flowers on their way to blooming. How charming is that!
Middle: A heart-shaped leaf
Right: Every being in nature works for a living.

I never expected to like jogging so much but picking the right times to run and watching my self get better has changed it all. So, put aside your presumptions and try different things. There is nothing to lose.

How small my steps were

Allowing myself to do away with the self-imposed pressure to push beyond what is comfortable made the whole process of starting to exercise much, much easier. During my first run in 20 years, I could barely do 5 sets of 8 jogging steps, and that’s:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

2 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

3 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

4 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

5 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

It left me exhausted and panting like crazy, but I pat my own back and walked while I recuperated. I did my 5 sets of 8 jogging steps again when I felt up to it again. I walked and ran maybe 2km that day, it was a good start.

How I did for my first ever run. I estimate that 0.67 out of the 2.67km arose from my daily activities.

Be surprised

By now, my stamina has improved significantly and I have stopped counting jogging steps, but I’ll never forget how fast it took for me to advance. I was able to hit 100 sets of 8 jogging steps after a week of jogging. That really surprised me, given my extremely poor form to start with.

You can see that on some days I don’t do alot, but it’s fine isn’t it? I don’t give myself that pressure and I get back on track. Something is always better than nothing.

Did I push myself hard?

Not really, I did what I felt comfortable doing. At times, I knew that my body could do more, but I just wanted to slack and walk. Other times, I got distracted by maybe a kodomo dragon or a tortoise moving across the jogging path (have to take a photo, you know?).

What I’m saying is, don’t go around thinking that getting fit is a humongous, insurmountable process. Any improvement is better than no improvement. I hope you’ll be as pleasantly surprised as I was at the speed of your improvement.

Look around you.

Unless you exercise all by yourself, I highly encourage you to observe the people around you.

I’ll never know anyone’s reason for running just by looking at their appearance. It could be that they want to lose weight. It could be that they have to exercise to improve a health condition. Or it could be anything. I am more motivated by struggling joggers than I am by those who look like they’re really fit. While it looks like they are having it hard and I can see how its become mental for them to just put one feet in front of the other – they do it. That’s important, right?

I’ve also been inspired by a woman who was running in home clothes, pushing her baby along in a stroller, which wasn’t one of those jogging strollers that make things easier for you. Watching her go tells me that everyone has difficulties, but if you want it, you’ll find a way to work in out. I have no excuse.

People can do hard things by breaking it up into smaller, easier to handle parts.

Try it!

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