I tried to slow down, but when you’re in the middle of a pack of actual runners, people who know what they’re doing, people who can actually run faster than a stroll, it’s kind of hard to stop, or even slow down. You’ll get trampled like the running of the bulls in Pamplona. So, of course, I did what any self-respecting person who’s trying not to die during a race would do: I pretended I had a horrible cramp. Actually, I didn’t have to pretend. I did have multiple cramps. shit, my whole body was one giant cramp, and I couldn’t breathe. It was a bitterly cold November day in Detroit, so my lungs hadn’t adjusted, and I was literally hyperventilating.
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What the blue fuck had I been thinking? I’m pretty sure I actually saw Jesus for a minute; I was that close to death. So I collapsed to the ground and just stayed there for a couple of minutes and tried to catch my breath. After a while I was finally able to get some oxygen into my lungs, at which point all the normal, non-running people were starting to appear at the rear of the pack. These were my people, I realized. The great thing was that there were people doing a brisk walk and others who were just strolling this I could handle. I ended up finishing that race with a grand time of 58 minutes.
Here’s the deal, though. Someone out there may have been laughing at me, but I was pretty proud of that finishing time. I had actually finished! I conquered those three point one miles, and I did it in the freaking cold and snow no less! And I hadn’t even trained! Just imagine what I could have done had I actually taken some time for preparation.
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Now, you might think that experience would have inspired me to continue on doing more 5ks. Well. it didn’t. I was happy just to still be alive. I thought, “Wow, God kept me here on the Earth, so I probably shouldn’t attempt anything that dumb ever again.”
It wouldn’t be until years later that I even thought about doing another one. Why? Because it’s easier not to and that’s the honest to goodness truth. It’s much easier to stay home in a warm bed and just relax on a Saturday morning, whereas it takes real effort to wake up early, get suited up, and actually run a race.
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Let’s go back to what I was saying earlier about what you’re eating. A good portion of my life was spent struggling against a food haze. Even when I was trying to eat right, things I didn’t even know were bad for me were causing so many problems. I was in a constant food coma, and didn’t even realize it. Most people are in that same place right now, I think. Just floating along in an impenetrable food coma caused by a lifetime of poor nutrition, simply because they don’t know any better.
Imagine spending years eating a whole-wheat bagel with low fat cream cheese, fruit, and fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt, only to find out those foods are actually doing serious damage to your body. That was my problem, that’s your problem. that’s our whole nation’s problem Once I changed the way I ate and the order in which I ate food BAM! I had unbelievable energy. I was doing things that “those people” did, those athletic go-getter lunatics I’ve always hated! Running five or six miles, lifting kettlebells, jumping rope, doing interval sprints…and best of all, I didn’t feel as if I was about to die afterwards.
We’ve all heard the stereotype that fat people are lazy. Man, I’ve always hated that crap. Because you know what? I wasn’t lazy, I was being poisoned. I know that might sound shocking or melodramatic, but it’s true. Take away all that sugar, all that processed, mutated, and refined carbohydrate crap and WHAM! You’re gonna to feel like a new person!
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This is vitally important, supremely important. You have to kick that poisonous bullshit to the curb before you’re going to see real success with your walking, moving, and running.
I have energy to do things I never thought was possible, and I believe you do, too!
So, how do we get started? Well, you could download one of those running apps, or you could hire a personal trainer, or any number of other possibilities, but what I think you should do just start moving. That’s it. Just move. Five minutes a day, if that’s all you can handle at first. Whatever, however long. It doesn’t matter. Just move.
Ideally, you should be moving for thirty consecutive minutes, three to four times a week. I started with walking. Please, don’t go crazy and hurt yourself! Remember, your body is still healing and we don’t want to derail that, so start with something you like, something basic and fun, and over time your body will start telling you when it’s ready for more.
I spent weeks just strolling slowly while answering emails at my walking treadmill desk. Sometimes I would increase the pace for a while and then slow it back down. I would make it a game to see how much walking I could do in thirty minutes. How far could I go, how fast could I go? Then I started gradually increasing the pace until I reached the max the treadmill would allow, but this happened about two months after starting my new nutritional program, not in the first week, or even in the first month. I just knew my body felt stronger and I felt ready to push a bit more, so I started wogging.
Wogging is just a low impact walk, but at a slightly faster pace. Sort of a combination between walking and jogging. I try to hit the ground with the middle of my foot and not raise my legs very high so I can protect my knees, which aren’t in the best shape.
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