I have about ten kilos that I need to lose. I also don't have a lot of cash to spend. Have you ever noticed how expensive gyms and fitness classes are? Well, I'm trying to avoid that. So I thought: running! Running is free. Sure, it's not very exciting, but in the modern age we live in, I can just listen to iTunes. And it's cardio, so I'm sure that will shift those extra kilos really quick.
I downloaded the Couch to 5K app. The one that promises that you can run 5K in just a few months. I thought I'd hit the jackpot. All I had to do was stick to it and I could be one of those skinny, fit-looking people running around the block without even breaking a sweat. I read up on the benefits of running. I read testimonials from people who had used the program with success, I hear frequently from runner friends about the euphoric high they feel after a run. I could use some of that. Ok, doing it.
I first tried this over a year ago, and started out well, but within two weeks I had managed to injure seemingly all the joints in my legs. I forgot about it for a while and picked it back up a few months ago with new, better shoes and a bit more enthusiasm.
I don't know when this exercise high is meant to kick in, because let me tell you, I didn't feel a thing. Well, no, I felt lots of things. Mainly negative things. I set off early in the morning before Phil left for work and before anyone sane was awake to see my pathetic struggle around the block. I found a nearby park that was quiet and basically did laps around it. I listened to music, which was probably the only good thing to come out of the whole experience. It was just horrible.
I kept trying, though. I'd head out three times a week and noticed some marginal improvement, but I still didn't enjoy it. At the end of a run I just felt drained and exhausted. Apparently, early-morning exercise is meant to make you feel like you've accomplished something and motivate you for the rest of the day. For me, it did the exact opposite.
I don't think it's because I'm entirely adverse to exercise. I spent most of my life dancing ballet until I reached a peak of over 20 hours each week of ballet and other dance-related activities. I know how to push myself and I know that it's not always fun, but at the end of a ballet class I did feel that sense of accomplishment, and usually I couldn't wait to get back in there again.
So it dawned on me that maybe I'm just not a runner. Maybe I am just not meant to run, that this absolute lack of anything resembling enjoyment means I just need to find a different activity, because this is not the one for me.
Kind of sucks for the budget-conscious people, learning that you can't use your neighbourhood as a gym.
If time and money were no limits, I would go back to ballet class about three times a week. Unfortunately, time and money are limits, so for now I'm following along with yoga classes on YouTube. There are many channels there that provide you with free yoga classes, so with a little bit of searching you can find the right class.
Yoga may not be getting the weight off as quick as running potentially could, but at least I'm doing something that I actually enjoy. I'm not likely to dread an impending yoga class the way I dreaded my morning runs, which ultimately means I'll be getting more exercise in overall. I think this is absolutely key to any exercise program: it has to be something that you like!