Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Cheapest High

I jogged this morning.

Never in my adult life did I think I would write those words on a page. I have always hated running and I've never done it as a voluntary activity. Last year, however, I noticed a trend on a message board I frequent: More and more women were talking about a "Couch to 5K" program that was really working for them.

I remained skeptical for a long time and I can't remember now what made me decide to try it. I think it was mostly the combination of all the threads I read that went something like, "I'm 45 and I've never run before and today I ran my first 5K race!" I guess it was just my competitive streak coming out - if they could do it at 45 then I could surely do it, too.

I started slowly. Stopped. Started again. Stopped. Then one day last summer I went for a run with my husband and we did a mile. I was shocked. It wasn't even that hard. And I was hooked.

Well, hooked is maybe too strong a word. The truth is I run for awhile and then I stop and then I pick it up again and quit for a few weeks. I don't think I'm ever going to be a die-hard fan. But when I need it - it's there for me.

I'm needing it right now. The weather is bleak, money feels tight, the whole world is in a slump.... In times like these a good shot of oxygen to the brain can be a real pick-me-up.

If you've never tried jogging, think about it. Even a short (very short!) run can get you breathing hard and your adrenaline flowing. As always, check with your doctor before doing anything drastic, and go slow to start. In fact, that's the key to jogging, really: run slow. Shuffle along, even. You'll be surprised at how far you can go.

The best part, of course, is that it's free and doesn't take fancy equipment. It can take as short or long a time as you want. And you'll feel instantly better. Trust me. Get out there and get moving. January will look completely different when you're done.


Anonymous said...

Hang in there!

I've seen posts about the Couch Potato to 5K runs & have been tempted. Maybe your post will be the one that spurs me to try....


Julie Y said...

Very encouraging and inspiring. It's nice to hear from someone who is "real" (i.e. sporadic) about running. Thanks!