It Gets Easier!
Over the last few weeks I've started doing some fitness training again - it's been a month or two since I've done any because when things got busy with launching Vitality TV I let it slip a bit - so I needed to get back into it. And watching the London 2012 Olympics has also inspired me to get really fit again.
So a few weeks ago my friend Tom and I went for a run in Alexandra Palace. It's a really nice park at the top of a huge hill in North London close to where I live (how lucky I am to have this near my house - it's a nice break from the hustle and bustle of London life). The views at the top are amazing, you can see right across London, so it's a pretty steep run to the top and by half way I really wanted to stop - it felt like my heart was going to explode through my chest and my legs were giving up on me!
I was struggling and probably could've walked up it faster but I kept going because Tom was managing it and I didn't want to be the one that gave up (the male ego has some benefits...!) so I made it to the top, even though I was hurting a lot by then. We jogged for another 10 minutes or so after that so all in all it was probably a 20-minute run. By the time I got home I could hardly move, I had to walk the last two minutes and it seemed to take an age because my legs felt like jelly and I was finding it hard to walk in a straight line!
I've never been much into jogging, I've always preferred interval training or swimming but I was determined to keep at it knowing (hoping) that eventually it would get easier. I've been doing Shane's full body workoutat home and getting some interval training in 2-3 times a week to build up my endurance and stamina again.
Then last week Tom and I attempted the big hill at Alexandra Palace again. All day at work I was quietly excited to give it another go, but also slightly nervous - I didn't want to feel like that again!
So after work we made our way to Ally Pally (as it's known locally) and started on the same route we had taken before. As we started off the ascent I felt fine - I even had to tell myself to slow down a bit to keep some energy back. Half way up all was going well - I was breathing hard but had no thoughts of giving up, just thoughts of 'let's get this over with!'. Passing the point where I'd felt like giving up before felt good!
We both made it to the top and this time I wasn't hurting anything like as bad as the last time. We carried on running for another ten minutes and we arrived at the turning I would normally take to run back home. But I felt good and wanted to carry on, so we ran for another ten minutes before turning to go back home - it was such a contrast to how I had felt the last time!
When I got home I could tell I'd had a decent run, I was tired, but I felt really good, I was excited by how much easier I found it this time. My endorphins were running high, I felt a sense of achievement and was already looking forward to doing it again - nothing like the last time when I felt like I might never walk again! Who knows I'm even thinking to enter the Hornsey 10K next year€¦ but let's just see how it goes next time first!
So what have I learned from all this? It does get easier. We just have to keep going, keep pushing. It doesn't matter how unfit we are, every time we get up and move, every time we do some form of exercise, it gets a little easier. Doing regular exercise makes a big difference - each week we can see progress - we just have to keep at it day by day, bit by bit.
So if at any time you have tried but gave up because you found it too hard, try again, and again. You'll get there in the end.
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