One of the greatest coaches in NFL history once said, “Don’t worry about failures. Worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try.”
That quote from Vince Lombardi has really hit home for me over the last ten days or so, as I’ve started training for the Lincoln Presidential Half-Marathon on April 2nd. With the help of the Springfield Running Center and Fit Club, I’ve made a transition from someone who can talk a nice game about getting in shape to someone who is actually doing something to back up that talk. I’m not going to sit here and try to tell you that the last ten days have been perfect, but I can honestly say that I’ve been enlightened about what it can mean for the body to actually commit to a fitness goal.
I’ve said it before – I’m not a runner. I’ll likely never be a runner (at least not the type that sees a five-mile run as “light exercise”). What I have managed to become since I started training is someone who has a new appreciation for what even the smallest accomplishments can do for the mind and the body.
I walked into my personal training session with Molly at Fit Club on Saturday not knowing the least bit what to expect. I knew that she was going to make me work and use muscles that I’d forgotten even existed. I knew that, by the end of our hour together, I was probably going to have some not-so-nice things to call her, in my head. I knew, though, that it was all for a positive outcome.
But, what I didn’t know was just how exhilarating even a basic training session could feel! I may not have done much in the eyes of a physically fit person, but the workout felt so amazing, despite the pain that I was feeling in my arms. I’ve never been much for pushups. Even in high school, I was only able to do maybe 25-30 at a time. But, Molly showed me a way to do them from a standing position against a bar and still accomplish something of value. The next day, working out on my own, I willingly did pushups for the first time in about fifteen years.
The best part of the training session, though, was the weigh-in at the end. For years, I’ve loathed stepping on a scale, because I knew I was out-of-shape and the scale was only going to confirm that. But, because losing weight is a significant part of my training for the half-marathon (I hope to lose at least thirty pounds by race day), I swallowed my pride and stepped on the scale, ready to only see three or four pounds gone from what I weighed at a doctor’s appointment on December 23rd.
I didn’t lose three or four pounds.
The scale told me that I had managed to lose 11.4 pounds since December 23rd. In 24 days – and, to be more accurate, only about ten days of workouts – I dropped over ten pounds. I’m shocked, really, because I haven’t felt that I have been doing anything really special during my workouts thus far. My routine is to do at least six miles on a bike, spend ten minutes on a treadmill, do 25 or so reps on the chest press, and call it a day. To have lost over ten pounds in such a short amount of time doing something that simple is a huge victory and a confidence boost, for sure.
Now, I’m not naïve enough to expect that kind of result at every weigh-in. I know that I’ve also taken the step of nearly eliminating soda from my daily routine (I used to have a 32-ounce fountain drink every morning and another twenty or so ounces in the afternoon) and that has likely played a big part in the sharp weight loss. I know that we’ve changed our meal plans in our house and that has no doubt played a part.
I also know that I feel a change already in so many ways. I have slept significantly better since I started going to Fit Club. I have back issues that have plagued me for the better part of ten years, but have only had one night in the last three weeks during which my back affected my sleep. Before I started this journey, it wasn’t uncommon to have 1-2 nights per week that were essentially useless because of back pain. Granted, I’ve traded back pain for more pain in my arms and chest, which is affecting my ability to pick up my 17-month-old son, at times, but it’s a pain of work, a pain of improvement. I’m okay with that kind of pain, short term, for the long term positive effects!
I’ve got a lot to accomplish over the next 73 days before the Lincoln Presidential Half-Marathon. I know that there is still significant work to be done, but early success goes a long way toward building confidence and I’m so happy to be experiencing both, thus far!
691.68 journeys of one hundred feet.
Great results make for a happy – and motivated – athlete. Let’s keep it up!