I am not in shape. Not by any means. Going up a flight of stairs leaves me winded. Walking more than a couple blocks makes my lower back hurt. My feet are constantly swollen, and I can't fit into most of my shoes. I'm not in shape.
This is a fact.
I want to change myself. I want to be in shape. But it has become such a daunting task that I'm afraid to even begin. Also, I'm so stubborn and set in my daily routine that I don't want to devote the time to working out.
This needs to change.
In my life, I have done (I believe) five 5k races. I walked all of them, a few of them with some running thrown in. My best time was 52 minutes. My last 5k was Thanksgiving last year, where I finished in an hour. It was hard work.
I have some key friends and family members who are into running. They're runners. They do events. They train for marathons and triathlons and relays. To most of them, a 5k is nothing.
One friend has been researching half-marathons to run in the end of the year this year. She narrowed it down to two races: the Tucson half-marathon and the Valley of Fire half-marathon (that's a state park near Las Vegas). After weighing the pros and cons of both, she said to me "I'll do the Tucson one this year if you do the Valley of Fire one with me next year."
I freaked out.
I can't even walk a mile right now. How on earth would I be able to run thirteen miles in a mere year and a couple months?
I'm very good at talking myself out of things. I need others to help talk me into them.
My friend offers words of wisdom. I talk it over with another friend. My biggest fear at this point is, what if I try and work and think I can do it, then get there and fail? How much will that crush me mentally? How destroyed will I feel? Suddenly the fear of failure is worse than the fear of beginning.
My other friend brings up a good point: "Just think of what kind of shape you'll be in a year from now if you do this. Think of that compared to how you are now."
And that was enough. I haven't told my friend yet (she'll find out by reading this), but I'm going to do it. I'm going to start training next week, and I'll do the Valley of Fire half-marathon in 2011. After a bit of research, I've learned that there's a 10k at the same time as the half. I figure if I work towards the half, but don't feel ready (really don't feel ready - not just insecurity, but actually not ready) for a half, I can do the 10k instead. But that's just a safety net.
I'm training for a half-marathon.