After dinner on Tuesday my teenagers asked to go to the library. And by “asked”, I mean repeatedly begged. And by “after dinner”, I mean starting the minute I got home from work and continuing every 15 minutes after that. Normally there’s no time for this kind of thing on a weeknight but thanks to the miracle of our crockpot a perfectly cooked roast was waiting for me when I got home from work and we were done eating by 6:30. Since we still had a couple of hours before I send the kids to bed,* I decided a visit to the library would be a nice way to spend the evening.
HOWEVER… Instead of accompanying them into the library, lounging around playing games on my phone and wasting time on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, etc as I usually do, I decided to do something I had not done in a while. I went to the gym with the intention of running on the treadmill.
I know. I’ll give you a moment to pick your jaw up off the floor and/or clean up the milk you just snorted out of your nose.
Mind you, it was not just a matter of going to the gym; motivation is a challenge for me right now – every step in the process if doing something is a brick wall I have to scale before getting to the next level. After about 10 minutes of sitting in the car in the parking lot trying to psych myself up to go inside the gym, I got out of the car. I walked to the door. I went inside. I showed my card to the woman at the desk and went into the locker room.The first battle was won.
The next battle was making myself change into workout clothes, and then actually exit the locker room and go to the workout room. Then get on the treadmill. This is much harder than you might think; sometimes I get as far as the locker room, then sit in a chair for 20 minutes distracting myself with a book, or texting, or browsing Pinterest… before giving up and going home. I told myself I just had to do 10 minutes, and then if I still didn’t want to be there I could leave. That was enough to get me on the hamster wheel.
After 10 minutes I had gone 3/4 of a mile, so I said “okay, just make it to a full mile.” And I did. Then I realized felt ok, so I kept going. I even ran some of it, despite the fact that every time I switched to run speed, the lady on the treadmill to my left kept looking over in my direction. I could only see her out of the corner of my eye, so I have no idea if she was looking at me, or comparing her stats to mine, or just trying to see the TV off to our right, but I felt like I was back in junior high and I needed to cover up my paper in case she was trying to cheat off of me. I resisted the urge to lean over to stare at her and say “YEEEEEEEES?” Although considering the faces I was probably making and my labored breathing, she might have just been checking to make sure I wasn’t dying. Still, I kept going until I had made it 2.1 miles. That may not sound like much to some, but for me this was amazing.
This was the first time I had really pushed myself since January when all the things seemed to be going wrong in my life, and I honestly cannot remember the last time I went that far in a single workout. Months ago, probably. I felt unbelievably badass after that workout. What’s more, that sense of accomplishment and badassery sparked a tiny bit of motivation that wasn’t there before. Just a spark.
That spark was strong enough to make me go back to the gym the next day. This time I only made it 1.2 miles because the gym was pretty full so I didn’t want to occupy one treadmill for more than a half hour while someone else waited their turn. Still, that short walk was enough to nurture the little spark so it didn’t die. I left the gym with the desire to come back the next day. I had forgotten how good that felt.
Last night’s workout was spectacular. If you will bear with me a moment, I’d like to express it in numeric terms.
Goal: 2.5 miles
Distance completed: 2.7 miles. Damn right.
Time: 46 minutes
Number of times I wanted to quit before I met my goal: 11
Number of times I kept going anyway: 11
Number of TV channels on the personal TV attached to my treadmill: 76
Percentage of TV channels broadcasting something I wanted to watch: 0%
Walking speed: 3.5**
Average run speed: 5.1
Top speed: 6.0
Longest run: 2:45 (at speed 4.5)
Post-workout badass rating, on a scale of 1-10: 11
Now if I can keep this up, I might actually be ready for my 5-mile leg of the Marathon relay in May. Which is going to be so epic, I cannot wait to write about it afterwards (if I can move at all).
* Mind you, I’m not deluding myself that they actually go to sleep at this time. They’re allowed to read or draw or write (or whatever) in their rooms for another half hour as long as they are quiet and then it’s lights out. They probably stay awake much longer than that but I’m usually unconscious at that point myself so it doesn’t really matter.
** I don’t know if this is miles per hour or if it’s some secret treadmill numeric system I never learned, so I hope you’ll forgive me for not assigning units to these numbers.