Not a manta, a MANTRA!

Not a manta, a MANTRA!

For those of you just tuning in, I have taken on the challenge of transforming from a sedentary couch potato and chronic whiner to a motivated health-conscious ray of sunshine who is known by her extraordinary tendency to follow-through. While I am not there quite yet, I’m taking small steps and setting goals I know I can achieve. One of these goals is to be able to comfortably run a 5k by the Thanksgiving morning Turkey Trot. I am following a Couch to 5k program, and I thought I’d give a little status update today.

I just finished the third week of this program. The Week 3 runs were as follows: 5 minute warm-up walk, then two repetitions of a 1.5 minute jog, 1.5 minute walk, 3 minute jog, 3 minute walk, and then a 5 minute cool-down walk. It ends up being 28 minutes and I am kind of embarrassed to say that this is getting hard. These runs were challenging, not only because the running intervals are getting longer, but it is getting cold out there! Running when its cold out is a whole new game that I am definitely not prepared for!

The first two weeks of the program were pretty easy, just alternating short intervals, but now I am getting into jogging longer stretches (yeah, yeah, I know it’s only three minutes!) and I  on a couple of this week’s runs I realized I was starting to tell myself I couldn’t do it. I always fall into this trap of telling myself I can’t do something, admittedly, as an excuse not to do it. Success is mostly self-fulfilling. If you believe in yourself to be able to do something, you will find a way to get it done. When I was jogging those three minute stretches and I found myself struggling, I just repeated over and over again (in my head...I’m not insane) “I can do this, I can do this,” until I did it. And I did do it.

I am giving myself a new language to use when talking to myself. You can’t tell yourself you can’t do something if you’ve never tried. And you’re never going to get anywhere if you don’t try to believe in yourself. If you really want something and you are putting the time in to get it, then what’s the point of wasting that time telling yourself you can’t do it? I am telling you. but mostly myself, to stop hiding behind “I can’t.” It’s the lamest excuse ever.

These runs may be getting more challenging, but with each one, I am getting stronger, even if it is mostly mental. It’s going to take a lot of work to turn 22 years of concrete ‘I can’t” into a bouncy trampoline of “let’s do this!” but each time it gets done, I have one more piece of evidence suggesting that I really can do it.