Before I could learn to run, or even go on a run, I needed to accept that I can run. Or at least humour the idea.
I can’t run. No you don’t understand, I CAN’T run! Biologically I was designed to not be able to run. I am a reverse Mo.
And so I would have told you, and often did tell people most of my life. What changed was when my brother lost lots of weight. We had both been intensely non-athletic since a young age, although I liked to walk I put a lot of weight on at university, and although my Mum had lost weight before, this was the first time I saw as an overweight adult that an overweight adult CAN lose weight. The proof was incontrovertible.
Before this I had accepted that “I can’t run” was a fact, running was just something I was born without.
I asked him how he had done so well and he told me that he had been running. He said he tried to run 3 kilometres everyday and had done the first few weeks or month running on the spot in his bedroom.
By this point in my life I had tried to lose weight through dieting many-many times without success. The problem with this was both ignorance on my part and the fact that you can’t lose weight through dieting without making lifestyle changes longer term. When you stop the diet, you put the weight back on and an overzealous diet is something that is impossible to hold onto unless there is an end in sight.
The penny had dropped, weight could be lost through exercise. I am not sure how long after this realization it took for me to give it a go, but not long after I willingly laced up my trainers for the first time in my entire life to go running. I had loosened my grip of the shield which is the idea that I can’t run, and went out to give it a go.
This was around the end of 2011 and I managed to kept the weight off until April-ish 2013 when I was spiralling down the bottomless pit of depression.
Not everyone is the same when it comes to this, I know a lot of people have been runners before, but I hope if anyone reads this that they decide to question the “facts”.
If you do decide to run I can’t point you in a better place than couch to 5k (C25K). The first runs WILL feel hard, don’t be put off, remember to slow down and you will be amazed that after 9 weeks you can run for 30 minutes non stop. I was amazed after just 1 week how much I improved when I did C25K in 2016. You will begin to love running.