Erma Bombeck said "The only reason I would take up running is so that I could hear heavy breathing again."
What excellent thinking! :) Seriously, I must admit that long distance anything doesn't really appeal. Long distance travel? The travelling is a bind. Once I arrive I am fine. Is this how it's going to be with losing weight and getting fit? When we 'get there' will we be glad that the journey is behind us? I get the horrible feeling that this journey will never be behind me - or any person who has gone from being a fat person to a slim one. Does life have to change for ever? At least with a marathon there is a finishing point. Do we ever finish leading a healthy life? I hope and pray that this way of being becomes automatic and so beneficial that I never want to retrace my steps, back to the sofa.
Let's face it, there are some aspects of the fat life which are bloody good. Food, food and more food being three of them. TV, sitting, sofas, food to accompany programmes and scoffing without thought or guilt aren't without their own merit either.
However, we get all fired up to slim and then all those things are BAD, BAD, BAD and what on earth were we doing wasting our lives like that? All of a sudden all our meals become healthy. Eating out becomes perilous unless we think about menus beforehand. We grow ready-reckoners in our heads, and know the nutritional values of EVERYTHING edible. Some people glue water bottles to their palms. (What IS that all about? Isn't it only people embarking on a trek across the sands of the Sahara that need to carry water??) We then become advocates of gyms (well some people do) and life is about pushing ourselves - no excuses.
You may have noticed (cough) I didn't embrace this way of being for a long time, even though I know it's the only way to lose weight. I don't think I'll ever embrace the gym but moving more DOES make one feel good. It does! What a revelation this has been!
This morning I had another appointment with the dentist and then I drove into town. I shopped and I deliberately found new ways to get to places so I could increase my walking. I walked and walked at a fast pace (for almost two hours) and bought very little. I called in at the local gallery and looked at some paintings and chatted to the owner. I went to a book shop and spent some time browsing. I sat in the coffee shop, with a cup of tea and watched the world go by for a time. I then chose to climb five flights of stairs rather than take the lift to return to the multi-story car park. I saw this as my exercise...and that sort of exercise I can cope with and quite enjoy. I didn't feel breathless but I did feel energised.
I am beginning to appreciate that every single day I am on my journey and that if I decide to drop out then my own personal race is lost. We are in a long distance race...it's the race of life and none of us has forever to complete it. Life is finite but it could just be that we have lots of life in front of us and lots of living yet to do to. We can do it as a fat person and have a limited, slow, uncomfortable life or as a healthy, mobile fitter,slimmer person. When you think of it like that you realise that being a couch potato has very little real appeal and that really, time is of the essence and we might as well get used to the idea of a long, long time on the road.
I am not signing up for any long running races (not yet anyway) but perhaps that distance stretching out ahead of us isn't all that bad really? Fast walk anyone?