I have sort of a Jekyll/Hyde complex when it comes to patience. I like to think I have an abundance of patience when it comes to people (children in particular), but very little when thinking in terms of events or results. This could be why I start listening to Christmas music in October, or planning the kids' birthday parties months in advance - once I get excited about something, it's hard for me to wait for it to actually happen. And while this may not be a big deal when we're talking about holidays and parties (speaking of such, Lilah has already caught my holiday fever and is planning out everyone's Halloween costumes, more on that in another post), it's detrimental to me when it comes to something like exercising.
I've been running, doing the "Couch to 5K" program for about two weeks now, and for the first time in my life I can say that I enjoy going for a run. I've had some setbacks, so I'm not on the mapped out schedule where I should be, but I am trying. Here's my problem: I'm not good at running. I've never been particularly athletic, even though I played two team sports in high school and was a cheerleader in high school and college. I mostly just enjoyed the camaraderie of being on a team, and my high school was so small that it needed to field as many warm bodies as possible in order to stay on the schedule in our division. And while I never scored a goal in a soccer game or hit a homerun in my entire high school career, I truly enjoyed working together with my teammates on a daily basis, whether it was at practice or a game, and that was reward enough for me. Running, however, is not a team sport, and my only rewards so far have been shin splints and aching arches.
I'm working on Week Two of the program, and the ninety second intervals of running I'm supposed to be doing are tapering off to more like forty-five towards the end of my twenty-minute run. My legs burn from the get-go and I'm huffing and puffing before I get to the street light three blocks away. I know it will take time, both for the running part to get easier, and to see the results in the mirror and in the way my clothes fit. I'm trying hard to push through it and make it about the run itself, not about the end result. Because, inevitably, there is no end result to this task for me - I want to make running a part of my lifestyle in the long term, not just a pathway to get me where I want to be.