Today I enjoyed a new experience. I went for a run.
Not, you understand, that I’m a runner now.
About 18 months ago, my doctor gently pointed out that I was about 50% overweight, and my Body Mass Index and cholesterol levels were fighting for position as “Most prominent cause for concern, 2012”.
I joined a gym, adjusted my diet and for a while I seemed to be doing OK. It was a period of high stress at work and I had much to do if I was going to make meaningful lifestyle changes. Some of them stuck, some didn’t.
By March 2013 I had more or less fallen off that particular wagon, although I wasn’t quite as large or unhealthy as I had been. On a whim I joined my local Parkrun. I’ve completed 30 in the last twelve months, but had to miss yesterday morning.
So today I headed off for a swim for the first time in years (thoroughly enjoyable, although I’m sure I’ll regret it later) and followed it up when I got home with a run. A proper run. I did up my running shoes, and hit the road. I had no idea where I was going, and knew only that I needed to cover at least three miles to make it worthwhile. In the event Google maps indicates I did about four and a half.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a runner, even now. I’m just a fat guy who needs to move around more and eat less. But I feel a lot better than I used to, and it seems even when I miss my scheduled run I’m no longer afraid to go out and get some miles under my feet in my local area.
And before you ask, yes, I meant “afraid” in the paragraph above. If I’m honest, I despise exercise in most forms. Activity is fine, but I’m a big guy and disproportionately sensitive about looking like a fat lump. At long last I can say I no longer feel worse about looking like a muppet than I do about feeling unhealthy. So I guess the tide is turning.
If you see me around, you are welcome to resist the urge to wave like a maniac, or laugh at my plodding progress. But I’m no longer going to blush and look for cover. Besdies, it won’t stop me feeling like my legs want to drop off when the alarm goes early tomorrow and I try to get out of bed.