I’m not really a big fan of sport. The sun hurts my eyes, and the outside world is dirty and abrasive. Nothing is as nice as my giant SumoSac, a hot cup of coffee, and a good book. Nothing is as extensive or encompassing as my office with my computer, comfy chair, and high-speed Internet. There isn’t a lot for the outside world to offer me in which I am interested.
That said, there are some activities that can only be practiced outside, and paramount are those that keep my gut from expanding. I’ve tried a gym membership twice with hesitant success, but both attempts ended with months of not attending and the membership lapsing. We bought bicycles a year and a half ago with the goal of exercising outside the gym, investing in those rather than a renewed membership, and then I broke my collarbone and couldn’t really do anything for four months.
A year has passed since that injury, and I’m tired of the state of things. I want to shed thirty pounds, and I want to start getting more active again. I’m anxious to get my bike fixed, but I have always wanted to try something else: running. I enjoy walking, and I’ve enjoyed jogging on a treadmill, but I’ve never been able to do it off the treadmill. It just hurts my shins, and knees, and back. Everything hurts, really, which is part of why I avoid the outdoors and its various demands.
Yesterday I committed myself to changing that and purchased a pair of Vibram Fivefingers. For the next nine weeks I’m going to advance along a fitness plan centered on walking and jogging. I want to do an hour a day, and I will be using a 7-minute method a technical trainer described to me. At the beginning, I’m overweight and out of shape, unable to do a lot, so I’ll walk for six minutes and jog for one. A week later, I will walk for five minutes and jog for two. In week three, I will walk for four minutes, jogging for three, and so on.
My first walk/jog this morning, though not an hour long, was quite enjoyable. Not only that, it was surprising. I’ve been reading about Vibram Fivefingers for a year now, and have had them recommended to me by several friends, but I was hesitant to put the cash down for them. The last pair of expensive shoes I’d bought didn’t go well: high-priced Nike’s sneakers purchased for basketball that I just don’t enjoy walking in, let alone jogging (they’re uncomfortable and make my feet hurt after a while, which discourages me from doing anything). In addition, I’ve been reading about the health benefits of barefoot walking/running over modern tennis shoes; having spent most of my youth barefoot, I was confident that what I had read was correct. To do anything, I needed a new pair of shoes: the only comfortable shoes for walking I had were my expensive, leather work shoes, and I didn’t want to introduce the wear and tear on them that would occur with walking regularly outside of work.
So I bought Vibrams after trying on four different pairs, and I’m really digging them. I walked for a few minutes this morning, psyching myself up to jog, and then finally rolled into my first step. My foot took me by surprise as I bounced onto the ball of my foot, mostly avoiding my heel altogether. My body knew what it needed to do, and it handled everything. My shins didn’t hurt, and neither did my knee. I did three intervals before returning home, pleased with my morning’s exertion.
We’re probably going to get April a pair today (though she’s going to get some Classics so she can wear them to work and most everywhere else). I’m also going to get my bike fixed (the front wheel is bent, I think) and start taking long rides on Saturday/Sunday mornings. Nine weeks should be more than enough to get the habit built while making some definite health improvements, and it’d be really cool if I could do a marathon of some sort next summer. I want to get healthy and lose some weight, and I’m excited to have a means to do so.
I’ll be blogging daily about this to record my feelings, experiences, and progress, so check back and chime in with any advice or encouragement you might have 🙂