I spent a long time defining who I was and what I was and wasn't capable of doing. I wasn't athletic or a runner. Working out and getting active wasn't something I did to make myself feel strong, healthy, and capable, it was something I did to try to lose weight. So I dreaded dragging my butt to the gym to workout. I never felt like I was thin enough, pretty enough, or good enough.
I always thought that if I could fit into a size 2 or 4 HELL EVEN A size 6 pair of jeans, I'd be happier. I'd finally be able to look in the mirror and feel like I was desirable. It really wasn't until I started running that i realized how wrong I was about myself. Running wasn't impossible. Once you get past the first few weeks of "everything hurts and I'm dying", running and being active can actually be really fun.
The hardest part is getting started. There's no avoiding it! The mental and physical strength running requires doesn't develop overnight. There's no shortcut or pill you can take to make the process any less difficult. But anything worth doing won't be easy! It takes time to get used to the repetitive motion of putting one foot in front of the other or to develop the physical strength to be able to run a mile without needing a walking break. I get emails every day from people who feel frustrated because they need walking breaks. I STILL TO THIS DAY TAKE WALKING BREAKS. Since when is walking a bad word? Taking a minute to catch your breath so that you can get back after it isn't something you should ever feel defeated by. Celebrate the fact that you're working to put your strongest foot forward.
For anyone who is incredibly good at telling yourself that you'll start tomorrow, I challenge you to start today. What do you have to lose? Go follow @PSYouGotThis on Instagram and join our community of runners of all different fitness levels. It doesn't matter if you can't run down your block, we all have to start somewhere. All you can control is what you can do today. Set a goal, look in the mirror, and make a promise to yourself that you're going to make it happen. You're not alone. We're here to help you every single step of the way!
This training plan will get you on your feet. Just focus on today and keep putting one foot in front of the other! Don't worry about having the right clothes or equipment. Just go. You can do it!
Every Tuesday and Thursday on WomensRunning.com, Project Start is sharing a new story about getting started and putting your strongest foot forward. Keep your eyes peeled and spread the word! We want to encourage people of all different ages, athletic levels, and backgrounds to give running a shot. It may not be easy but if you stick with it, it just might change your life.
PS, you got this!
Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.