Independently Happy

I take happiness seriously. So you don't have to.

Running: Day -54

So let’s talk about exercise. You don’t have to run for exercise.  It’s just one of my favorites.  I am 54 days–now 53–from a 15 mile run, three times around Enchanted Rock in Texas, then up to the top.  I’m not quite in shape for that kind of run.

I won’t go into all the benefits of exercise.  You can easily find gazillions of sites and blogs with that.  I’m just going to touch briefly on how it helps with happiness.

Exercise is progression. As the cliche goes, “it’s your progression, not your perfection.”  Or maybe “it’s your direction, not your perfection.”  You get the point.  If you don’t get the point, contact me so I can help you understand the point.

Too many programs focus on the results.  Ripped abs in 90 days!  Toned legs by next Tuesday.  Those are great for moving products–for taking your money–but they often lead to frustration, disappointment, and a wrong turn farther down the dark path of laziness.

Yuck.

Pick an exercise you enjoy and do it.  If you enjoy walking, you may not burn as many calories as you will in spin class, but you will still reap the long-term benefits of exercise.  You may not look like Thor (or Black Widow) by Spring, but you will feel so much better.  Your heart and lungs will get a little healthier over time.  You’ll get away from stresses and relax a little more over time.  You’ll feel good knowing you’re doing the right thing for the long term.

Today was my first run, since starting The Great 30-Day Vegan Experiment of 2013.  The run started off well, much more easy than my usual first run after a couple weeks off.  That was quite pleasing.  45 minutes in though, my stomach just felt void, like it wanted to cramp.  That was okay, since I’d only planned an hour run today.

Running is good for me.  I love the events.  The medals are all sparkly, blingy cool.  I meet nice people.  I started three years ago to train for a 5K.  One 5K is all I really wanted to do.  I started walking for 30 seconds, jogging for 30 seconds for 30 minutes every other day. Now I’ve ran a few 13-15 miles runs, and I’ve got this 15-mile trail run in a couple months.

That’s the formula in a nutshell.

1. Start
2. Do it consistently
3. Get progressively better
4. Have lots of fun and enjoy the results

You can’t get to 4, if you don’t do 4.  You don’t enjoy the results if you don’t get better.  You probably end up really, really sore for a week.  You don’t do 3, if you don’t do 2.  You have to do it consistently to get better.  Don’t try it all at once.

Finally, of course, you have to Start.

Like Michael Jackson said, “you wanna be startin’ something.”

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