I have never been a fitness junkie, but once upon a time I was in relatively good shape. I exercised several times a week, regularly biked and walked, and could run a mile without feeling like I was about to die. Unfortunately, my level of fitness has been in steady decline since I started college and especially since I started a desk job. If the zombie apocalypse happened (and if movies tell me anything, it’ll happen here in Pittsburgh), I wouldn’t make it because I can’t even manage rule #1 – cardio.
Over the past few years I have tried (and failed) to jumpstart things and get back into some semblance of shape. This year, I started again and am (for the first time in a long while) succeeding. I’m far from done. In fact, if I do this right, there is no “done.” I just keep doing it. And if I keep doing it, maybe I’ll even be ready when the zombies show up.
So what am I doing different this year that’s helping me succeed where I’ve failed so many times before? Two major things: having support and setting realistic fitness (read: NOT weight loss) goals.
I keep mentioning zombies. They are relevant here because one of my big motivators is the Run For Your Lives 5k obstacle course zombie race. Earlier this year, my best friend in Philly and I signed up for the race and agreed we would do Couch-to-5K to prepare for it. We regularly check in to see how our progress is going and to support each other. Central PA and our busy lives keep us from seeing each other as much as we’d like, so we’re really looking forward to getting to hang out and run from zombies together in September. Knowing I need to stick with it to do this thing together is a huge positive motivator for me.
My other big motivator and support system has been the internet. From the start, I have been regularly tweeting about my progress with the #c25k hashtag. It not only helps me to keep track of my progress, but also holds me somewhat accountable to keep up with it. The support I have gotten from people on the internet and in real life as a result of broadcasting my exercise have really helped me stick with it, even on bad days.
I worry occasionally that I’m spamming people or somehow fishing for validation with my #c25k tweets. Screw that insecurity! I am part of communities. I’m happy to support other people in those communities and it’s nice to know they’ll support me too.
I am really excited about the progress I’ve made the past several months. I just finished week five of Couch-to-5k, so I am about halfway ready to run from zombies. I am going to stick with this because I’ll be damned if I’m going to become a meal for the undead.