Like deep-cleaning your bathroom or reading Middlemarch, running is one of those things you always mean to be darn good at once you get around to it.
But there is something extremely daunting about the idea of being alone with the pavement, "Cher's Greatest Hits" and the sound of your own labored breathing. "I can't run because American Pickers is on! It's too cold/hot/humid to run! I have the wrong shoes/bra/life/help me!!" says me, you and the world. Well, shhhh.
Not only has the prevalence of Couch to 5K phone apps simplified solid interval training, but CNN is helping out six Average Joes—some overweight, one having suffered from a heart attack at 30, others simply out of shape—by gifting them with a road bike, wet suit, gym membership, nutrition and fitness coaches. Ultimately, these folks will participate in the annual Fit Nation Triathlon, which entails a daunting half-mile swim in the ocean, 18 mile bike ride and 4 mile long run along the Pacific coast. (Fuuu.)
One of the participants, Stacy Mantooth, discusses his various physical roadblocks from regular running—asthma, shin splints, plantar fasciitis—and the mental and emotional effects of his fear of pain that's kept him sidelined for years.
We all have hurdles in life, some great and some small, that try to prevent us from doing the things we want to do. My mantra had become "I am not a runner," but it was just an excuse. This excuse no longer stops me.
My minor injuries and pains are nothing compared with the hardships many people face every day. My pain and anxiety are manageable, and I am no longer afraid.
While running may not be your jam, it's also worth noting that you or anyone who has this manner of injuries could take up gentle ashtanga or hatha yoga; while they're on opposite ends of the spectrum, yoga and running compliment each other to improve physical and mental health. Even if you don't give a fuck about weight loss (I sure don't), anything that alleviates general anxiety, panic attacks and depression is worth a shot.
Image via Blazej Lyjak/Shutterstock