When we retired, moved into the coach and hit the road we swore we would get in shape. I would get my blood sugar under better control and that we would walk hand in hand into the the sunset in perfect health. It was so clear. It would be so easy. I don’t really have to tell you what actually happened, do I?
So spin the time wheel forward two years and we are up in the pacific northwest in July. Birch Bay , Washington to be precise. The weather is perfect, mild, sunny. The nearby state park has miles of walking paths, all we need to do is….do something.
One day I commented to Jeanne that I received an email from Temple Beth-el back in Bakersfield that they are having a fund raising 8K run called the 8-Crazy Kilometers of Hanukkah. I mentioned it cause I thought it was funny,like the Adam Sandler song, not because I had any illusions of getting my fat ass up and do it.
Well, something clicked inside Jeanne and the next day she said, sign us up – we’re doing it. I googled 8K and found it to be just a hair under 5 miles. “You’re nuts”, said I. “I can’t even run a block, 5 miles?” “We will”, said she. “All we need to do is to commit. We can do this. We have to change”. I don’t recall which one of us had heard of the Couch to 5K app, I think it was her, but a free download later and we were ready to go. Three days a week, following a schedule, not having to know anything. It told us when to run and when to walk. We already knew when to swear – at first all the time!
The program is simple. Week one, day one you run (or stumble, shuffle, move your legs fast) for 60 seconds and walk for 90. Then repeat. For twenty minutes. Days two and three are the same. Week two, run 90, walk 120. And so on, day by day, week by week. Building your endurance, your lungs, your confidence. By week five you are running a solid 5 minutes, which I was pretty sure would kill me. Week 6 it’s 8 minutes and by week nine, 30 minutes non-stop.
Whenever we had a week that seemed too much, we simply did the week again. When it told us to run a mile in 10 minutes, we laughed, and did it in 15. But we did it. Week in, week out. We went further and further until we cracked the 5K (3.1 miles) mark. From there we graduated to the C210K app. 10K being around 6 miles, and all we had to do was 5! We got this….halfway through the C210K program and we were knocking off 8K runs a few times a week.
This app is life changing if you let it be. All you need to do is….do something. Make that change. Twenty minutes, three times a week is nothing but it can change everything. Using this app and a different approach to our meals we have each lost 40+ pounds and wearing sizes we haven’t seen since our twenties.
One of my favorite quotes, although I have no idea who said it, is nothing succeeds like success. Every week we gained confidence as we started to see results. Today, nearing eight months after we started, our exercise routine is built into our schedule. We don’t always run as hard as we did, but as we travel we find 5 and 10K runs wherever we go and our goal is to run one a month. We are succeeding, and if we can, anyone can. We’re not special, we just did, something.