In starting anything potentially life-changing, remember what you’re in it for.
When I picked up running around a year ago, I did it to push myself past the barriers of pain and surrender. Life, for me, was getting too comfortable for comfort, so to speak. I wanted to demolish the old me to make way for a stronger, fitter version. The shedding of weight was just an added bonus.
Now that the habit has been reinforced, I’m starting to see results. I went down at least two dress sizes. I can run 4 kilometres without stopping or panting like a dog on a hot summer’s day. My legs are getting toned, and my midsection show traces of abdominal muscles forming. (All from someone who used to drink and smoke to excess, thereby acquiring the lung capacity of a hamster.)
I was excited! For a second, print ad-worthy images of my toned physique clad in cool sportswear or new skinny jeans and skinnier tops fluttered about my imagination.
For a second there, I forgot. I forgot what I was in this for.
So, I tried to remember. I remember the sweat burning up my face and almost every inch of me while hearing the steady tap of my feet on the pavement. I remember pain gripping my legs, choking my lungs and banging my heart. I remember arguing with myself every day - debating, to an extent - about my limitations and how much more I can endure. And I remember always finishing a little stronger, a little happier.
With that in mind, I wear my slightly looser jeans and tops with pride. My favourite belt, which is on its tightest hole, but still slightly loose around me, is my medal for this achievement. The old trackies and leggings that I wear to run keep me grounded to my real purpose, my true North – I run because I run.