Monday, April 28, 2008

Running as a hobby

Well, Running as a hobby certainly takes more effort than my previous hobby, which was making fun of people who shop at Walmart.  Oh now wait a minute- don't act like you've never done it.

You know the one's I'm talking about.  They're always wearing a tank top- in January or June.  And there's something about the way they talk about the thing they've shot most recently that makes my skin crawl in the check out line.  They never have produce in their cart unless it's canned peaches packed in syrup, and they're the first to say they have no money to eat better, but they do have money for a big screen TV & designer tennis shoes.  As far as hobbies go, both will make you feel good, and now I know that both can make you laugh.

Despite the pettiness of it, the Walmart hobby has made me laugh.  And it can make you feel good about yourself, but not in the same way that running does.  I guess that's because with running you get endorphins and with Walmart you get credit card debt and a headache.  (I have to be in the store to make fun of the redneck shoppers, and it's tough to get out of there for less than $100).  I'm proud to say now that I've started my new hobby I have ZERO credit card debt and my a** is shrinking.  Or, at least, I think it WILL shrink given enough time.  I saw my waist today.  It was hard to recognize because it's been a long time.  This means that either my hips are growing, or my waist is shrinking.  (Please be the latter of the two.... please oh please....)

I ran a 5K this weekend.  My time wasn't some stellar time that will knock your socks off.  But, its MY time.  Mine.  I claimed that time when I finished a race, something I would have never done a year ago.  Or even 6 months ago.  But on Saturday I crossed a finish line, ahead of my "planned" run time AND I was pushing a stroller.  And I laughed out loud!  I covered, and pretended I was laughing with B, the stroller occupant.  But I was laughing because I could run.  I was fit enough to run the whole race (*w/ a trivial amount of walking).

My sister & 2 brothers are thin and fit.  My father is uber thin.  My mother has always been fit, even if some of her thinness has been lost to age.  (she would kill me if she knew I said that)  So, I think I have the "thin gene", it's just that I buried it under layers of chocolate comfort, homemade whipped cream, assorted pastries, and mashed potatoes with real unsalted butter loaded on top.  I've tried to remove some of those layers this year, because I think they're interfering with my life in the same way a food addiction or alcoholism would interfere.  I have gone the "portion control" route, and though I still have naughty days, I have more good days than bad.  I have removed butter from my vocabulary, unless it's in pie.  With pie I tend to eat my share.  With potatoes I tend to eat Ireland's share.

I always wanted to be one of those women who was addicted to working out.  I mean, if you have to be addicted to something that makes you feel good, why choose chocolate?  Or butter?  Why not aerobics?  You know the women I am talking about, they're either bone thin or muscle bound and they spend every available moment lifting something, drinking a protein drink or bottle of water, and rushing from one gym to the next.  I knew one WA (workout addict) who was a member at 3 gyms Plus ran on the weekends.  She had an amazing figure too.  I admit, I was jealous.  I thought, "If I had enough $ to belong to 3 gyms I could look like that." 

So, I went out and joined a gym.  I signed up for a THREE YEAR contract with said gym, figuring that if I couldn't belong to 3 gyms, that was the best option. I began paying my dues and imagining what I would look like in 3 years.  When we joined the gym, I weighed 145 pounds.  Over time, we came to refer to those dues as the "fat tax".  Because all it meant was $77 was removed from our account in a "convenient bank draft".  Convenient for the gym.  Not so much for me.  After my 3 years of taxation without representation was concluded, I cancelled my membership.  I weighed 144 lbs.  $2,772 for ONE POUND?  I can't AFFORD to lose the rest of my baby weight!  

No amount of money was going to make me work out.  I learned the truth of the matter the hard way.  Money doesn't make you thin.  Or, to be more precise:  Paying a gym membership doesn't make you thin. You (apparently) have to go AND work out (just going in and taking a shower doesn't work either- I tried that too).  

Running is free, within reason.  I needed new shoes, which I splurged on.  But the greatest thing about running is not only that it's free.  It's that it's freeing.  I can just go.  No matter the hour of day, or even the weather.  I can go.  Oh sure, it would be nice to go faster.  But that will have to come in time.  As my a** shrinks, so will my 5K time.

I try to walk my dogs every day.  And, because I decided I needed a support group as much as I needed a workout class, I joined a group of women who do Stroller Strides.  They inspire me, encourage me, challenge me, and humor me.  Now I've added running 3-4 times a week.  As I look at this, working out 6 days a week, sometimes twice a day, I'm beginning to wonder if I've crossed over to the WA's.  I guess only time will tell.  I've been in SS for going on 6 months, and running for going on 6 runs.  There's still time.  At least 35:43 worth.  

Yup.  Plenty of time.


Anonymous said...

G- I am soooo proud of you!! Way to go! Keep it up and you will continue to meet and pass all the goals you have dreamed of! You rock!

kat said...

This post may be old but I love it, thanks for sharing.