I realised that exercise is all a matter of routine. Much like when you have a baby – before you have routine everything is kind of an uphill battle but once you have a routine everything is so much easier because you can anticipate what you have to do and when.
It is much the same with exercise. I’m in such a routine with the gym and running now that I do not even think about it. Last night was really not the best evening for running, the wind was blowing and it was actually really cold, but because my routine is that I run 4 kilometers on a Wednesday night at our neighbouring club’s time trail, I just went ahead and did it. So I ran last night and it was not pleasant because of the wind and the cold but I did it and that is enough.
I was so proud of a friend of mine last night. She only started to run at the beginning of August. Her time on her first 4 kilometer time trail was 34 minutes. Last night I ran with her and gave her a few tips on running uphill and downhill and she ran the 4 kilometer in 28 minutes!!! That is absolutely fantastic and the best of all was that she said she was not as tired as always.
I’m paying forward all the good advice and support I received from runners when I was a beginner.
Now on hills I have this little chant I do, just like the little train that can but just in Afrikaans: “Ek wil, ek kan, ek sal, ek kan”, the whole time I run up. I gave this advice to my friend last night as well and it really seems to be working. I think it is because you block out all the thoughts about tiredness and the aches and pains and just get on with the hard work.
This attitude made me think about life in general and I realised that what I learned in running is also great advice for real life. If you have an uphill battle – concentrate on something different than the hill and make your whole body work instead of just your legs, so use everything you have in our power in the uphill battles in life. On the downhill – make your strides longer but with less revolutions and you will rest on the downhills but still make up time. When life is easy use it to rest and build up your reserves for the tough times.
I really do love running purely because of all the advantages it has given me for my day to day life. I do hope that I can give this love for exercise to Zoe – however I do not think this will be a problem because she already loves being active and love to cycle, run, walk and swim.