Gasping for air on the treadmill, I ripped the cap off my water bottle and poured the cold drink down my face like I was Alex Owens in Flashdance. Too bad I wasn’t a steel town girl dancing for my life, but instead an overweight guy that barely ran half a mile. I just completed my first run in probably over a year. Within the first two minutes, my chest felt like it was going to collapse and my knees started aching. My goal was a mile, but my body quit at the halfway point. Its’ been a long time, but was working out really this hard?!
Growing up, I was always a very active person. I wrestled my whole life and was varsity all four years in high school. If you have ever known someone that wrestled, you would know the demands it requires. I had to cut tremendous amounts of weight each season just to compete. By my senior year, I was running nearly 10 miles a day in order to lose thirty pounds. And those pounds weren’t fat, it was water weight and muscle. By the end of that season, I was in the best shape of my life. Unfortunately, wrestling doesn’t last forever and my ripped physique didn’t either.
After graduation, I was tired of watching my food and stepping on the scale. It was like someone held me captive in a fat camp and I was finally let free. I gorged on whatever food people had in front of me. It got to the point where I didn’t even need things reheated, I would just eat it because I was able to. In my mind I was becoming a connoisseur of all that I was deprived of. But in reality, I was gaining mass my body had never dealt it.
Earlier this year, I finally hit a wall. None of my clothes were fitting me and I felt like absolute dirt everyday. I hated looking in the mirror, but that didn’t even stop me from consuming. It got to the point where if I was thirsty, I would only drink soda when I knew I should have a water instead. Nothing resonated until I had to renew my license. I saw the old me on my previous license skinny and happy. After the new one printed, I was a person I couldn’t even recognize. I knew I needed to change.
So I ran that first day and it was brutal for that half mile. As my body ached and screamed for me to resume my position on the couch, I got back on the treadmill and went a full mile. Each day I kept pushing more and more. I could have just packed it in when it got tough, but I wouldn’t allow myself to be defeated. And now today, I am running four miles twice a day. The feeling of soreness and being tired before every run has now changed to me feeling sick if I don’t get on that treadmill.
It almost feels like I am brainwashed by fitness. I used to look at people that were in love with working out and thought they were crazy. It’s fun to play a video game or see a movie, but working out requires exercise and body movement. Now I see why they are so happy to get in the gym everyday. It isn’t about the workout, it’s about the feeling you get to have been productive and accomplish something. It not only goes for fitness, but carries into other things throughout the day. So I may be brainwashed, but I think I have been subliminally brainwashed with motivation through running.