Weight loser, that is. Before we get started on my who youshouldtotallystartjoggingifyouwantahautebody story, let me give you the background to my hate-hate relationship with running, jogging and, well, all fast versions of walking.
My earliest memory of running was during cross-country chaos at primary school. I started crying because I thought I might die, so my best friend at the time jumped in the filthy brook to make me laugh before pretending to have a asthma attack succeeded by having an actual asthma attack. He was fine, but more importantly, we didn't have to finish the run. Great success.
Then I remember being about fourteen years old at high school when the school forced us to do what was known as the 'school run'. This is how schools which don't have a big budget for PE lessons torture their students. They make you run non-stop for an hour, around the school, over the road, across the field. Five times. We used to run through the school as a short-cut and consequently got in a lot of trouble.
Finally, two years ago I decided I'd start running for fitness and 'pleasure'. HA. I totally overestimated my abilities and decided to run as far as I could. So I did just that, running running running. By the time I'd realized I couldn't support my body weight with my legs anymore, I was just two miles from home but was completely unable even to walk home. I burst into tears and called my mom to collect me after vomiting on some old couple's gardenias.
So as you can see, running has never been something I've liked AT ALL. And yet, my name's GabriellaSofia and I'm a runner. Well, sort of. Not a professional or anything, but I go out running every now and then. Maybe once or twice a week. Anyway, let's not get caught up on the practicalities of it all, how about I tell you how I managed to make it from being sat on my fat posterior all day everyday to jogging gaily with the hugest smile on my face (which is usually bright red, sweating and has unfocused eyes because of my faintness after a hard run...):
1) I run around my block. Ten times. I know what you're thinking, 'Why does she do that, why doesn't she run somewhere then run back?' Well, I don't want to get stuck knackered the other side of town for one. But for another, I like the fact that running around the block ten times means I run past my house every three minutes and can change my mind and head inside if I feel like I might keel over. Also, I put a bottle full of water right outside my house, so I can spray it all over myself (usually aiming for my mouth) at the end of my 'marathon sprint'. Also, ten times around the block means I run for about 30 minutes, but focus less on the time I run for an more on making all ten laps. I find this gives me a greater sense of achievement each time I pass my house.
2) I listen to musicals on my iPod. Ok, call me crazy, but my most hated thing about running is the incessant sound of my feet slapping against the floor with every stride I take. How to fix it? Music of course. Only, when I listen to normal music I feel like I'm counting each song and trying to work out how many minutes I've been running for so far. And then you have the problem of a song you don't like coming up so you have to take out your iPod, stop running, fumble with it in your shaky hands as you try to change the track, then drop it. So I choose my favourite musicals, Wicked or Les Miserables, and play them from the start. It really takes your mind off the agony you're putting your poor body through.
3) I go in the morning. If I don't then I put it off all day for a variety of reasons, so its better to get the suffering over and done with.
4) I stretch before I go. Because I'm so unfit, I get really bad stitch if I don't stretch properly, so I do a couple of simple Reach Up, Leg Lunges and Back Bends to make sure my body is ready for a run. It really works as I usually don't suffer from stitch any more.
5) I eat half and hour before I go. If I didn't I would DEFINITELY collapse. I usually choose something energizing like a banana and a cereal bar and it literally acts as fuel. I also make sure I'm hydrated by sipping water for half an hour before I head out. Then, when I get back in I tend to treat myself to a really juicy fruit to put some of the sugar back into my body and water my mouth a bit more.
6) I don't wear my contact lenses. My theory is, if I can't see other people, they can't see me. Or at least I can't see the looks of disgust on their faces as they see what I look like huffing and puffing my way through my run.
7) I pace myself. Having been in a position where I thought I was Kelly Holmes and was sorely disappointed in my abilities, I've since learnt to take it slow. Really slow. Like, you could probably walk as fast as I run if you were rushing to get somewhere. However, it gets me good and out of breath and since that's a good way to judge how effective your cardio work is I often assume I'm doing enough for me. Take your time, its not a race (regardless of the pre-placed scars which primary school sports days have imprinted on us.)
8) I walk round the block one last time to cool down before letting my legs give way on my back lawn. I'm not a scientist, so I don't remember why it is important, but it IS important not to just fall to the floor at the end of an exercise session. You're supposed to cool down slowly, so I really try to walk at a normal speed once more around my block before chilling out in the fresh air after I'm done.
9) I brag about how much exercise I've done and how achy my body is for about a week after I've finished my session. It just makes me feel better about completing what I believe is a great work-out. I like to brag in a collection of different ways, verbally or via facebook and Twitter.
So there you go! That's how I managed to tackle my trauma with running. I'm going to the United States in just under a month for the summer and I'm trying to eat right and exercise enough so I can be as sexy as I was last summer (even if I do say so myself). I've been trying to run every other day for half an hour, go for a forty five minute walk with my mom five times a week and do a half hour aerobics session on the days I don't run. Also, I'm going to try and get back to Pole Dancing because I so much enjoyed the sessions which I attended at the British Pole Dance Academy which I reviewed here. I'd also like to get in the odd bootcamp class, but I'm not sure I'll have time! As ever, I only really want to lose perhaps half a stone (which I know sounds like a lot for a month, but I tend to lose weight RAPIDLY when I'm eating right and exercising too) and tone up, so don't worry that I'm going exercise mad or anything like that. I'm going to keep trying my best with my running though, as a bare minimum, so please help me if you have any running tips to share...
Do you go running? If not, what exercise do you do? Or do you have more horrendous exercise memories than enjoyable ones like me? If so, please share them, I'd love to know I'm not in the minority!
Love and snuggles