Confessions of an Ex-Jogger

A few months back, I received in the mail an invitation to train and fundraise for the American Heart Association’s marathon runs, one being held in (as I recall) in New Mexico, the other in Hawaii. I suppose I got this mailing because I once temped for the AHA’s public relations office in Dallas and/or that I’m a card-carrying consumer of Vitamin World products. Whatever the mailing list, I got this invitation, and for a brief moment of time, I was tempted because, all through high school and in college, I used to road jog at least twice a week, and, at one point in college, I jogged every day. The idea of running for 26 miles tempted me because, with proper training, I think I could’ve done it. But that would mean interrupting my life (work and savate training, among other things), and so I disregarded the invite. But I’m still interested in the idea of endurance training for such things as a marathon run. Anybody who is moderately healthy can do endurance training such that he or she can run a marathon — perhaps not in record time, but at least finish the 26 miles. I believe this because the human body has that potential to do so, to train the body to use its energy sources effectively and efficiently to meet its physical demands. The problem in our contemporary, urban life is that we under-use even the normal range of activity our body is capable of doing *without* endurance training such that going from a sedentary lifestyle to marathon-fit seems as feasible as hopping from Dallas, TX to Mars. The leap seems too great. I know what that leap looks like. At one point of my life, I became purely sedentary — working in my corporate cubicle and then in the classroom as a full-time student and part-time teacher. There’s not much resistance training in pushing paper and having your brain cells fire, and, boy, did my body reflect that. Being an avid consumer of fast food and pasta didn’t help either. I was short but *wide* — forget about squish; I had *wing fat*. And where I was and where I had been as a jogger seemed as unsurmountable as swimming the Pacific Ocean. Getting back to my former jogging self was a long road, in which jogging alone wasn’t enough — my metabolism had changed that much, I didn’t have that much muscle to jump start that moribund metabolism, and my wind sucked. In other words, I didn’t have the endurance to do jogging anymore. Fortunately, I discovered that training for endurance comes in four flavours: aerobic, anaerobic, speed, and strength. Since my wind sucked and I was now a slow baby harp seal, I decided to work on strength-endurance training (that is, weights) with light aerobic exercise. From that foundation, I could build on the other flavours of endurance training as well change my diet (more protein, less starchy foods, smaller portions, some herbal and nutritional supplements). For any person living a relatively active lifestyle, this is nothing new and, as seen above, is within the scope of anybody who has lived a sedentary lifestyle and, for any number of reasons, has decided enough is enough. But once one has arrived at this point of rediscovering his or her health, one becomes aware, as I did, just how much potential the human body remains untapped, untrained. And that experiential knowledge makes one look at the full-time athlete and say, “Given enough time, enough money, I can do that.” It’s within our scope. If we have healthy bodies, we can *all* do that. I really believe this.


About lizardqueen

If single-mothering were a paid job, I'd be rich. However, it doesn't, so I write (which doesn't pay the bills) and teach (which does). I'm overly-educated in the liberal arts, but that doesn't hinder my ability to be pragmatic and realistic. YAY.
This entry was posted in Health and Longevity, SCIENCE & TECH. Bookmark the permalink.

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