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Run. Walk. Pant. Repeat.

Posted by on 27 April 2009

Bad habits truly die hard. Especially sedentary habits. Until your waistline screams for mercy every time you zip up your pants or skirt. That’s when you know you have to dust off the trusty old treadmill and put it to good use again.

You put on your ultra-light running shoes. The ones with the ultra-flexible sole. Yeah, that pair that you ‘invested’ a fair amount of money in to motivate you to put an end to your sedentary ways.

running shoes

You turn on the treadmill and step on it gingerly. You set the speed at a moderately slow pace and low incline. For warming up, you rationalise. Just for a few minutes.

Then you start running. Or at least try to, for a few minutes. Then you find yourself slowing down to a walk, in an effort to catch your breath. Pant! Wheeze! Puff! Is this how asthmatics feel at the onset of an attack?

You slow down, just for a few, lest your heart explode. After a few minutes, some semblance of energy regained, you quicken your pace to a jog again, thereby starting the whole cycle all over again.

Run. Walk. Pant. Repeat.

You glance at your wristwatch and grimace as you note that less than 15 minutes have elapsed. Fifteen minutes! The tightening sensation in your lungs have fooled you into thinking that it’s been half an hour already.

And so you push yourself to continue. And even have the audacity to increase the speed and go for a steeper incline.

Run. Walk. Pant. Repeat.

Some 20 minutes into the ordeal and you’re already sweating buckets. But you’re holding on. And wish you have time to go for a ‘real’ run outside, instead of making like a hamster on an endlessly rotating wheel indoors.

Run. Walk. Pant. Repeat.

Just when you make it past the 30-minute mark, you suddenly hear a tiny voice call out, “Mama!”

Uh-oh. Trouble! You slow down the treadmill’s speed, hoping you have some time for a proper cool down. Just a few minutes more, you pray silently.

“Mama!” The voice has taken a more urgent note, now on the verge of a major tantrum, as years of mothering experience have taught you.

Sighing, you turn off the treadmill and holler back, “Mama’s right here! I’m coming!”

As you wipe off the sweat from your brow, you tell yourself to forget about running in that nearby park and just consider yourself lucky to be able to run on a treadmill rather than not run at all.

You are gasping for air like a fish out of water. You can feel your heart pounding like bongo drums. And you don’t need to look into a mirror to know that your face is all flushed. But you don’t care because the endorphins from your brief run are starting to kick in, engulfing your whole being with a rush of unexplained joy and exhilaration. Despite the initial exhaustion, you have to admit that it feels sooo GOOD to run. Beats taking Lipovox anyday.

Perhaps you can try again tomorrow morning, before the children wake up. For now, mommy duty comes first…

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