TAKING YOUR FIRST STEPS

Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

An original saying from elsewhere in time, can’t say from which era. But it’s a universally positive affirmation. My brother and I had a chat about this yesterday afternoon. We are kind of both in the same line of business and we both work for ourselves. We have that in common too. Health and fitness. Just yesterday, my brother was contemplating entering a fun run, a ten k race and nothing more. I suggested to him; why not give the full marathon a go.

I suggested to him that he could follow a standard six week program and he could enter the scenic event and trot along the entire way without raising much of a sweat. He can do this because he’s already in reasonably good shape. He loves his meat but he and his family are basically healthy eaters anyway. They enjoy healthy, balanced meals together each and every day of their lives. Except lunchtimes, of course.

This discussion started after we heard the awesome news that an Ethiopian marathoner had smashed the course record by nearly two minutes. The route was perfect for records. It’s reasonably flat and on this particularly fine spring day there was no wind to deter the speedsters. I’ve run a couple of marathons myself, two under three hours and one, on an off day, under four hours. My brother cycled races quite a bit when he was younger.

His wife is an early bird. Before she starts work in the morning, she’s doing her weights and circuits, all relatively light workouts. As a middle-aged woman, there’s really no need for her to go overboard. She’s been in the habit for many years already. In fact, she was working out long before I decided to kick my own unhealthy habits. Such lifestyle options may seem out of reach for many of you right now but they are not insurmountable.

You can get there if you really want to. It will take time. The sooner you start the better. You’ll never know unless you give it a try. Start today and take your first steps into what was previously the unknown. It doesn’t even need to be hard. Go gentle into the night as the famous poet once wrote. How inspirational is that. It’s about never, ever giving up in the chaos of adversity. For most sedentary men and women of today’s modern and busy work/life environments it is chaos out there.

By the time you start your first walking session, you’ll be smelling the spring blossoms and no longer have the need to smell coffee in a hurry instead. Many folks give up too easily. They start things off on the wrong foot. Sometimes they even try too hard. Other times, they try to do too much. For many, ten minutes is too much. So for now, if the heat’s too much, try for five minutes instead. Go out at your own pace and don’t take note of what the record books say.

It’s all about taking baby steps. Learn to crawl before you start learning to walk. At this stage, I won’t be pushing you to start running. I want you to enjoy your future health and fitness life, so start easy and enjoy your first short walk.