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Running in the city

The exercise avoidance phase of my life (that’s lasted my entire life) is over. I think.

Somewhere in November after having the idea floating in my head for months I got off the couch, got dressed & went for a run (ok, more like a walk). I thought it best not to question it. And I’ve been running/walking ever since.

There’s a great quote from Nike that I love & it’s stuck in my head ever since I heard it around the time they did the 1st Run Jozi in the CBD in 2011…

If you have a body, you’re a runner

And that’s really why, when I thought about how I should become healthy & active, running came into my head & stayed:

  • It’s affordable (well relatively – no fancy equipment needed)
  • You can do it just about anywhere
  • It’s time efficient  – there are no “opening/business hours”, you don’t have to drive anywhere. If its light out, open your front door & just go.
  • You think your legs do the work but it engages your entire body – I can feel the muscles in my arms & tummy (currently a boep) working too.
  • It’s a great workout – I measure my heart rate (more on that later) & nothing else gets my heart working this hard

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So much to see on these Jozi streets

If you know me you’ll know that I love living in the city. And running in my hood is pretty cool too. I run/walk by myself & feel totally safe & haven’t had even a near incident. Yes, really. The only watch-outs are road works & the occasional drain missing a cover so I try to be really conscious with every step I take. Luckily I’m not really into music – running in town with earphones wouldn’t be a great idea. Not because your iPod would be stolen (I know what you’re thinking!), but because you really need to have your wits about you. I’m not at all a morning person, so I usually go an hour before sunset when the streets of the city are winding down from the chaos of the day. There’s actually so much to see I have to keep myself focused to keep going & not stop to marvel at a woman getting her hair done on the pavement or a cute dress that catches my eye…

Let me clear. I still can’t run 500 meters without slowing down to walk. It’s hard. It always feels to me like my body doesn’t want to. I’m lazy. I don’t push myself. I hate sweating (a lot). It hurts. Everywhere. Through the weeks that have passed I haven’t lost any weight or seen any changes in my body, I think. That just about sums up all the reasons I think about when I want to stop. And this is my second attempt. Those sneakers I mentioned I bought  – I got them in April. And then it was Winter quite soon. I could go on…

While I don’t know how long this will last, I’ve been active for going on 3 months now. That pain in my muscles I feel when I wake up in the morning – I kinda like it. It’s the proof I need that somewhere deep inside me I do have muscles. And everyday that passes the thing that I remind myself of is that today, 3 months in, I’m the fittest I’ve been in my entire life.

W

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