Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Somehow sort of

Once upon a time I exercised a lot. I began ballet lessons at about 6 years of age. I took my exams, won medals, danced on pointe. I read Noel Streatfeild and dreamed of dancing. I expected to be a ballerina and perhaps I could have been.

If I had kept it up.

But then I discovered teenage kicks. I wanted to put on lip gloss and go to town on Saturday mornings, not warm up in an icy cold hall.

So ballet was forgotten and other than that which was enforced by school, exercise and I parted way.

My twenties rolled by without any exercise other than bad dancing in nightclubs. Then my thirties arrived and I felt the need to try again. It took only a handful of visits to realise that the gym was not for me. On the other hand Yoga felt like coming home.

Every so often I would try something else, something more aerobic, but would quickly fail to keep it up. I attemtped running again and again, carefully followed the Couch to 5k plans but without success. It was too hard. I was not a runner.

Then someone gave me some very good advice. Just keep running, no matter how slow.

So I did. I ran so slowly it was laughable, barely breaking a sweat, perhaps even slower than I walk. It was a revelation.

I kept it up. A few times a week when walking the dogs I would run, oh so slowly, instead of walking.

And one day I started to like it. I run most days now. Not far, it's about two and half miles. I am faster now but won't be winning any prizes and I am not sure I will ever run much further. It doesn't matter, because I am so happy to be doing it. Running through the woods, marking the daily changes of the season, breathing deeply, dogs by my side. It's fantastic and I finally get it. Somehow I became a sort of runner.



Anonymous Elizabeth said...

We have such similar backgrounds (ballet, aerobics (yawn)) but I am not a runner (high arches, heel spurs) I prefer cycling but yoga (ashtanga) is still my absolute favourite.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011 11:28:00 pm  
Blogger Willow said...

Ballet: no.
Biking: yes.
Yoga: yes.
Running: used to.

As long as we're moving, it's good.

And I adore your photos.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 1:31:00 am  
Blogger the greenhorn knitter said...

I love this post. Today I got down on myself for falling behind on my exercise. I am a runner as well. I enjoyed reading this because it reminded me that getting out and running 2 1/2 miles counts. Especially when it makes us feel so much better inside. I am used to reading about runners who run 5 miles, 6 miles, and granted that isn't SO far, it's important to remember that getting out there to run is getting out there-no matter the distance. Great post!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 5:40:00 am  
Blogger blue hands said...

This impresses me. Sigh. I have just never found a form of exercise that I enjoy doing, other than walking.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 7:44:00 am  
Blogger opportunityknits said...

I've been running on and off since my teens, more off than on these days :) My kids don't like running :( I tell them that there's no trick to running, it's just going one step at time, at their pace. Hopefully they will grow into it and one day, like you, discover that they are runners after all.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 8:07:00 am  
Blogger driftwood said...

I am truly impressed

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 9:17:00 am  
Blogger Mary deB said...

I recently saw a poster that said, Even if you are going slowly, you are lapping everyone on the couch.

So true!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 2:00:00 pm  
Blogger Goosey said...

Never fancied running, love walking....never fancied ballet....until 2 nights ago when I went to see my first ever ballet performed, The Nutcracker by the Moscow ballet. Is it too late at 54 to start ballet!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 2:32:00 pm  
Blogger Tabiboo said...

I'm afraid my body isn't designed to run, but I do love the idea - something nice and brisk and breath taking.

Nina x

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 3:42:00 pm  
Blogger Toffeeapple said...

I'm with Blue Hands on this but nowadays I can't even walk a decent distance. People tell me to swim but I dislike being wet and cold.

Good that you are enjoying your runs though, I hope you continue to do so.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 4:27:00 pm  
Blogger Julia said...

I'm very impressed! I used to run when I was younger; I was in a running club - but these days my little bod prefers the gentleness of yoga and the fun of Zumba. It was very inspiring to read your story all the same, and shows how if we open ourselves to something, it will come to us.

Sending love
Julia x x x

Thursday, November 17, 2011 10:51:00 am  
Blogger Penelope said...

I've just found your blog via Tabiboo and loved this post. I think it's inspired me to get my running shoes on, thank you for reminding me that it doesn't have to be immediate or perfect! xox Penelope

Thursday, November 17, 2011 5:13:00 pm  
Blogger Denise | Chez Danisse said...

Inspiring. I used to run, but then injured my knee while training for a marathon. I wasn't able to get past 3 miles or so without pain, so I quit running. But you bring up a good point...what about slow, what about less than 3 miles. I might give it another try.

Thursday, November 17, 2011 8:40:00 pm  
Anonymous Alleigh said...

Not a sort of runner...you became a runner! And good for you for doing it. It's funny how you make yourself do it even though you're not loving it, and at some point, it just clicks.

I've been running for about a year and half. I started running because I wanted to lose weight. Signed up for some races to give myself goals. And, it occurred to me about 3 months ago when someone asked if I liked it that somewhere along the way, I actually started to. I'm slow. I'm not winning any races, but there is something about it that works.

So, good for you...and keep it up!

Thursday, November 17, 2011 10:43:00 pm  
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