I had to write this before the adrenaline and endorphins run out.
February 27th marked my “one-month” anniversary of exercising- in other words, I have consistently been exercising for a whole month. While I may reside with the outliers that do not exercise (or that’s how I feel), this is kind of a big deal. Rewind to 10th-grade-me and ask her if I exercise. She would say, “What’s that? What’s a gym? I have running shoes but I don’t use them.”
[Sidebar to sidebar: Cycling is different than running if you are thinking about that now]
Last-month-me struggled but oddly, I kept pushing through. I’ve been reading this book called The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business and it’s kind of my jam. I love reading books that are nonfiction. ALTHOUGH, I do have to say, I didn’t realize that this book would influence me like it has. There’s this thing called the “habit loop”, it’s fascinating, talk to me about it. I didn’t know that this book would prove something to me. (I know that’s weird to say, but it makes sense in my head) The first day is just as hard as the last day of the month and now I realize that it will be this way until I stop. This is a harsh reality (like many things in life, ha!).
But coming back from my first 5-mile run (YEAH BUDDY!), I’ve had a revelation of sorts: I GET IT. I GET IT, RUNNERS. Sort of. Although I’ve only been running for a month, I understand the solace you find in it (almost like the peace I find in grocery shopping). Granted, it’s slower than cycling and I feel like I get dehydrated much faster, but there is something different** about it.
For the first two weeks, I couldn’t break 3 miles and this was upsetting. I thought to myself, “I can break 5 miles on my bike easy, why is this so difficult?” But I kept going, the habit was slowly building, I wanted to see if this “habit loop” theory worked. Every time I found myself sitting idly on the computer surfing the internet, I got myself out of the house to run. I changed my cue of surfing the internet and sitting into running.
A month later, here I am, sitting in my sweat, writing this post. Does this mean the “habit loop” theory worked? What length of time constitutes a success? I don’t know, I haven’t finished the book! But here’s something different**: I like it. I feel a craving to run which is odd, because I usually feel a craving for bacon but now that’s now replaced with an apple. So maybe this theory is working, but it’s definitely something I cannot speak too soon about.
Note to loved ones: If I stop exercising, please throw an apple at me and get me to run or cycle, we all need a little help sometimes.
Note to runners: How do you stay hydrated? I usually make my route that passes water fountains but is there some secret you’re all holding out on me? Let me know.