First, a confession: I've been trying to get in shape for pretty much FOREVER. The thing is, I haven't really been trying all that hard--which is probably why I haven't succeeded yet. And tonight at the gym, I just got tired of it, and I decided it is time to do something about it.
I want to be able to go for long runs without having to stop and catch my breath soon after I begin. I want to be able to do half-marathons, play sports, do strength training, etc., without being held back anymore by my overall lack of physical fitness. I want to go to my high-intensity training class (which is like boot camp) and do every single exercise without an issue. And perhaps most of all, I want to actually get into a truly consistent and challenging exercise routine, and I want to do it now--because I don't want to realize a few years down the road that I've turned into a totally sedentary adult, because at that point it may almost be too late to change my habits. Looking further down the road, I want to be that 85-year-old that still plays tennis and still goes to the gym every morning (well, that may be kind of hard since I don't actually play tennis now, but you know what I mean: I want to be active and healthy no matter what age I am.) And I also know that physical fitness is probably the biggest factor--I really think even more so than diet and nutrition--in preventing conditions like heart disease and diabetes (and these conditions are much more likely to affect sedentary people whether they are at a healthy weight or not).
But the problem is that I always push exercise and caring for myself to the bottom of my priority list when life gets busy. You can always be too busy to work out if you want to be! And really, the busier I am, the more I need to exercise, because it is such a good stress-reliever for me.
That said, the challenge: I want to be more accountable about health, fitness, and my efforts to get in shape, especially in terms of stamina and endurance. One of the biggest specific goals I have in that area is to significantly reduce the amount of time it takes me to run one mile (last I checked, the best I can do is a slightly embarrassing more than 10 minutes. That's not anywhere near half-marathon-ready, and I really want to improve). So, I am planning to start running, and exercising in general, a whole lot more. I'm expecting that the more active I become, the more time I can shave off that run.
And for the accountability part? Every week, I'm going to time myself running a mile on the treadmill or the track. And every Friday, starting this one, I'm going to post my time on the blog. Having it out there for the world to see will hopefully motivate me a lot to make it the best I can do! So check back on Fridays and we'll see how I'm doing. :)