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You can do it

I started off thinking that I was going to write a post about exercising, but in doing so, I realised that the lesson I've learnt over the last few days transcends to any goal in life you are struggling at reaching - any task, or dream you are holding off trying for because it just seems too difficult.

To talk about exercising, though, first, I guess I should explain for me why being an active person is something that has alluded me for so long. Over the last few years I have dieted, a lot.  I have been desperately unhappy with my body.  I have tried every trick in the book to lose weight - well, every trick, that is, except slogging it down the gym.  When it comes to exercising, I'm one of those people who tells other people they're just not cut out for it.  "I hate the gym," I would say, and believe me, I've used every excuse in the book not to go.




Last week I read a book by one of my favourite authors, Haruki Murakami, called 'What I Talk About When I Talk About Running'.  I bought it on the strength of Murakami's amazing writing style, having not really cottoned on that it was a memoir about running.  Apparently, along with being a bestselling author, Murakami also runs marathons, and in the book he talks about the marathons and triathlons he's run (including a 62 mile marathon) along with discussing what running means to him and why he does it.  The quote that stayed with me the most from reading the book was this one:

"No matter how much long-distance running might suit me, of course there are days when I feel kind of lethargic and don’t want to run. Actually, it happens a lot. On days like that, I try to think of all kinds of plausible excuses to slough it off. Once, I interviewed the Olympic running Toshihiko Seko, just after he retired from running and became manager of the S&B company team. I asked him, “Does a runner at your level ever feel like you’d rather not run today, like you don’t want to run and would rather just sleep in?” He stared at me and then, in a voice that made it abundantly clear how stupid he thought the question was, replied, “Of course. All the time!”

Reading that really made me stop in my tracks.  "Hang on a minute," I thought to myself.  "You mean even runners sometimes don't feel like running?"  It really opened up a whole new way of thinking to me.  What it also made me realise is that the only thing stopping me from slipping on my trainers, stepping out the door and going for a run right now... is me.  It isn't the fact that I'm not a born runner (no-one is), the weather, or the fact that I'm too busy.  It's me.  The only thing standing between me and having a toned body, looking in the mirror and liking what I see, is me.


This is why, this week, I have been 30 Day Shredding, and I think I'm nearly ready to start jogging too.  Nothing that's worth doing, or gets results, is easy, but at least when I go on holiday later on this month, I can look at myself in a bikini, and whatever shape my body is in, I can say that I tried. (And will continue trying!)  What's stopping you from doing the things you really want to?

16 comments

  1. I love this post ! Made me want to put my trainers on and walk out the door right now ! xx

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  2. Great post!

    I never ran in my life until the end of last year. Admittedly, I haven't been in a while. I know people can run in the snow and rain etc, but now it's nearly winter I just can't!

    I have started doing pump classes at the gym though! And I will definitely get back into running when Spring arrives.

    Good luck with your running!

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  3. I am also someone who shys away from exercise, as I need more sleep or not athletic, but really they are just excuses! Thanks for the post - has made me want to do some exercise!
    xx

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  4. I'm on a 12-week diet and exercise regime at the moment, and before that I never exercised, I hated it. It's still some getting use to, but I feel my energy levels have gone up from it, which is pretty sweet.

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  5. I've been trying to mind some exercise motivation and you have just given me some! Great post, thank you :) x

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  6. I really loved this post. I think Murakami is an amazing writer, I'm reading 1Q84 right now actually. I think the message in this post is amazing and I have to agree with you entirely...nothing really stands in our way except for ourselves.
    On a side note, I started doing Jillian Michaels' DVDs and they are kicking my butt...so great!

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  7. Great post. I love your writing.

    I'm a runner and have been since I was about 10 years old. Sadly, I've been plagues by injuries, so a lot of the time I simply CAN'T run, which is a bit upsetting, but it's also a good thing, I suppose, as I've never really been faced with the issue of getting bored of running.

    I find running a great stress-reliever. I always come back home with a cleared head.

    xx

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  8. I'm trying to get some inspiration to run, and I've also bought the 30 Day Shred too. I think the fitter you get the easier it gets too... I used to go to dance classes a lot and they were hardly a slog by the end of it.

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  9. i'm saving this post :) x

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  10. I can't tell you how inspiring this post is...

    My jog tonight was a million times better because of it.

    And I'm going to order that book too :)

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  11. Lovely post to read.

    Ayeisha
    x

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  12. Love that last quote!
    I love running, I am a rubbish runner but I just feel so stress-free when I go for a run and the endorphine rush afterwards is fantastic. I also have a horse so I get plenty of exercise from him! I just find it the best way to relax and chill out!

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  13. Good post my dear. The thing that stops me from working out is I'm usually exhausted from work. It's not at all a physically demanding job. I'm at work right now! You see I own a store. I work an average of 5.5 days a week, 11 hours a day. I'm not a morning person, so there is no way to motivate myself to wake up earlier and work out. When I get home I generally just want to 'veg' out. The best tricks to keeping me 'motivated' to work out is... Don't think about, just do it. The more I think about if I wanna work out the less likely I will. This becomes alot easier once it becomes part of the daily routine. Once I break that routine it's hard to get back into it. Knowing this also helps motivate me. All that being said I do love to run. Especially at night. It's like meditation for me. A great stress relief in multiple ways.

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  14. I've started seriously exercising and joined the gym at the beginning of March. It really changed my life. I am stronger, more confident and just happier in my body. I entered 5k race and am confident to RUN the whole way! Can't wait!!! X


    P.S. Don’t forget about my giveaway!

    http://mademoiselle-la-la.blogspot.com/

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  15. I could not have come across your blog at a better time!
    I've been having the exact same problems with wanting to lose weight but not being able to motivate myself to go for a run, ("i'm not a runner" "I can't run far enough so it's a waste of time" "it's too warm out" "it's too cold out") the quote you posted also made me feel a millions times better!
    I actually just joined the gym last night after work, something I'd put off in favour of running for free round the local park, but after about 3 months had only done once!
    This gave me that little bit extra motivation :) Thank you x

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