I’m Spelling as Fast as I Can….

I really hate exercise, not just a little, but a whole lot.

There is NOTHING I would rather be doing than lying on my bed, drinking a large glass of wine, eating a bag of Chuckles and reading my book.  NOTHING!

At school I was sporty.  It was because I enjoyed the sport or the achievement, not because I enjoyed being active.

I enjoyed high jump, long jump and a lot of other athletic things that involved running and jumping.  Some I was good at, some not so much, but I was happy to do it.  I sort of fell over hurdles, but I did it anyway.  I played badminton and, tennis (not well).  I even played cricket (I really did).  I really loved netball – I really loved netball like a lot!

It is actually a great sport for tall girls with a bit of aggression, especially if you like to wear shorts under your skirts.

I pretty much had a sport  activity each day after school, and most Saturday.  I was not even the sporty one in my family – I was considered the brainy one.

My brother Bruce was super sporty.  He played every possible sport there was.  If it had a ball, if it did not have a balll, what ever he had a go at it, and was generally really good.

Any the way, back to me.

I have always been a tall thin girl – yes, I know how jealous you are.  But if it makes you feel any better, I USED to be a tall thin girl.  Now I am a tall, not-so-thin girl.  Karma has a great way of coming back, to just give you a kick in the pants to level out the playing field doesn’t it?

My stomach appears to have got a bit more wobbly that it really needs to be.  And my thighs make that sound that your thighs make, when you are wearing corduroys – even when I am not wearing corduroys.

I am not likely to give up my chenin-blanc-and-chuckles diet, so I have had to make the very sad realization that I am going to need to exercise.

I did do a bit of Adventure Boot Camp, and for all my bitching and moaning I did, I will confess that it is probably the best work-out/exercise routine I have ever done.

If you have an hour in your day, and just want to put your head down and have someone beat you with a stick until you weep, then it is the place to go.  It really is a great way to get a workout if time is short and builds up your fitness level.

So I did that.  Though I did not lose much weight, it was not ABC’s fault.  I would need to lay that at the door of my chenin-blanc-and-chuckles diet.

But none the less, just doing ABC I recalled how much I have always wanted to run.

I have never run – and I have always convinced myself that I cannot run.

Long story, but the short of it is, that every step when I ran was excruciating, and I figured how much could I be doing wrong short of putting one foot in front of the other?

If it is painful, then odds are your body is telling you that you should not be doing it, well that is what I figured at any rate.

Went to a podiatrist, and he also told me that “not everyone is designed to run” which I took to be a clear message that I should not run.

Back to the present day.

A lot of ABC’s work out is running – it is great cardio and it really takes your work out to a whole new level.

So though you are not running for miles and miles, you are doing push-ups, then running around a field, then doing jumping jacks and then running around a field.  So there is no rest between the weight work outs, you are permanently gasping for breath, and hoping you will just die and then it will all be over.

While doing the running at ABC  I realized I was actually running.

Granted, not terribly fast, and I did sound like I was suffering from emphysema, but I was still running and my feet/ankles/knees did not feel like they were coming apart at the joints.

I spoke to ABC coach, and she recommended a running guy, as I said I wanted to learn to run, and felt a bit of one-on-one is what I needed to gain confidence.

I worked with running guy for a month.

First session – we walked for 20 minutes, then we ran for 3 minutes.  I seriously nearly threw up on the sidewalk.  Not the polite vomit, but the one where you are leaning over and vomitting so much you are just dry heaving and your eyes are watering – that kind of throwing up.

I then spent the next 37 minutes trying to get my breath back.

I figured he would call the next day, and suggest we stop at session one, as I clearly had shown that I could not run.

He didn’t call.

We did session two, and he said to me in response to my question of “have you ever met anyone you could not teach to run?” and he said “I have met many people who think they can’t run, but I have NEVER met anyone who can’t run.”

The dude was a legend.

We did three sessions a week, and though he never beat me with a stick, he knew what he had to do to get me do push myself.  He never asked me to do more than I thought I could do.

In a month he had me running two x 20 minute sessions in an hour.  I would have been less amazed if he had turned water into wine!

I am not running really fast, but I am running, and that for me is HUGE.

I can also hold a basic conversation and run.  I am not gasping and wheezing – it is all quite fabulous (if you are into that sort of thing.)

So at the moment, my mate Alice and I are setting our alarms for 5am three times a week.  We both wish/pray that the other will sms to cancel.

The alarm goes off at 5am, we get our clothes on, attempt to brush our teeth, then I drive to her house and we both schlep out at 5:30am for an hour of running/walking.

We walk for 20 minutes to warm up.  Then we start running.

This morning we ran for 20 minutes – and we both felt like Rocky who ran up the step of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  I really would love to say that there is a monumental soundtrack in my brain at the time, but in reality all that is going though my head is “motherf*cker.”

After our 20 minute run/stumble/crawl, we walk for 10 minutes, then we do a 5 minute run-as-fast-as-you-can-without-throwing-up-on-the-sidewalk, and then we end with a 5 minute limp home.

I really really hate exercise, but for an hour two or three times a week, Alice and I go out and run, and we feel like super-heros when we are finished.

It is pretty heady stuff, we are like the kings of the world there!

<We have also committed to do a half-marathon soon, so we are all ambitious and stuff.>

<sidebar: the title of the post makes reference to a scene from the Simpsons where Lisa Simpson acted out a scene from Rocky>

Leave a comment


  1. Christelle

     /  November 11, 2010

    Ok, so I have just signed up for Adventure Boot Camp and since I’ll probably be dying a slow and painful death with a beautiful view of the Stellenbosch mountains in a couple of weeks time, I just wanted you to know that I have really enjoyed your blog.

    Oh, and expect a call from my husband thanking you for finally motivating this piece of couch potato to finally do something instead of just complaining the whole time!

    • reluctantmom

       /  November 11, 2010

      Christelle – the humour that I can convince anyone to exercise, oh the humour. I convince people to drink wine, eat Chuckles and abandon their kids on a school night, but motivating someone to exercise, well there is a first.

      ABC is terrible – terrible – but terribly good. You will find an entirely new talent of being able to swear and insult the trainer’s mother under your breath while you are retching onto the grass. Ah I am pleased for you! Enjoy the views …. I personally find it a comfort when I am sitting in my car after the first two weeks of ABC and crying because my legs are too sore to actually push the petrol/brake pedal!

      Christelle – good luck!!!

  2. TNT

     /  November 10, 2010

    I am living proof that anyone can run. I could not even manage 100m without stopping (read almost dying) 5 years ago. As a busy full time professional mom of 3, I consider myself fortunate when I have enough time to wash AND condition my hair. Yet I now manage to strap on my running shoes on Saturday and Sunday mornings and run 8 to 10 km a session. Although it still feels like torture at times, when its good I feel like I am flying! I have even somehow managed to run a few half marathons and each time I can’t believe I actually did it. It is so worth persevering.

    • reluctantmom

       /  November 10, 2010

      Thanks Shereen. My aim is to be able to have the “I can do this” ability to just get shoes on and go off for a 10 or a 20km run. Right now I am doing baby steps – I run for 20 minutes, and do not look at how far I run, it is just being able to run for the full 20 minutes for now.

      But next week, I plan to push this to 30 minutes …. and so on and so on ….. I must confess that my mind is really busy, so I get to work out quite a few things in my little head as I am tottering along, but I am thinking I probably need something that goes into my ears that I can listen to, because I do find I am starting to get a bit “bored” ….. but thanks for the encouragement!

      • TNT

         /  November 10, 2010

        I run alone of necessity, seeing as running times are very ad hoc inbetween weekend kid and house chores. But I do find that I push myself more that way and that popping the ipod into my ears makes a huge difference. I am often rather surprised at what makes a good running song – Reggae songs are strangely fantastic to run to, so is Pink Floyd. I like to set it to shuffle so I get a surprise each song and often I found I’ve got so into the song that I’ve run up a a hill and not even noticed.

        • reluctantmom

           /  November 10, 2010

          I am liking your idea – note to self ipod for Xmas, birthday …. for what ever xx

  3. Jessica

     /  November 9, 2010

    Well done on the running! I hate running – or maybe I think I hate running? I just do yoga :).

    I agree with you on those Chuckles though – Chuckles are amazing :). haha.

    • reluctantmom

       /  November 9, 2010

      I must agree, I do not love running either, but I am also trying to find the quickest way to get from zero heart rate to fat burning in three easy seconds …. but I am struggling to eat chuckles at the same time!

  4. I am happy for you. Happy that you are running. Everyone CAN run, they just need to put their mind to it and do it. Well done to you.

  5. I was a social runner but did nothing for 3 years while having my 2 daughters. I started again in January and could hardly run 15 minutes. On Sunday we ran 32km and I’m doing a marathon on 4 December and hoping to do Two Oceans next year. I defintely had some PND (was on AD’s for a few months) after #2 arrived and I cannot even begin to tell you the massive difference that running has made to my state of mind. I can honestly say I am 100% a different person and I have running to thank for it. I really hope that the running will have the same positive effect in your life.

  6. joanne

     /  November 9, 2010

    I am so on the same page. Except I was not that sporty at school. Only LOOOVVED netball, as for the rest – um nope. But i have also recently decided that the wobbly bits are getting more than the firm bits and so I’ve started walk/running, but was wondering where I could get a running coach, as I really, really suck. Most likely even worse than most. I want to be ready for the 2 Oceans 1/2 marathon, but currently only running 1:28 (wait for it) minutes at a stretch…… really….. really NEED HELP!

    • reluctantmom

       /  November 9, 2010

      Try my running coach guy – details posted earlier, I am not sure where you are in the world.

      Initially I thought I would just go to Run/Walk for Life, but I needed someone who could assist me, as I had convinced myself I could not do it. Joanne, a few months ago running 1:28 seemed like an unattainable goal! Before I start sounding like Bruce Fordyce here, I really do not RUN – I sort of amble. grannies with zimmer frames fly by me, but for me I feel like I am conquering the universe!

  7. Wow girl, you are doing so well.

    • reluctantmom

       /  November 9, 2010

      I do sometimes sit back and pour myself an extra glass of wine and tell myself that!!

  8. leon

     /  November 9, 2010

    Who is this running coach and where can we find him!?


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