Cigarettes became a thing of my past back in November of 2013. As a smoker I wanted to quit, but at the same time convinced myself that I liked to smoke. Confused? Yeah, so was I. What was worse is that I decided in the early summer of 2013 that I was going to run an official 5K before my birthday in late October. Walking was literally the first step, no pun intended. Let me retract that statement. Actually, motivation was the first step. I needed to quiet the voice in my head that was telling me exercise was dumb and lying around watching marathons of Ghosthunters on SyFy was more important. When I finally got myself out of the house I was pleasantly surprised that there was a paved trail less than a quarter mile from my doorstep, and the trail went east and west for at least ten miles in each direction. With a loaded up iTunes playlist I walked and I walked well. After a few weeks I was informed of an app called Couch to 5K, a.k.a. C25K. Little did I know that within three months I would be running, yes running, 3.1 miles. I also had no idea I would also meet two distinct voices in my head, little voice & BIG VOICE.
|Apparently the big voice in my head is a small asian woman|
BIG VOICE is the voice in my head that is SCREAMING things, encouraging me to stop, give up, and quit. BIG VOICE affects a lot of us. 99% of the reason we fail at anything is because we only listen to the big voice. BIG VOICE is notorious for lying. Doing everything it can to convince you that you're thirsty (even though you've only been going for 5 minutes), along with other lies that it has perfected. One thing that really stands out about BIG VOICE is what crushes most of us. The creme a la creme of crushing spirits, motivation, inspiration of what BIG VOICE does is convince you that if you quit now you can give it a fresh new shot tomorrow. You've heard it screaming in your head, "START TOMORROW, TODAY IS JUST NOT THE RIGHT TIME. YOU NEED MORE SLEEP, FOOD, WATER, TIME, BETTER SHOES, NEW SONGS TO DOWNLOAD, BETTER PLACE TO WORKOUT, A PARTNER, A NEW WORKOUT PARTNER, MORE ENERGY, LESS ENERGY, BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH!" Then there is the little voice. The exact opposite of the BIG VOICE. Little voice knows you can do it, encourages you to keep going, tells you that you are better than you think you are. Problem is that little voice doesn't get heard. Drowned out because of BIG VOICE. Little voice is the voice you need to listen to.
|My first 5K. An amazing day|
It took three months to run 3.1 miles without stopping and it was tough. The C25K app really is an amazing thing. It absolutely hands down is why I can run a 5K without stopping. My time at first was 14 minute miles but A MILE IS A MILE. Soon enough I was running 12:30 minute miles. I was a former 400lb + man running 5Ks - holy shit! Never felt better in my life. Even when I was at my top physical self at 18 years old I couldn't run one mile at one time, let alone three miles. My senior year in high school, before moving on to play college football, it took me 18 minutes to walk the mile because after on 1/3 lap of running I couldn't run anymore. Should have been some foreshadowing that exercise was not going to be top of mind for me as an older adult. Time to break that cycle. Time to mark off that goal. Time to get busy living. Get busy living. I did quit smoking in November but I hit my goal of running a official 5K in September, a month earlier than my late October birth date goal. Bittersweet. Shit. Although I was able to run three miles, and every once in a while four miles, I was still smoking. Let me repeat that because it doesn't make sense to me either. I was still smoking. A runner who smoked. This would be my next challenge to conquer. It was absolutely most positively the thing I needed to do....time to quit smoking. For this challenge it was time to bring out the big guns.