Couch to 5K

“Are you in shape?”

I knew the answer to the question – and I knew I didn’t like admitting to it.

I always encourage people who are grieving to be gentle on themselves,
not to expect too much of themselves, and to allow themselves all the time and space they need to go through the grieving process without self-recrimination.

But I’d been a little TOO gentle on myself, particularly physically, for a little too long. “In shape” does not apply when I get winded going up a few flights of stairs. And I knew – and I always teach – the truth that getting out and moving gets the endorphins flowing, and brings a natural lift to the spirits.

So why had I let life get so full that I’d stopped my daily walks? Why did I think I was exempt from the results that inevitably follow a period without any exercise?

I don’t know, but the end of 2010 found me in need of some changes physically. So I went online.

For a few years my oldest daughter signed us all up to ‘run’ a 5K on Thanksgiving morning. (I qualify ‘run’ because some of the family ran, while I walked the distance. The rest of the family had lots of cool-down time while waiting for me to cross the finish line. 

DSCF0203-300x225.jpgIt did feel great to have done something so physical before going home and feasting on all the wonderful dishes we’d prepared. But I always wished I could be up running with them all, enjoying the time together.

So, I googled “5K training”. There were 4,460,000 results.
I narrowed it to “5K training beginner” – and that brought it down to 222,000.

I chose one that seemed gentle: “Couch to 5K”. I do really well on the couch, so I figured I had that part down. I could start there.

I am two days into the training. It is pretty doable, at least so far. Five minutes warm-up walk, 60 seconds run, 90 seconds walk, repeated for 20 minutes.

They tell me that in 7 weeks I’ll be able to run the whole 20 minutes. I’m determined to follow the training and see if they are right.

Already, though, I am reminded how good it feels just to move. It feels good to decide to do something – and then actually carry through and DO it. And I like the feeling of looking forward to something good in the future (specifically, more energy, a feeling of well-being – and actually crossing the finish line in a 5k with a less than 45-minute time.)

Are you in shape? If you are at a place where you feel ’stuck’ physically, and you are up to a challenge, consider joining me this year. Choose some way to get out and move, and set a goal to reach. Let me know how you do, and together, we’ll move forward in one more way.

To your healing,


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