The other day a friend had posted on Facebook that she was watching What About Bob? for the very first time. Besides being completely SHOCKED that she had never experienced Bill Murray in such a classic, it reminded me of the infamous line from that movie: “Baby steps.”

My “baby steps” these days is my time on the treadmill. Namely, learning how to run. I could always run, of course. But never for very long. Even a slow jog would put me into side-spasms after a short while.

I did track and field in junior high, but only sprints and jumps. Anything longer and you’d fine me collapsed – literally; on the grass, of course. I have my pride.

As I got older, it only became more difficult to have the endurance to run. A few years ago I finally decided to do something about the baby weight from my first child. So I joined a gym. 6 months later, I had lost a few pounds, but definitely not inches. I was mystified because I was on the treadmill for a good 30 minutes 3 to 4 times a week. How could I not be losing inches?

Well….I wasn’t running. I was walking very fast, even uphill! But it wasn’t until my friend Mariellen filled me in on a basic fact (unbeknownst to me) about exercise that it finally clicked: I had to get my heart rate up to 160 for at least 30 minutes.

And how, pray tell, could I manage that if I couldn’t run longer than 30 seconds without being out of breath?

2 and 2.

Mariellen said that if I could walk for 2 minutes then run for 2 minutes and swap that cycle back and forth, for 30 minutes, then I would be getting in a good workout that kept my heart rate up.

So I began that routine, with baby steps. Slowly increasing my length of time to run, then walk, then run.

3 months later, I was seeing a number on the scale that I hadn’t seen since before turning 30 and I was fitting into a size that I used to only dream about – comfortably! I just could not believe I had only needed to tweak my routine like that to get amazing results!

And now, here I am, back at baby steps. Only this time, I’m pushing myself more than I’ve ever done before. I think that victory of accomplishment I had the first time did more for my confidence in what I could achieve more than anything else.

I have several friends who run. Jane, Heather, and Teri, to name a few. They not only run, they participate in marathons. I am always amazed when I see pictures of them in a race, wondering how on earth they could endure something that long and still remain standing!

I don’t have any huge aspirations to run in a marathon, not yet anyways. Right now my goal is to be able to run, without stopping, for 2 miles. And that’s just on a treadmill. I’ve yet to venture outdoors and try this running thing!

Today I ran for 1.25 miles at the speed of “5.5” on the treadmill – whatever that means – without stopping. It took me about 11 minutes to accomplish that. That’s the longest distance I have ever run – in my entire life – and the fastest speed I’ve stayed at on the treadmill.

And the best part: I wasn’t collapsing when I lowered the speed. Sweating, yes. Collapsing, no.

I walked for a few minutes, just to catch my breath, and was gung-ho about tacking on a 2nd round of running the same distance, just at a lower speed. But soon after I kicked up the speed, those darn side-splits crept in. I knew I was toast.

Not sure why they show up and I’m definitely not sure the best way to counteract them. But, it’s a learning process.

Baby steps. One treadmill run at a time.

So, what area of life are you trying to apply
“baby steps” to today?

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