Learning to Breathe :: First Steps

Today, I ran 700 meters at the Gym before both body and lungs gave up. I could try and build up the story, that I have been ‘prepping’ myself for over a week (more on that tomorrow) but the fact remained I was doing fine for the first five minutes before I decided that if I didn’t stop, I’d pass out. I could have slowed down, but then became incapable of co-ordinating hands to make the buttons work on the Treadmill. So, I panicked and stopped.

On reflection, a kilometre in 7 minutes 20 seconds would have totally completable.


The biggest issue I have going forward is convincing myself this is doable. As a result tomorrow I’m going to do the whole ‘walk to and from School’ thing to put some miles in my legs and confidence that when I do co-ordinate everything, it will work. Then, on Wednesday, the five lots of three hundred meters I did last week will morph into three lots of five hundred meters so that when I get to next week’s PT session, I can ace the 1000 without fear. It is all about breaking these barriers down into small, manageable goals and then crushing them. I know I can do this, and I will. I probably could have made the first marker this morning were I more prepared. That problem won’t happen again.


So many of my issues go back to internal panic and the fear of not being good enough. I don’t need reassurance, but encouragement is really important right now. It doesn’t need to be massive, or overly demonstrative. I think what I want is to just feel comfortable and confident, and when both of those operate together pretty much anything is possible. I’ve stopped weighing myself as often as I do, because I now understand that my weight doesn’t actually matter one iota… what I require now is strength, not distraction. I understand exactly what to eat each day, how much I have to move. That’s why I took the unprecedented step of buying snacks specifically to eat on my walk tomorrow, and will prepare myself properly before I do this. Suddenly, it matters than just going to the gym a few times a week and trying to be better.

Somewhere between last year and now this became more than just a plan to be healthier.


The most positive upshot of all of this is simple. I am happier. Quite apart from all the good endorphins being generated, I’m less prone to mood swings and depression. Some of that (undoubtedly) will be related to my hormonal changes but I can’t attribute everything in that direction. There’s also internal relaxation that has grown from the knowledge I’m the arbiter of my own destiny for the first time in a while. Online spats that would previously have bothered me no longer are a concern. I’m able to walk away and not hang onto the bad. There’s not, as yet, a bad thing to say in all of this except the fact I’m more tired at the end of the day than I can ever remember in the past, but part of me thinks that’s probably doing it right to begin with.

After all, there has to be a downside somewhere.