I’ve been living in a two-bedroom apartment with two new friends for almost two months now. They have definitely rubbed off on me in several ways. I am learning to plan ahead of time, I’m learning to be more subtle (they might disagree), I’m learning to eat fish (HUGE milestone), I’m learning to drive (maybe), but most importantly, I’m learning to run.
Growing up, I went through spurts of working out. Gaining weight has always come easily to me. Ever since I filled out from my month-and-a-half-long sickness in sixth grade, I’ve had to be careful. In junior high and the beginning of high school, being careful meant working out for an hour every day doing a combination of yoga, aerobics, and biking. When I hit high school, being careful meant eating one apple a day. When I got to college, I was too busy to even think about what I ate, if I ate at all. Then I went on this lovely three-month trip through the Midwest with five other college friends (eating out at restaurants every day), and I gained fifteen pounds. I have never weighed as much as I did when I came home. Living on my own has definitely trimmed me down. But let’s face it. It is so easy to find the weight again once it has been lost.
My roommates faithfully go to aerobics on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5:15 to 6:45. They describe the workout as being similar to dancing. I went one week to see for myself. Was it like dancing? Not in the slightest. At least not the way I do aerobics. When the thirty-minute workout is over, I look like I have just hopped out of the shower. I can barely walk, and the only words I can comprehend are “food” and “sleep.” But these truths became the very reasons why I continue to go back. (Another good reason is that each six-week session costs thirty-one dollars so you might as well go once you pay.) And some wise man has said at some point in history that habits are made in three weeks. After six weeks, the lifestyle will have been working overtime.
Julie also faithfully runs two to three times a week, depending on what other evening commitments she has. A little over five weeks ago, I was sporadically hit with the inspirational two-by-four and convinced Julie’s sister (the unnamed apartment mate—for now) to go running with me. We are using a free app to mark our progress in training for a 5K. For the first three weeks of this new adventure, I would be overcome with giggles whenever we would make our way to the indoor track. I invested in my new-found love by buying one pair of yoga capris, one pair of Calvin Klein workout pants, a pair of bright-pink Nike sneakers, one bright-pink workout shirt, one bright-teal workout shirt, and one bright-teal tank top.
However, last week the joy bug squashed itself by running into a wall. I skipped aerobics and comforted myself on my lazy choice by eating cheese biscuits and cookies. In light of the holiday on Friday, the indoor track was closed, and my roommates and I had to run on the outdoor track. This excursion may have been difficult for several reasons: the pavement is not padded, the outdoors have no air conditioning, I had skipped aerobics all week, and I had eaten cheese biscuits and cookies all week. Whatever the case, I vowed that this week the joy bug would be resurrected.
Running on Monday–I wanted to cry through most of the run, but I controlled myself. I sat for the rest of the evening using the excuse of updating my new iPhone and figuring out how to transfer my iTunes music from my old iPhone to the new one. It took me two hours. I knew that aerobics yesterday would almost kill me. I barely survived only by thinking about the supper waiting for me at home. (Yesterday was Julie and her sister’s birthday! They’re twins, and we celebrated with pizza and the world’s most delicious chocolate cake.) Yes. I ruined my workout by eating six-cheese bacon pizza and cake. But you don’t understand. This cake is unlike any other cake I’ve ever tasted. The cake by itself would have been delicious enough to tempt the most disciplined human being. The unsweetened frosting would have been enough sugar to satisfy my sweet teeth. But five cups of sugar is added to the frosting, which is in turn frosted onto the cake. After one bite of this cake, I was willing to forswear running and instead consume cake. But at 5:45 this morning, I woke up, went to the gym, and ran.
Even after an evening of decadence, my apartment mate and I were still able to run nine-and-a-half-minute miles. We ran faster than my app paced us and felt somewhat good about ourselves until I saw our routine for Friday: twenty minutes of nothing but running. Thankfully there’s a day of aerobics in between.