From zero to zero.1 to infinity and beyond
January 2016, I’m heavier than I’ve ever been, a full 1.5k heavier than last January and 6k of pure fat over what I regarded as my optimum of about 60k. Having spent several days bedbound in December and several months pretty depressed, I’d been tracking my moods with imoodjournal. Once I saw how often it was at 3 or 4 or worse, I started to get the message that something needed to be done. I start keeping a basic journal. I start using my fitbit again to track my exercise and myfitnesspal to track my food.
I start doing cardio again (mostly following Davina Mccall) but I’m painfully aware that I’d given up on the same routine the previous year and I’m not really feeling it, I’m wavering already and I’ve only just started.
One day I stumble across a podcast called “The art of manliness” the first episode I listen to is a daft one about the 19th century sport of pedestrianism, an interesting story but gawd, the 19th century must have been dull. The second episode I listen to is an interview with Steve Kamb, promoting Nerd Fitness and his book “Level up your life” the basic gist is “You will spend hours a day playing a game because the mechanics are designed to make it addictive, why not use the same system to improve your real life” and it was like a big blue box with POW appeared over my head and I started making beep boop noises.
I ordered the book as soon as I got home and investigated the course. I couldn’t afford it immediately but there was a free beginner workout, so I tried that. After two out of three circuits, my leg tried to hit the eject button and the rest of my body went on strike, but I had done it. I kept at it, logging my workouts on a spreadsheet, upping the reps a bit and adding to my routine.
I often get woken up around 7 by the nearby airport. I decide to use that and go out for a walk, barely 5 minutes at first and then more. One day, it’s snowing and raining simultaneously, but I still do it. After a few weeks I sign up for the full nerd fitness course, the first workout looks easy. Spoilers: it’s not, but I keep at it, focussing on small incremental improvements, gradual sustainable changes.
It’s now mid March and I’m getting out before 7.30, walking a mile or more before breakfast, doing 3 workouts a week with 40 pushups where previously I’d struggled with 5. Then I do something slightly foolish. I agree to take part in tough mudder (a 10 mile obstacle course) with some work colleagues, and not just any colleagues, ones that I actually liked and respected. The problem is my all time record run of all time ever was 1.7k on a treadmill and don’t like running.
In facts, I hate running, when I was at school I signed up for cross-country running. I would hide behind the changing rooms until everyone ran away and then walk home. I don’t see the point of running, it knackers your knees, goes on forever and makes you look miserable (ever seen a happy jogger?). I’d be like “Why are you running?” and might get the answer, “I’m training for the marathon” Why? So you can prove that you’re more hardy than some 2000 years dead greek dude? Fuck that shit.
So this morning I decided I was going to do this. In the same way I started with my morning walks, in the same way I started with that first push up, I decided I was going to start this journey with a win. I went out the door and ran to the end of the street. 200 metres. Done. In the bag. I’ve only just started running and I’m already a winner. I’m going to do this.
However, if I ever look like I’m considering a marathon, just shoot me in the back of the head.