WHAT!!! What in the world can gardening and running have to do with each other you are probably asking yourself. Other than the obvious, healthy vegetables, what is the common thread here?
If you are reading this blog, you are either a runner, you are wanting to be a runner, or you are working to increase your level of fitness, maybe wanting to lose some of those winter pounds that many of us have put on.
So, when we were running tonight, a thought occurred to me as my wife was pushing the pace a bit faster than what I wanted. I have and for the most part WE have taken the better part of 3 years off from any significant running. Ya, we would get a few miles in here and there but nothing of any substance. This past Saturday when we decided to start our training, I knew that we were going to have to start slow and build up our endurance. As much as I would like to snap my fingers and automatically get back to my old fitness level, it simply doesn’t work like that. Just like a garden. Those of us who do garden create a plan, what we are going to plant, where, when and how much. Once everything is in the ground, now we have to water, fertilize, weed and tend to it almost daily. If we don’t, something…anything could happen to prevent getting the most out of it. As much as I would like to snap my fingers and just have everything I am growing, just be grown, it doesn’t work like that. It takes work, hard work and it takes TIME.
And this is the common thread. So many people start off on their fitness journey and realize very shortly that getting into shape, losing weight or getting healthier is hard work. I used to see it every year at the gym. Right after the new year, everyone is at the gym working hard and trying to accomplish their goals. Unfortunately, most quit after a short period of time. Why is this? They don’t see the results they are looking for right away? Their lives are too busy to dedicate the time? Too hard? I don’t know the answer to that question but what I do know is that just like a garden, fitness takes time. It is going to be slow and sometimes painful. There are going to be days when you feel you simply don’t have the time. Work, kids, housework, and any number of 100 other events in your life. These things are all real and can take you off your fitness journey.
A wise man many years ago gave me a little nugget of knowledge. This was about finance and money but it can be applied to most anything we do in our lives. Every time you get paid, pay yourself first before you pay any bills. It may not be much, but you should always be the first bill you pay. Let’s apply that same principle to fitness. If we all choose to take care of ourselves first, the benefits will far outweigh the negatives.
Growing a great garden takes time. Getting into great shape, increasing your level of fitness and losing weight is slow. Both are worth it in the end. Just keep at it and don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.