There’s that saying that the only failure is in not trying, or something like that. I personally disagree. If I KNOW I’m going to fail, I don’t want to try. It’s too big of a blow to my pride to fail. I would really much rather not try than fail. Those are definitely two separate experiences for me.
“I don’t run,” I’ve always said, and blamed it on my asthma. I actually grew out of asthma when I was 18, but it does somehow make a comeback when I run – even one length of a gym. But I need to exercise and a free option is appealing to me, so running seemed to fit the bill. So I downloaded the “Couch to 5K” app for my phone. Chad saw this on our iTunes account but said nothing because he knows me so very well.
Here is my very whiny account of my first and last attempt at what really cannot be considered a run.
The Couch to 5K plan starts out with 5 minutes of brisk walking, then alternates jogging and walking for 20 minutes. Or at least that’s the best I can remember it. I did about three cycles of the jogging (which may have included swearing at my body for failing me, and insisting that I was the decider of this outcome, not it). Here is where the break down occurred. I can’t breathe through my nose when I exercise much because of chronic sinusitis – one side is almost completely blocked. I just don’t get enough oxygen. So now as a Mouth-Breather, I was irritating the scar tissue in my throat from the same chronic sinusitis. I can’t breathe through my nose, I almost can’t breathe through my mouth, and yet my lungs are begging for more air. Right, there’s still that dumb asthma.
I went home. I was mad. I sat on the front steps for a few minutes so Chad couldn’t tell I had quit so early. Remember my pride? I went inside, got some water for my throat, threw my shoes, and cried. I couldn’t beat my body. I couldn’t decide if I got to be a runner. I couldn’t out-stubborn my lungs and sinuses. I honestly thought I could. I couldn’t do any of it. And so I cried. A good, hard, ugly cry. I am a stubborn, prideful woman and I don’t like to be told what to do – ESPECIALLY by my own dumb body.
And Chad did everything right, he sat by me silently and waited. He did not push, or encourage, or offer trite words. He just let me be mad. And I love him so much for knowing just what I need in those moments.
My name is Janna, and I am not a runner.