Proud Influence

by Louise | March 16th, 2010 | Running

There are many people like you and me, interested in fitness and willing to make the commitment to exercise, but then there is the other side of the spectrum, where people don’t mind sitting all day long. We all have friends just like that. What if you could be the influence that caused one of those friends to add exercise to their schedule, to begin to lead a healthier life?

I’ll call my friend Joe. He tried track one season but ended up in physical therapy (from problems caused by it) with a severe distaste for running, understandably. About a month ago, I decided that I really wanted to see Joe being active again. He had given me two excuses for not running: he didn’t have shoes and that he simply couldn’t. The former I solved by buying him a pair of Asics running shoes. (I found a pair for just $30! They might not be the best shoes, but they’ll suffice for a beginner runner; I trust Asics.) The latter simply wasn’t true.

After I had purchased the shoes, he really couldn’t say no to at least trying them. We went to Mine Falls Park together, and we did a simple two mile loop. We started with 2 minutes jogging, then 5 minutes walking, and repeated until we reached the end. Certainly, for an experience runner this sounds absurdly easy, but for a beginner, this is just right. It was something Joe could do, that would get his heart rate up, without risking injury.  Joe has added 30 minutes of exercise 5 out of 7 days of his week. He is slowly increasing the amount of time he spends running rather than walking. He even ran a full mile this past week!

I am very proud of Joe, but more importantly, he is proud of himself, surprised at his own progress. Barring legitimate physical constraints, anyone can run; you just need motivation. For Joe, there is a goal: to be able to completely run Jordan’s Walk for Wishes and Dash for Dreams in September. I am quite confident that he’ll be able to do it!

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.