Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Let's start with a confession, shall we? It's not particularly juicy or anything (but don't quit reading!). It's a problem that has plagued my entire existence and I've finally decided to admit it to myself and the world:

I can't run.

Me, after approx. 2 minutes of "running." I drew this in Paint. Believe it.

There. It's out there. Never coming back to me.

I know, you're thinking, "Can't is for losers! You can do it if you put your mind to it! I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!"

Well ok, if a bomb went off and I had exactly 30 seconds to get to safety, I could probably manage it. Probably.

But I don't enjoy running for fun or even for exercise. I never have! I swear, within moments of even the mildest jogging, my lungs and throat feel like they're on fire. And I can't stop coughing. You'd think I smoked a pack a day my entire life. I'm jealous of the people who can run even 5 miles without stopping and get a "runner's high." I still have no idea what that means.

When I was 14 or so, I came down with a serious bronchial infection that seemed to last for months. After a few tests, the doctor concluded I had asthma. This news was slightly devastating (but not as crushing as the awful haircut I received from a Vietnamese woman earlier that day), but I was fully expecting it. Aerobic exercise has never been comfortable for me because I CAN'T BREATHE while I'm doing it. Asthma was a reasonable explanation for this phenomenon.

It's not that I haven't tried to run, though. In high school I ran quite a bit for exercise. I was up to 3 miles each session. Then, I got super sick one winter with, like, four illnesses and gave up. The truth was, I liked being able to tell people I could run 3 miles. But I hated everything else about it. So I took the first excuse to quit.

During my freshman year of college, I enrolled in a required fitness class. I had to run 1.5 miles under a certain amount of time (I think it was 20 minutes; something very reasonable) by the end of the term. Additionally, I had to exercise regularly throughout the semester. So I started jogging again. I'd head down the Stairs of Doom (just beyond the SWKT, for you BYU peeps) to the rickety old Smith Fieldhouse and lumber around the track for about a half hour before deciding I'd been tortured sufficiently. Then, I'd hike back up the Stairs of Doom and to my dorm, wondering all the while why I didn't think of something more fun to do for exercise.

I pretty much haven't run since then. I think I tried after I had Bubby, but I decided I'd rather lose the baby weight some other way.

But you know, I think exercise is important. I really do. I am naturally thin but don't let my size fool you -- I am OUT OF SHAPE. I have noticed lately that my middle is squishy and I feel lethargic all the time. I get winded easily and can't lift heavy things. And I decided last week that these are the stepping stones to diabetes and high blood pressure and I don't want that.

So, last night I put on my New Balances and my Spandex pants and took myself for a brisk one-mile walk.

I know, that sounds so lame. Whooooo doggie, ONE MILE! I did jog about 300 yards of it just for old time's sake, then BURN! COUGH! WHEEZE! so I quit while I was still ahead. My legs felt like jelly afterward and my head was spinning, but I did it. I exercised. And I've decided that even though walking is kind of wimpy and geriatric, it's still exercise (especially when you power walk). So I'm going to keep it up. It's rather nice to get out of the house after a long day of chasing kids and jam to some tunes on my iPod. Also, the weather here happens to be gorgeous now. So really, the benefits outweigh the cons.

I'll keep you updated on my progress. I'm sure you can't wait for when I hit TWO miles!

Question of the Day: What do YOU do for exercise?


  1. Walking burns lots o calories I hear! Not that you need it but still good for you exercising! That's my current goal in life.

  2. My husband got me the Wii Active for my birthday, and though they make you run a little, it's all very gradual and it's a very well rounded work out, so I do that 4-5 days a week!
    Good luck walking--I'm not a runner either.

  3. this is me-the asthma. so i have no excuse. I've just always HATED running. it's not fun and a "runners high" is a myth, I'm pretty sure (that's why i tell myself anyway).

  4. Never underestimate walking! My best friend is a registered dietician and walks all the time for exercise. She has done tons of research and here's the bottom line: running is just as beneficial for you as walking. However, running is harder on your knees and well, harder in general! I was a runner in high school, tried so hard to be a runner as a young adult and failed miserably. I just go eliptical, star master or bike for my cardio followed by strength training. I love your walking idea, it sounds great, and don't worry about going 1 mile. I might add some weights just to build up some strength but you are on the right path (no pun intended.)

    And I get the "skinny but out of shape thing." That is basically me when I don't exercise, lots of jiggle, lol.

  5. I can't run either. I hate it. I danced to stay in shape and now I do workout videos and Zumba.

  6. I totally agree with that whole running thing. How do people even find it enjoyable? It's something I've tried over and over again, even running Ragnar, until I finally realized it just isn't for me.

  7. I am the exact same way - I can't run to save my life. I end up with a stomach cramp that won't go away after a few minutes of running. If I'm forced to do the treadmill I just alternate between fast walking & jogging.
    However, I've discovered a love for Pilates & Dance Aerobics. Cardio that's fun and then building muscles I never knew I had? Score!
    Instance netflix is a beautiful, beautiful thing for moms with not much time for exercise.

  8. I'm pretty sure you wrote this post about me. I'm the same way!

  9. You go girl! And if you ever do decide to run, try the Couch to 5k program. I, like you, loathe running, but this program seems to work okay for me.

  10. Hey you did a lot better than anyone sitting on their couch and eating cheetos!

    1 mile is an awesome beginning and way better than me. I have't ran since school started. I think it has something to do with the fact that Tyler is taking 17 credits and I'm taking 15.

  11. I've been an inconsistent runner. I actually enjoy it. However, after my half marathon in April I started having terrible back pain and discovered that - because of poor training on my part - I had jacked myself up pretty badly. So I'm an ex-runner now. Sad. I haven't been able to bring myself to try something else yet. I've always identified myself as a runner. But your post makes me want to hit the street tonight in some spandex. For walking, that is. Just walking. Thanks, Jenna:)

  12. Last May I ran a mile- it took me 14 minutes and I almost piked at the end. Since August I have been going to a boot- camp type exercise class at church three days a week. Saturday I ran 5 miles in 58 minutes- so 11:30 ish a mile but I ran for an hour straight. You can do it!
    Working out with others is the best thing I have done as otherwise I wouldn't do it

  13. I KNOW!! I hate hate hate hate hate to run, just ask josh! I don't understand how people can enjoy the pain of it. The sad thing is that I'm too lame to buy a gym pass or anything so I end up just jogging for exercise anyway. It is such a struggle to get myself out to do it too. Like right no--as I'm reading your post I had promised myself I would be out jogging 60 minutes ago... bla. Hate it. It does feel good after it's over, maybe that's why people do it... I just don't know

  14. 1) At least you figured out the asthma thing at 14. I didn't figure out why running (or exercise in general) was so painful until I was 24 and pregnant with my 2nd baby. I'm incredibly dense.

    2) I shouldn't admit this, but I didn't exercise at all, did awesome on the tests, and gladly took a C in the BYU required fitness class. That's how much I hated exercise.

    3) I got into Yoga, Pilates, and Kick Boxing a few years ago and *loved* them. Amazing what some steroids and albuterol can do. Haha.

  15. I once hated on running something fierce (see: all of high school) but I think my issues stemmed from my perfectionism. If I was going to run, I had to run fast. And I wasn't going to run fast if I didn't start out slow. So when Joel told me I should run I scoffed at him but then with his urging (and the beautiful indoor track at BYU) I started running. I started out with a murderously slow jog, and then I had a 10 minute mile down, and then a 15 minute one-and-a-half mile, and then I ran two miles one day and THEN I eventually ran 5 miles up Provo canyon (and it was fast!) and then I promptly never ran again that semester.

    But it's doable. And every once in a while I get a glimpse of why people say they love running with their whole soul. BUT I have gas/cramping issues (story of my life!) and that's less pleasant. I average 3 miles when I run now and that makes me feel pretty ok.

  16. Also, I failed to mention that the day after I ran 5 miles, my favorite pair of pants didn't fit comfortably because my thighs were too buff. I just about died of irony. (That obviously didn't last too long as I stopped running immediately thereafter.)

  17. Girl, I couldn't run even if a bomb went off. I'd just sit down, put my feet up, and wait to be met by Granny and CP. Although, I do love dancing around to my favorite tunes, so I guess I could dance until they arrived.

    Keep up the good work!

  18. PS~ I love your drawering! You're so gifted!

  19. hey hey you you....walking is beneficial too. check it out: http://pinterest.com/pin/122512052332883095/


  20. Oh my goodness. You described exactly what happens to me when I run! I tried again last year to give it a go with Andrew. After the burning and the torture of running I came home and sounded like a chain smoker coughing the rest of the day! At camp one year i had to run back to the cabin for something before the hike, consequently then having to run to catch up to my group. by the time I caught up I was coughing so hard i thought i was going to throw up! The other leaders were wondering if I would make it back on my own power.
    I can do other things though. I don't love anything but it seems like working out will be a nessessary evil. Exercise is not the key has been my motto so far...

  21. I suck at running too. We have this in common. You are an AMAZING illustrator!! Woah!!! You should totally sell some illustrations! Want to draw me one? I want to see myself as a cartoon!!

  22. I am the same way! The asthma thing applies to me too! I have been doing Insanity for the last two months and I LOVE it! If you ever get a chance, try it!


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