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Ex-Couch Potato.

August 6, 2009

gymShe is my sista and my friend.  She is also lucky #7 guest poster here on Runnin’ Down A Dream.  Actually in keeping with the theme, Christie is lucky #siete Her blog is cool and you can check it out here christieruns and she sho nuff does.  Her improvement in the last 2 years is not only awesome, but very inspiring.  So, give a read to her story and then go look at her cool blog.

Why do I run? Because I can. There was a time that I couldn’t. Heck, I couldn’t do much. I couldn’t finish a Tae-bo tape. I couldn’t complete The Firm step workout routines. I couldn’t go more than five minutes on the elliptical. I couldn’t get my mind around the fact that people who were out of shape and overweight could outlast me in these activities. And I sho nuff couldn’t stick to a routine if I couldn’t finish one. And the things I could do like, walking and strength training, bore me. And walking would just remind me of running. And whenever I’d try, I’d fail. It sucked because running was a dream of mine. Really, I had actual dreams. And I always wanted to be this active person, but I was the exact opposite. I was a true couch potato.

Well when I turned 30, I decided to become the change I wanted to be. But first, I had to solve my iron problem. I am extremely anemic. To the point where doctors think I’m a freak of nature. They don’t know how I exist with my iron being so low. But I’ve always been this way, thanks to anemic parents. I still led a normal life. I just wasn’t running anywhere. I figured I was just out of shape and needed to get into whatever activity very slowly. But of course, I’m impatient and just want to jump into whatever routine. And I didn’t realize how much the lack of iron affected me until after being in the ER with an IV of iron in my arm. Yes, they thought it was that serious. And after having the treatment, I felt great. Like I could run a marathon and lift buildings and such. Bad thing is, what your body doesn’t use, it discards. So two days later, I was back to being anemic me. My doctor wanted me to continue iron treatments. But really, who has that kind of time or money to get an IV of iron 3 times a week? I didn’t.

Low and behold, I was on a vegan discussion board, when a fellow member advised I try something called Floradix. She had used it during her pregnancy as suggested by her midwife. I found it in my local health food spot and began taking it in June 2007. At that time, I started going to the Y and was able to last longer than five minutes on the elliptical. Yay! Hey, maybe this stuff really does work. Then a couple weeks later on July 16, 2007, I started running. I didn’t bust out the gate running. I started with the Couch to 5k program. And I didn’t feel like I wanted to die. I went back to the doctor in September for some blood work. Found out that I dropped a couple pounds and my hemoglobin was slowly rising. My doctor didn’t even know what it was I was taking. It’s not FDA approved, but I guess it didn’t matter. His reaction was, Keep on keeping on with whatever the hell you’re doing.

Now that my iron is situated, I haven’t looked back. Running is the only exercise routine that I have stuck to. And I’ve noticed a lot if improvement. Sometimes I look at some old blog entries to see how far I’ve come. I remember when a 10 minute mile was a goal of mine. I couldn’t get my mind around how that was a conversational pace to many. To me it was super fast. Mind you, I started out around a 13 minute mile (this is before I had a Garmin). And as I kept running, I went from 13 to 12 to 11 to 10. Now I’m in the 9s and sometimes 8s. It all just blows my mind. I was someone who didn’t have an active background and now I can do all this. Wow! I’m a walking billboard for becoming an ex-couch potato (That was my original blog title by the way). If I can do it, you can do it (provided your joints and knees don’t rebel on you)!

When I’m out running, people ask me if I run track or if I used to run in school, or if I run marathons. No, no, and no. I run for my health. Okay, and for my vanity too. But mainly for my health. And I like when people tell me that I’ve inspired them to get up and do something. This random guy in the park stopped me one day. We talked for a bit. When I saw him on another day, he said that he was now doing 3 miles a day. He was walking, but he was doing something. I introduced the 60 year old lady at the Y to the Couch to 5k program. She said she can only run 100 steps at a time, but she’s doing it, dammit!

My goal is not to turn everyone into a runner. Running is not for everybody. But I just wish that people would try to lead a healthier lifestyle. So don’t be afraid to put down the Ho Hos, add a veggie to your plate or go out for a walk every now and then. Hell, skip if you want to (and I’ve skipped on the track before). But just do something. Your health is all you have. And you can’t put a price on that. Your body’s gotta last you for the rest of your life. Do for it, and it will do for you.

Every morning in Africa, a Gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a Lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest Gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a Lion or a Gazelle… when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. August 6, 2009 1:16 pm

    I love stories like this. Congratulations…

  2. August 6, 2009 2:23 pm

    Great job, Christie! I totally agree with this sentiment:

    … people ask me if I run track or if I used to run in school, or if I run marathons. No, no, and no. I run for my health.

    Yeah, there’s a whole lotta proselytizing going on with runners: YOU should run! You run, but you haven’t done a marathon? WHY NOT?!?! Etc.

    Ugh. BASTA!

    Running’s not for everyone. And, yeah, there are runners out there (I’m one) who intend never to run a marathon. Shocking, I know.

    But … if you’re that gazelle … I’d TOTALLY recommend you get up and start f*cking RUNNING already because that lion ain’t ordering take-out any time soon!

    Mmmm …. gazellllllllllle …

  3. August 6, 2009 3:11 pm

    great story!! very inspirational 🙂

  4. August 6, 2009 3:22 pm

    Thanks, y’all 🙂

  5. August 6, 2009 4:49 pm

    Christie is awesome 🙂

  6. August 6, 2009 6:44 pm

    Great post!!

    I remember Tie-bo… Punch punch punch punch… MAN! 5 mins per mile down!? Amazing. Great work!! (loved the quote BTW)

  7. August 6, 2009 9:51 pm

    HEY! no eating the gazelles!

    That is very similar to my story, minus the anemia! Great guest post!

  8. August 7, 2009 3:02 am

    Nice blog! Keep it up!

  9. August 7, 2009 11:08 am

    Nice story, Christie.

  10. August 8, 2009 12:09 am

    very inspiration! way to go christie! keep up that drive and perseverance.

  11. August 10, 2009 4:04 pm

    You said it all, Christie! Amen !!! I am one of the fortunate guy to have met her and I have to say that she is an inspiration. I love reading her blog and her guest post here ROCKS. Keep it up dudette !

  12. August 13, 2009 8:59 pm

    This was a really, really, really awesome guest post!!!! Love it, and the inspirational message. GOOD JOB, Christie!

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