Impossible. Something that can’t be done. Something that won’t be done. Something no matter what you do will never be done.
Yesterday I officially killed impossible.
About a month ago, 5 weeks to be exact, my friend suggested we do a couch to 5k program. I’ve blogged about this before but asking me to run was seriously like telling me to become the President of the United States.
It was impossible. I have an over 30 year history of being physically unable to run.
Back when I started this journey, 110 pounds ago, I was in such horrible shape that I couldn’t even walk up a flight of stairs without becoming winded. If I can’t walk.. how could I run?
I can remember starting working out at the Y and my son asking me one day on the track to jog with him. I literally could only jog less than one side of the track without getting horribly out of breath. If I couldn’t even run .10 of a mile how could I do a 5k?
It wasn’t that I didn’t want to do it. I literally could not do it. And I knew that.
But being the crazy fool I am I decided to try it and as you have seen on the blog I’ve been hitting my goals. Run 60 seconds, walk 3 minutes, walk 3 minutes rest 5.
I’m actually loving the program because it is giving me such confidence that I can beat goals.
I hit the milestone of running 5 minutes, and hit the milestone of 8 minutes. Those incidents were hard… and I told myself I couldn’t do them. But they weren’t impossible. I knew deep down there was a chance I could do it.
After all impossible is a pretty strong word. I don’t throw it around lightly.
After I hit the 8 minute run I completely expected for the next challenge to be harder, something like run 10 minutes or 1 mile. I knew I was getting dangerously close to impossible.
But I didn’t realize how close…
Warm up walk for 5 minutes and then jog 20 minutes or two miles.
I literally had to check my phone to see if I had skipped ahead. But I hadn’t.
From 8 minutes to 20?? Where’s the 10? Where’s the 15?
You want me to run 20 minutes without stopping?
Impossible. Stupid App.
Game over. I couldn’t do that. Even though I had willpower of steel now I was no fool, I knew my limits. I knew my body could not do that. I would get too winded, my hip would hurt, I’d get a side cramp. That number could have been run 100 miles. It didn’t matter, running two miles was impossible.
Well it’s been fun, my little stint as runner.
But I knew before I officially gave up I had to try. I wasn’t a quitter anymore. That I knew. If something is impossible the least I could do is give it my best. Maybe I could run 10 minutes. That would be progress.
It was a rainy Friday and my normal running day. I got in my car to head for the Y and snapped a quick picture.
I thought I would fail… err wait knew I would fail and that just put me in a horrible mood. I hadn’t failed yet on this journey. I didn’t want to deal with failure. But face it… this time it wasn’t my fault. It was impossible.
Meaning… NOT possible. Remember?
I walked into the Y soggy from the rain. I seriously almost stopped at the front desk to tell them there was a big chance I would faint. But I didn’t. I was nervous even though it was completely optional. I didn’t have to do this. But realizing your limits is a hard pill to swallow.
I couldn’t do this.
I had made a playlist earlier that day with songs to fill the 32 minutes of my workout. 9 songs?? I’d be running for about 7 of those. 7?
When I started I couldn’t even get through 1.
But I got on. Here goes nothing.
My planning was interrupted my the calm voice of my app.
At least she’s calm.
I hit the button and turned up the speed. It’s funny but unlike my prior runs the first 2 minutes was the hardest. I couldn’t quite get my groove. My hip hurt a little. I knew right then that my fears were correct. The first two minutes signified that my fears were correct. I couldn’t do this for 20 minutes.
But I kept going.
I promised myself I wouldn’t look down to watch the time. As I ran it started to get a little easier. I started running with the beat. I got into the zone of the songs. I took deep breaths every now and then to remind myself that I could breathe. I drank water and held the drink in my mouth for a few seconds.
See you can hold your breath and run. It’s ok.
Song after song passed. But I knew better than to think time was passing fast. This had happened to me before where I thought I was farther than I was. I convinced myself that I was only about 5 minutes in. Then I heard
“You are halfway.”
Halfway? No way! I just ran 10 minutes!!
Wow. I was shocked. I was tired, don’t get me wrong, but I wasn’t dead. I had more in me. I wasn’t breathing too fast yet. No ambulance crews needed to be called.
First round in battle impossible clearly went to me.
But I was no fool. 10 minutes was still a long time. I knew it would get harder.
But I kept the pace. Kept wiping the sweat from my brow. Kept breathing. I tuned out all around me. Focused just on the inspirational words of the songs.
Don’t look down… don’t look at the time. I knew if I did and I saw a ton of time left it would get me back to doubting.
Wait one more song before you look down… just one more.
“You have one minute left”
That is literally a sound I’ll never forget. 1 minute from making the impossible, possible.
I finished the minute and went into my cooldown. So many emotions went though my head. I had just run a tad over 2 miles in 20 minutes. I had just run 20 minutes without stopping. And I wasn’t dead. I was tired, but standing.
I looked around the fairly empty gym room, did anyone see that?
I killed impossible!
Of course the strangers around me didn’t notice or care. So I sent a few texts to my family and friends. People who would truly understand the power of what just happened.
You don’t kill impossible and keep it to yourself!!
I got off the treadmill and went upstairs to the track to cool down. As I was on the track, my son Hayden came running up to me.
“Mom! Did you do it? Did you do it? Did you?”
We celebrated on that track and I bought him and my other two kids some ice cream. We had to celebrate…
I’m not sure I’ve ever been more proud of myself in my life. I know in the grand scheme of things running 2 miles on a Friday night at a YMCA is not what one would see as a life changing moment. But oh it was.
I killed impossible.