Laps, Lapse, Hello

So 2014 has come and gone, and so has January 2015. I’ve been exercising regularly again, after a lapse of more or less two years. I tell myself that this time, it’s going to stick, as if I can go to our local YMCA 3-4 times a week this week, and next week, and the week after, and again and again. (Of course, I could. This is attainable.)

As if I can win the battle with myself, whether or not to leave my cozy home or head straight from work to the gym without dinner, 200 times this year, and 200 times next year, until suddenly, I am sleepwalking to the Y, without a care in my mind. (Automation is the highly improbable end goal of my many habit-forming attempts.)

I’ve barely run at all since I fulfilled my last gym requirement in high school. I’ve used ellipticals, finding their movements fun, usually painless, easily accommodating of simple books or TV shows. But lifting one leg and pulling it forward and setting it down again, and then lifting the other and moving my body forward in space? I’ve barely tried it since escaping the gym teachers, and felt miserably out of shape every time I did.

But now, I’m going back and forth between the elliptical, and running tight loops around the track at the top of the Y building. Because running hurts, because I don’t want to discourage myself too quickly, I’ve started small. I’m running just over half a mile now, when I run—8 laps. Sometimes I feel confident and run fast; a lap later, I’m out of breath, a stitch in my side. But with the tiny track, it’s almost like progress happens on its own. The laps are so short that it’s easy, sometimes an accident, to go one lap further today than I did the time before.

I want everything to be this easy.