Two or three times a week I do interval training for my cardio. It’s killer good for me: gets me nice and sweaty (which was always sign of success when I worked with Guido) and acts like a turbo-boost for my mood. Go in grumpy, unfocused and anxious; come out all sunshine and light.
Since I’m all for changing up routines in the gym, at the moment my interval training consists of 2 minutes of walking at 3.5 MPH interspersed with 1 minute of running (well for me running) at 6 MPH. All done at an incline of about 6%. To make it easy for me, any minute divisible by 3 is a running minute. No big math involved. Just notice 3, 6, 9, 12, 15.
Stated clearly: I walk for 2.55 minutes then hit the speed button to bump it up to around 6.0. Somewhere in the middle of that bump I go from walking to running. I have a mental picture that I use to inspire me (hence the title of this post): A Bear Is Chasing Me. If I run for one minute I can escape him. When I’m talking to friends while doing this, I will even say to them: If you excuse me for a minute, a bear is about to chase me. Then I speed my treadmill and my butt up.
Honestly, when that last interval is approaching, I’m never sure that I can do it. I push through the minute, counting down the last 15 seconds outloud, wishing they would just go faster so I could slow down.
In reality that bear IS behind me and I’m actively doing what I can to escape her. She might take the mental form of a big black furry animal, but she’s really other things: she’s heart disease, she’s alzheimers, she’s all the physical and mental impairments that come with aging.
In my family, you die from heart disease or alzheimers. Except for a couple great uncles who died in motocycle accidents in the ’40s, this is our genetic imperative. No cancer, no diabetes. Heart disease except for the couple women with alzheimers. Research at the moment seems to indicate that these diseases are related: there is inflammation; your body decides whether this inflammation attacks your blood vessels or your brain. Fortunately, this means the efforts to slow one will work on them both.
So I run the bear that is not a bear.
What do you run from or run towards?