Skip to main content

Huffing and Puffing: Episode 10: Lessons Learned

A special note to friends and family who've been watching this series through bigasssuperstar.com: THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

As published at News957.com:

It's been a week since the 5k run, and my knees still hurt. Granted, it's only when I'm moving, and worst when I'm going up and down stairs, but I wasn't expecting my knees to hurt a week later. I guess I really pounded that pavement a week ago.

I come away from the eight-week training experience of the Learn To Run For Smokers program with the Lung Association of Nova Scotia as a changed man. That sounds more dramatic than it is. I went in a fat, lazy smoker, and in most regards, I still am.

I've never called the Learn To Run class a weight loss program, because it's not. I lost maybe five pounds through all this. Most of that was probably Christmas weight that stuck around until March. But I did lose about two inches off my waist, which might suggest some change in my body's weight distribution. So, I'm still fat, but slightly less fat than before.

I'm still lazy. I'm not one of these exercise nuts who gets a high out of strapping on the shoes several times a week and hitting the road. I'd still rather sleep. But I've become accustomed to exercise. I've learned that I really can find 40 minutes a day, three times a week, to get out and do my body some good by walking or running. It's easy for me to say I don't have time. It's easy for me to make excuses. Through this program, I've proven that excuses can be overcome. I'm still lazy, but I've learned to overcome laziness for a purpose.




Am I still a smoker? Yes, sadly, I am. I've learned that quitting smoking is not simply an intellectual exercise. I could lecture on smoking cessation, the benefits of quitting, the physiology of nicotine addiction and all the rest of it. I've done everything to do with quitting smoking except quit smoking. I must say, though, that smoking has become more yucky. I'm noticing the stink a lot more. I'm feeling the effects on my lungs a lot more. I became aware of how much of my exercise incapacity was from my general lack of fitness and how much was from the sorry state of my lungs.

So, yes, I'm still a fat, lazy smoker, but I'm a slightly less fat, less lazy, contemplative smoker.

Was it all worth it? I wondered at the beginning whether I'd feel good about getting up every Saturday for 9am workouts. Giving up sleep to go running in the winter seemed contrary to my nature. But hey, my nature has led me to be a chubby dude with high blood pressure, so it's about time I fought my nature.

Yes, it was completely worth it. I got to make an improvement in my health and learn some lessons about living healthy forever. Well, not forever. None of us is going to make it out of this alive. But we might as well make the most of the years we're here.

Beyond what this whole project has done for my health, lifestyle and confidence, I've enjoyed presenting it to you every week. I've learned a thing or two more about video production. Really, it's quite a feat for me: this series has included ten web stories, at least ten videos, and three radio stories every week. Every camera shot in the series was done by me (except one time after the 5k when I was laid out on the steps and I handed the camera to my wife). As proud as I am about making it through the training and 5k run, I'm just as proud of this multimedia experiment for News95.7.

Big thanks to everyone who's helped over the past two and a half months: listeners and newsmakers around town who've asked me how it's going; family and friends back in Ontario and beyond who've been following from afar and cheering me on; generous folks who sponsored me in the Lung Run; my wife, who washed my sweaty gear, listened to me complain, showed her pride and even massaged my sore shins; my enthusiastic coworkers and editor Ruth Davenport who gave me the story in the first place; the Bad Ashes running team who were so welcoming and genuine; the coaches who made me believe I could accomplish every task; all the guests, including my doctor, who let me record them for the series; the Lung Association of Nova Scotia including Louis Brill; and team leader Jayne Norrie, who patiently endured my whining and smilingly urged me on week after week.

Wondering if you can do it, too? Heck, yeah, you can! Read all the links below and get inspired.

The Lung Association of Nova Scotia is going to do it again. Another Learn To Run For Smokers group begins in early May, and this time it's not on a weekend morning! If you even suspect that you should be in this class, get in touch and get going. Now's the time to start taking care of yourself.

Thanks for reading, watching and listening. I hope we can do something big like this again.

Links:

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A request, as we reach two years

Wow, long time no write.

I didn't enjoy this past winter. I was certainly in a long slump. Things were very challenging at work. Gordon was awesome, as always, but I was just in a sustained funk from last summer on. And I'm not sure I'm all the way out of it yet. I'm still largely in quiet hermit mode, but have been making progress at resuming social contact. Little dude and I have a very busy summer that will go by in a flash.

This Thursday will mark two years since Amanda died. I still replay the events of that night in my head almost every day. I'd like to not. Sometimes it feels like forever ago, but sometimes I'm right there all over again.

Hey, can I ask for your help with something?

Two years ago, so many wonderful people told me that if there was anything they could do to help .... Well, I don't ask often. And I should've asked more. And I should ask more even now. I'm still not comfortable asking. But I'm asking for this.

I put out a vi…

Hard to believe it's been a year - but it has

One year ago today, we lost Amanda.

Time plays tricks on all of us. We can think "that was so long ago" at the same time as "it feels like yesterday." I run into this all the time with Amanda's death.

Yes, it feels like just yesterday, or last night, or later today, that Amanda collapsed in the kitchen and died after that long, brutal battle with ovarian cancer. But every day has ticked by at a pace like any other, and it's been a whole year of those days, with incremental and sometimes revolutionary change.

As I move about our home, it's hard to fathom that she's been gone a whole year.

Many of the decorative items she carefully arranged throughout the house are in the exact same place as the last time she touched them. She had the vision, not me, so I've been reluctant to disturb her decisions on what looks good and works.

In other places, I'm reminded that it's been at least a year since something's been in place. Like the fully-s…

Amanda's cancer has returned, just months after treatment

It's been two and a half months since the last update on this blog, and I was hoping to write one soon with lots of good news.

I was going to write about our recent trip to Jamaica, where we got to go snorkeling, bake in the sun and meet nice people from around Canada and the USA.
I was going to write about how Gordon is now 11 months old and exceeding all our hopes. He's a little dynamo who's not that little -- out of 100 babies his age, no normal one would be bigger. He's spectacular and we love him to bits.


I was going to write about putting the finishing touches on the Twin City Wrestling TV show that I've been working on for the past several months. It's just about ready to be sent in to the broadcaster, and it looks great.
I was going to write about the Canadian Cancer Society using our story in a very moving fundraising letter for their winter campaign in Nova Scotia.
I was going to write about Amanda's trip to Toronto to learn about how Prince Marga…