Birth of an Idea

Do you ever wonder how an idea comes into your brain? Once it’s there it is up to you whether or not you proceed to the next step.

Like, “I want to learn to knit” is the idea. And you head off to Knit Now for a lesson on knitting a hat.

Over the last couple of months two incredible ideas have arrived in my brain.

The first … well, it was directly related to an article I read in What’s Up Yukon.

Lee Randell of Peak Fitness wrote about eliminating sugar from your diet for a week.

She wondered if the reader was working hard at the gym but not seeing results. She encouraged the reader not to buy diet gimmicks, but to eliminate sugar.

Well, I had been walking all winter at the Canada Games Centre, and my weight was respectable. But I wanted to lose a few pounds. I was feeling pudgy! So the idea became a plan.

My husband Roger and I scoured the grocery shelves for products with no sugar. At first it seemed impossible. In the end we found a good variety of food: my favourite oatmeal porridge in the morning, popcorn, avocado, brown rice. One of my favourite treats is popcorn so I was very happy!

And salads. I included five to seven servings of vegetables in my daily food intake. My husband found Almond Breeze beverage, so I could soften coffee’s harshness.

I ate lots of good food, but was able to lose four pounds. I felt great. The next week I added fruit to my diet, but not refined sugar products. I was glad I took the idea to the next level.

The second idea … well, that was even more amazing. I still wonder where the idea came from and that I proceeded to the next level. I signed up for the Run for Mum walk/run clinic.

I hate running – or at least I thought I did. Like the little kid presented with broccoli for the first time.

“I hate broccoli,” the kid says. No, you have never tried it; how can you hate it?

The truth is, I had really never tried running. I have been a walker since I was 18. Back then I could walk a mile in eight minutes. Pretty good when you consider the world’s top runners were just breaking the 4-minute mile.

Last September I walked from Drymen to Pitlochry in Scotland. Roger, my sister Marie and I walked the 126 km of Rob Roy Way over a 7-day period.

But running?

At the first meeting at Sport Yukon I found a bunch of eager people: the beginning runners; the advanced runners; the walkers. And encouraging leaders.

Novice runners were grouped with Rodney. The program he picked this year took us on a gradual increase of running time versus walking time.

Week One found us walking for five minutes then running for one minute; walking four minutes, running one minute, ending with a 5-minute walk. In total we ran for five minutes over a 26-minute time frame.

By Week Six we were running for 6-minute intervals and walking for one minute. We ran four 6-minute times with 1-minute walks in between for a total of 32 minutes.

By Week Eight we will be running 10-minute intervals.

I am amazed at my body – how the gradual building of running time over walking time works. We were encouraged to run two more times during the week before the next run increment.

It is like building blocks: every run adding to your cardio ability; every run strengthening your leg muscles.

I am having fun! My practice runs have been Thursday and Saturday mornings.

Because trails are still a bit mucky out where I live, I have run down the highway! But I can see ducks in the water-filled ditches and hear the honking of swans on Shallow Bay. I smell the sweet musk odor of a fox.

I have been able to keep the weight off that I lost with the no-sugar idea. And I am slipping into summer pants with ease. I keep track of how long that endorphin-induced happy feeling lasts on my running days. I can hardly believe my success.

I am 58 years old. People my age get mixed messages from the media – sometimes I figure I should be looking for a comfy rocking chair for my last days.

But those recent ideas falling into my brain are helping me. As I move into later years, I will be healthy.

I guess my thoughts are for all women. No matter what kind of idea comes into your brain, take it to the next level. Give it a try. Go for it!

Your amazement at yourself will fill you with happiness!

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