It’s a brand new year! While I’m a firm believer in the idea that you can change your life any time of the year, I really love that New Years is a time that people all over are working to better their lives. Like I’ve said before, 2015 was a rough year for me, and I’m definitely glad to have it behind me. I’ve set a few tangible goals for myself in the coming year in hopes that they don’t fall to the wayside like other ambiguous resolutions I’ve made for myself like “lose weight” or “be more outgoing”. I can’t guarantee what will happen in this coming year, but I’m going to do my best to make 2016 better than 2015.
One of my big goals for the year is getting healthy. I realize that part of the reason 2015 was so rough for me was because times would get tough, and I would simply stop taking care of myself. I wouldn’t eat right, I wouldn’t exercise regularly, and my health would take a backseat to simply surviving. So this year, a big thing I’m focusing on is getting physically healthy as well as emotionally. Besides, if I’m gonna survive the zombie apocalypse, I need to remember rule number one:
While I take ballet twice a week and practice a few times a week at home, it really wasn’t getting me where I needed to be physically. I knew that I really needed to try to get running back into my life. The thing is, jogging really isn’t my favorite thing in the world…
There have been times in my life where I’ve gotten my body used to running regularly and I haven’t fully hated it, but having to work myself up to regular running from zero regular running SUCKS. So I decided to take it easy. I’m starting with running twice a week, and I’ll work up from there. Still, the key to reaching my goal of running regularly is, you know, actually running, so I needed to find some sort of running plan to keep me getting out there. Instead of trying a couch-to-5k program or just winging a running program, I decided the most natural thing for me to do was bring my love of the undead together with my desire to get healthy. With that in mind, I took on the role of Runner 5 in the running app, Zombies, Run!
I’m sure you’ve heard of this app. People talk about it all the time when a geek mentions a desire to start running. People love this app, and if you look through reviews of the app, it says that users have been so enthralled with the episodes that they actually forgot they were running. So did I forget I was running? Well…
Not so much. I was keenly aware that I was running. The episodes are interesting and exciting, but there is a lot of time where you’re just listening to your own music, with an occasional notification that you’ve picked up an item. However, the story was exciting enough to keep me interested in the run, and I kept going. I will admit that there is one time during the run that I was focused more on the mission than the work of running, and that was during intense zombie chase. The app will let you know when a zombie is right behind you, and you have to sprint to get away from the zombie. If you can’t lose the zombie, you’ll have to drop one of your items to distract it. I couldn’t help but run my hardest when that happened, regardless of how tired I was. I guess that’s because I’ve seen too many zombie films. I may not be a great runner yet, but I know enough about the undead to know I’m definitely not sticking around when a zombie is close.
This app has been able to help me find a new way to look at running. Even though I believe people are 100% full of crap when they say the app makes them forget they’re working out, the app does make your run feel enough like a game to make it fun. The app is even holding a virtual race this spring that I’m registered and training for. The idea of an actual race–getting up early, running an unfamiliar route, being jostled about by strangers–has always seemed intimidating and unpleasant to me. But a virtual race like this is something I can definitely handle. I’m actually quite excited about it.
I’m realizing that the way to get healthy and happy is to figure out what I need to be successful–and it’s okay if it doesn’t look the same as everyone else. Some people can be motivated to run by numbers on a scale, and some just have a weird, innate desire to
physically torture themselves go on long runs. Others of us need to pretend that we’re running for our lives from a pack of flesh-hungry members of the undead, but that’s okay too. 2016 is all about finding what works for me and what makes me happy and healthy. Running away from zombies just happens to be one of those things.
What changes are you making in 2016? Do you use any running apps? Have you used Zombies, Run! before? If you have, let me know if you’re registered for the 2016 spring race in the comments!