It wasn't until my late 20s I discovered that not only did I need to be active for my physical and emotional well being, but I also discovered sports I love. Climbing and yoga are my passions and I even learned to love the gym - the feeling of slowly improving session by session and the warm ache of muscles after a good work out.
However in all that time I have been gymming there was one machine I avoided - the running machine. The very thought of it took me back to the compulsory twice yearly cross country at school. On cross country days, it always seemed to be raining and muddy underfoot. I'd trail back to school half an hour after the front runners wheezing, legs aching; cold, wet and miserable. So in all my time of gymming I have embraced the other cardio machines with a vigour, EXCEPT the running machine.
This year I set one of my personal goals to overcome my hatred of the running machine. I have done a couple of 5 minutes warm up on it, but today I decided to make an effort to conquer it properly. So after doing 20 minutes on a crosstrainer, my usual series of weight machines and free weights I plucked up my courage and jumped aboard.
Running for 5 minutes and then slowing it down to a fast walk for a minute and then run for another 5 minutes. I did 1.5 km in 15 minutes.
Its safe to say that Paula Radcliffe is not going to feel threatened anytime soon, but not bad for a kid whose highest place in cross country at school was third from last!
I have taken that step and no doubt I can now improve it - run for longer, run quicker, improve my pace. And its nice to feel I have begun to conquer that demon!