The 100 Days Challenge

20 years ago, almost exactly, I bought my first pair of running shoes. I had been doing a little biking that Fall and was going on a trip and wanted to keep exercising. So, running seemed like the way to go.

Something magic happened on that very first run. I liked it. I was awful, but, I liked what it felt like to move my body with my own two feet. The bicycling was fun, but running – OK, mostly walking with a little running – was better. It was simpler, it was more honest, and it was real.

Those early months of running were filled with the kind of mistakes that many new runners make. I tried to run too fast [someone told me that anything slower than a 7 minute pace was jogging, and I didn’t want to be a jogger] I tried to run too far. [if 3 miles 3 days a week is good, then 6 miles 6 days a week is 4 times better, right?] I wore the wrong shoes [at least a half size too small] I wore the wrong clothes [you mean my old cotton sweatpants aren’t the perfect running apparel] but I was having the best time of my life.

I can’t explain it now anymore than I could explain it then. My friends thought that I had lost my mind. My family was ready to have me committed. No one understood how, as an overweight, pack-and-a-half-a-day smoker I could enjoy getting out there and huffing and puffing every day. But I did.

This year I’m inviting everyone to join me in discovering the joy of movement. The key is movement. I’m not talking about running, or walking, or cycling. I’m not even talking about exercising. I’m talking about movement. Intentional movement.

Beginning January 1, 2011, the challenge is to move – intentionally – for 30 minutes a day for 100 days in a row. It doesn’t matter what it is. You can move for 30 minutes once, 15 minutes twice, or 10 minutes three times. You can park your car and walk around the block on your way to work. You can take your dog out for a walk. You can dance, or skip, or do whatever makes YOU happy. You just need to move.

If you go to my Facebook page [click here] , become my friend, and look under the “Events” button you can sign up for the challenge. Or, you can go to the Facebook John “the Penguin” Bingham fan page [click here] and look under the Events banner.

It’s going to be fun.  I promise you that.

Waddle on, friends

John “the Penguin” Bingham, Competitor Magazine columnist
Author, The Courage to Start, No Need for Speed, Marathoning for Mortals and Running for Mortals.

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