This text comes from the stern archive and was first published on February 23, 2023.
Not all stories start glamorously. It should be said right away that a lot of it will be about sore muscles. But don't let that put you off. It's worth reading on. Especially now, when many people are dealing with the feeling that “you have to do something sporty again to get fit”. I know it too, I've been there too. Swim a few lengths in the swimming pool, play football again or go for a run - in the beginning the enthusiasm is great. But then disillusionment soon sets in. We know from good intentions, for example, that after three weeks the first people give up on their plans. After six months, only half are still there. And overall, between 70 and 90 percent forget their good intentions sooner or later.
Then the bastard won. Mine was something like the FC Bayern Munich of sports brakes. He led by double digits. At some point I stopped counting how many times my “everything will be different now” plans went overboard. Why did I even bother to do anything? Because I kept letting myself get infected when everyone around me was talking big. First marathon. Triathlon. Eat healthier. Live healthier. Sounded cool. I wanted to keep up, to become nothing less than a better person. As you can probably guess, things went terribly wrong. If you don't put your heart and soul into it, your new goals won't work. Reason alone and the knowledge “It’s healthy for you” won’t let anyone continue training.
At some point I got the hang of it and became a runner. But I had to struggle to find the ease of running, I admit that. Instead of trotting five kilometers along the Elbe as light as a feather at the beginning, I was completely out of breath after just three minutes. I stood in the middle of the sidewalk in Hamburg as defiant as a child and complained: "Then I'll die young, I don't care!" Turned around and strolled home.
The knot only broke for me when I admitted to myself how bad I was in shape. How really, really weak I was. I wasn't light on my feet, I stomped while panting. But who likes to admit that? But it's important because it took the pressure off for me. I went from walking to running. I increased slowly. Ten, eleven, twelve kilometers – that was the distance I later managed without any problems. That was pretty good, and if you had asked me if I thought I was fit, I would have said yes straight away. What I didn't have: strong muscles above my belly button. However, they are important to stabilize the body and protect very effectively against back pain.
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