The human mind cannot hold two mutually contradictory ideas simultaneously.
Today I heard on the radio of a group that were beginning a running program. Their goal is to run 5kms after about 8 weeks, They are all still smokers. Of those who succeed in running 5kms in two months only 30% will still be smokers, or so I'm told. I can understand that. August 28, 2003 I paid $550 to enter the Ironman Canada Triathlon. I was a smoker.
I quit smoking Christmas Eve 2002 and I haven't touched a cigarette since, nor have I missed it.
Eight months later to the day, August 24, 2003, I finished my first Ironman Canada.Triathlon.
I have done it six times since then. August 29th 2010 will see my seventh Ironman Canada finish.
The key for me was simply deciding that I was not a smoker. It was inconsistent: smoking and running marathons, so I said: "I am not a smoker any longer." Either you are or you aren't.
To those who think it is more complicated or too difficult, I say, "You just haven't decided yet whether you are a smoker or not. If you can't make up your mind, then you are still a smoker. If you say to yourself that I want to quit but it's too hard, then you are confused. You cannot say "I want to quit" and then light up a smoke. Lighting up, says "I want to smoke." It's that simple."
My first run was about two blocks, then it became four blocks, then a kilometre, then 2K, soon it was, "how long could I run measured in half hours."
I'm not saying it was easy, just that it was simple, and simple because it was clear:
"I am not a smoker, therefore I do not smoke." No ambiguity.
I continue to run, bike and swim because it is fun and I want to be healthy. My ability to run a 10k at the drop of a hat or ride for two hours then do a day's work and ride home again, or go down to the lake and swim to the other side any day I feel inclined is my measure of good health. Try it. Do it. Enjoy it.
btw, I am 58 years old.