After a post I did earlier this year, I received hundreds of powerful responses (one of which I have attached) and a request to repost the story.
I tried your dad's 30-20-10 concept a month after my last chemotherapy round. And guess what boet (brother), I am running a 5k this weekend. Yebo! - DA
My dad, Jac Romain, gave me a secret combination many years ago that unlocked the most amazing gift.
At that time I was not a workout person. In fact exercise did not appeal to me very much.
The secret was revealed when I was on a visit back home a couple of years after I moved to the United States to pursue my writing career.
On the last morning of that visit, my dad asked me to join him for a little run. As much as it appealed to me to spend the time with him, I declined and told him I wouldn’t make it around the block because I wasn't in running shape.
He put his hand on my shoulder and said, “C’mon, I’ll show you an easy way to get fit.”
And he did.
We went down to the Linksfield Primary School soccer fields and all it took was three numbers to unlock the ultimate cardio secret.
Walk for thirty seconds.
Jog comfortable for twenty seconds.
Then run a little faster for ten seconds.
If you are a beginner and not in great shape, start with 10 minute sessions 3 times a week. Do that for two weeks. (10 minutes is very doable even if you are totally out of shape.)
Then do a twenty minute session for two weeks. Then move on to a thirty minute session.
Little by little a little becomes a lot.
The results were amazing for me. The ten second run was hard at first but because it is followed by a thirty second walk I could catch my breath
30-20-10 can work even if you can’t or don’t like to run. The same principle applies to walking. Walk comfortably for thirty seconds. Walk briskly for twenty and then walk hard for the last ten. Rinse and repeat.
This can be applied to walking or jogging in place if you want to start getting in shape indoors.
Every time I have a layoff from running due to injury or illness, I use the 30-20-10 method to ramp up again. It works every time.
I work out almost every day and still use the 30-20-10 method twice a week as part of my exercise regimen.
I walk as fast as I can.
Jog at a moderate pace.
Then sprint my legs off for the ten seconds.
Different muscles are used for each section so the overall effect is really good for your legs and a great cardio workout.
Seriously, if you are sedentary but would love to get that heart pumping, start very slowly with a slow, medium, fast walk. I promise you will get results. Money back guaranteed.
I have my dad to thank for this simple fitness solution.
I have a very powerful memory of saying goodbye to my mom and dad at at the airport when I flew back to the United States after visiting a number of years after my dad first inspired me to get into shape.
We ran 10 kilometers together that morning and it was great.
My parents drove me to the airport later that day. At that time the old airport had a thick plate-glass divider between the people saying goodbye and the passengers on their way to passport control.
You could not hear each other but people gestured and mouthed their goodbyes through the glass before they went down the escalators and into the departures lounge.
Saying goodbye to my parents through that glass wall was always tough for me.
As I was mouthing ‘I love you’ through the glass wall that day, I put my hand on the glass and my dad did the same on the other side.
I will never forget our hands together, palm to palm, through the glass.
He smiled at me like he always did after our runs. His face is a frozen photograph in my mind.
Sadly, I was living overseas when he suddenly passed away and that last memory, of touching his hand through the glass, is how I will always remember him, his magnificent smile, and the love of running that he passed on to me through 30-20-10.
"The place where I grow ideas and create stories using words, illustrations and photographs." - Trevor Romain