I am never closer to death than I am in the 25th minute of a 30 minute run. I look at the people on the treadmills around me and they actually seem happy. Dancing along in their flattering workout clothes, sweating just enough to look glistening and invigorated, it’s a sickening display. Especially when I glance at the mirror in front of me and wonder why no one has called the cops. Saggy sweatpants, a worn out t-shirt from a blood drive that I definitely never donated to, and a look on my face that says “at least when the heart attack comes, I’ll be allowed to stop moving my legs.” Seriously, every time I finish jogging, I’m shocked not to see Noah Wyle standing behind me with paddles in his hands yelling “Clear!”
But other people genuinely seem to enjoy this running nonsense. Often times they’ll do it with friends, make a little activity out of it. To me, that’s like bringing a witness with you to commit a murder. Why would I want anyone to watch the atrocity of fitness that I’m about to commit, much less a person I know and care about? I don’t want people to see me work out, I don’t even want to see it myself. I’d run in a windowless room with the lights out if I could. Solitary confinement: that’s my idea of the perfect gym. But when I’m finished, when I’m done with my daily death march, I’m happy. Both because I’m still alive, and because I’m never furthest from the next jog then the minute after I’ve finished the current one. For the next 24 hours I can be fitness free, and that makes me smile. But the happiness doesn’t last. Because the second I smile, the minute I show actually human joy, another fellow runner, one of the glistening gorgeous few, will walk up to me and say “Runner’s high, right man? It’s the best.” And then everything’s ruined.
There’s no greater exaggeration known to man than that of the runner’s high. Despite my complete hatred for the activity, I’ve been a regular runner for over 10 years. I’ve also been a regular enjoyer of highs over that same period, so I can assure you, the two have very little in common. “Oh Look, All The Treadmills Are Taken, So Now I Have An Excuse Not To Run Today High”…that totally exists. Or the “I’m So Hungover That I Think I’d Puke If I Tried To Run High”…definitely a thing. But the elation of cardio? Give me a break. Satisfaction, sure, but calling it a high is a insult to everything else that makes you totally high. So, in the hope that no jogger ever walks up to me after another workout again, here is a list of many highs that are better than a runner’s high.
- Tom Selleck Moustache High (the little jolt you get just from seeing Selleck’s Stache)
- Sweet, There’s Still Vodka Left in This Bottle High
- Getting a New Release from Netflix that You Totally Expected to Wait Weeks For High
- Marijuana, Cocaine, Heroin, Vicodin, Percocet, Alcohol, Angel Dust, PCP, Opium, Ecstasy, Acid, Shrooms and Meth High (Note that we did not include crack. Running is actually better than crack. Crack is not something humans should do.)
- Farting in Public and Not Getting Caught High
- Hey, That Guy’s Still Alive High (when you see an actor in a movie that you could’ve sworn was dead.)
- Unexpected Voicemail High (when you call someone you really didn’t want to talk to and magically get their voicemail.)
- Eating Something Off the Salad Bar at Wholefoods without Getting Caught High
- Moving a Couch High (similar in effort to the Runner’s High, except your couch is in a new place. Tangible progress)
- Meeting an Internet Date That Actually Looks Like Their Pictures High (Particularly potent for OKCupid users, due to rarity of occurrence)
and last but not least…
- Open Window High (Yes, opening a window in a stuffy room actually gets you more high that going for a run)
And of course there are many, many more. So we never have to hear about Runner’s High again, right?