I’ve tried to run for exercise sporadically over the years, and after every single valiant attempt I always think the same thing (I would say it out loud but I’m too busy trying to breathe):
I would rather have my fingernails ripped out than go do that again.
Well, okay, maybe variations of the same concept. You get the idea.
I hate running. Unfortunately, it’s the most readily available type of exercise anytime I need to be able to literally put on my Adidas and a beat-up baseball cap and just go. So why write about the bane of my existence? Probably because the thought of me running for exercise makes such an easy target for a bad joke and a good laugh.
I’ve tried setting time/distance goals for myself and they never work. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I hit my mark because I am my own arch-rival. You should see me cooking with myself, it’s like a bomb went off in Hell’s kitchen. There will be blood. I just finish the run convinced that I’m experiencing the tragic final minutes of a life cut short.
A good life goal is the only thing that motivates me to crank out anything better than an eight-minute mile or two. Visualization helps me forget that I’m wheezing my way around a tobacco field in small-town North Carolina.
Does anyone else see the irony?
I finally hit a sub-six-minute mile in the days before my college graduation, and I don’t think that was a coincidence. I think I was trying to literally run away from finals. These days, I want to pull an ice hockey hip-check on my faster personal enemy, but she’s already sailed past me.
What I can do is learn a few lessons from a younger, speedier self. That girl had goals, and ridiculously shocking amounts of optimism that she would click her high heels together three times and make it all happen. Just like I’m not as fast as she was, I’m also not as, well, dumb. But I think it’s still a good idea to put the running shoes on and go find a happy medium.