I was never an athlete. I once tried out for the Volleyball team in Middle School. I got on the JV squad and during our first practice, I gloriously dove for a ball and wound up jamming my finger right into the gym floor. I walked around for the next month with my right middle finger in a splint in a perpetual “FU” to organized sport.
I was a cheerleader, briefly, also in Middle School. My father loves to announce, “Remember, Kim when you were a cheerleader and you guys got last place in that cheerleading competition?”
Yes, I remember, I sucked at that, too.
Running is kind of different, except for the sucking part, but I’m OK with that because the only one I disappoint is me, and I really don’t care about winning. Winning is only second to finishing, finishing what you start. That’s what appeals to me. Running is perpetual motion, forward facing, leaving it all out on the pavement. Ever thought, even briefly, in a moment of insanity, about running? Here’s why you should run:
- It’s cheap: I bought a popular work out CD collection a couple of years ago and used it for a month and that’s it. I have a treadmill in my dining room that has spilt milk on it because it’s sole purpose is to provide a place for my kids to sit and eat their cereal. Running essentially requires a pair of shoes. And a sports bra (for women and men with man-boobs). And some socks. Shorts and top in the summer. But that’s it. Unless you are my husband, who happens to have a running wardrobe for all seasons and about 10 pairs of shoes.
- It’s fun: Of course fun is relative. I think it’s fun, but I don’t get out much. It makes me smile. It doesn’t take much to make me happy. Maybe you are high maintenance and running would be the farthest thing from fun you could ever conceive. It’s OK to remove that stick from your rear end now. It would cause to much drag anyway and slow you down.
- It’s healthy: Exercise is good for you, I don’t care what you do. Running is exercise. People have the misconception that running is bad for your joints. This is just not true. Gravity on earth and a few too many extra pounds are bad for your joints. Running is good for them. It forces the body to strengthen and lubricate the joints and improves mobility with aging.
- It’s relaxing: I get into the zone. Running is methodical, rhythmic. You kind of get lulled into a trance. I find it relaxing. Plus there’s all these endorphins that everyone talks about, a natural high.
- Nature: My favorite place to run is in the woods on trails. This is probably NOT the safest. That’s why I run with mace, a whistle, and a giant bazooka. It’s just nice to get out in nature, smell the clean air, inhale a few bugs, it’s good for you, and a good source of protein.
- Camaraderie: There are other runners out there, bad ones just like you and me. If they look like they are in pain when they are running, then those are the ones you want to befriend, those are your people now. The ones with knee braces, taped up shins, limps, inhalers, these are good people and you probably still won’t beat them in a race.
- You can suck at it, too: Everyone can suck equally. When multiple people suck at something it can really be a bonding experience. To excel is human, to suck is divine or so the saying goes. When you are slow at running it really doesn’t matter as long as you get across the finish line, that’s the truly important part. Finishing what you start with a smile. You can puke later.
Have you been inspired? It starts with one step, so get going already. I’ll race ya!