You think I would be over it by now.
After all, I am already overwhelmed, overtired, and overweight – not to mention over 40, but for some reason I can’t seem to let it go.
What you should know is that I am by no means an athlete. I wasn’t on any track team, and I despised cross-country running during gym class. Actually, I only started to pick it up when I was about 33, and I decided I was too old for women’s soccer. (Those 18 year old strikers are meaner than you’d think!)
If I’m honest with myself I have pretty much dreaded every run I’ve ever attempted in my life…
So why do I keep it ?
Fitness – This might make sense for some, but not for me. For most of my life, exercise has been a means to an end. In other words, since I attended that 60 minute spin class, it is like that eclair I ate last night never happened. Ok two eclairs….
Weight Loss – I don’t think I have to re-explain myself on this one. Let me just say that in 2011 I trained over 4 months, and ran a half marathon – total weight loss: 0 pounds.
I have never had a problem eating up any extra calories that I find lying around. 🙂
Bucket List – I’ve done this. As I mentioned I ran a half marathon in 2011. It was on my list of life goals that I created when I was 16. So I did it – check mark! The trouble is you can only use this excuse the first time.
Social – I like walking with friends or family, but I don’t run with people. If I could actually carry on a conversation while running I might try it. I am happy to attend a run with friends or family provided they agree to wait for me since I tend to be near the end of the pack – save the best for last!
Pride – When I was pushing distance for my half-marathon training (this is when you try to run farther than you ever have before) a lady passed me who was power walking. Did you catch that? She was WALKING; I was RUNNING, and she passed me.
Glory – If you have never been to a marathon event before you may not be aware that some people do it so often that the race itself has lost some of its cache. So, to make the event more interesting they dress up like wonder women, or superman, etc. On the day of my half marathon race a man in a purple dinosaur costume was near me at the start line. This guy’s finishing time was 15 minutes faster than my own race time!
Mental Health – Yes, running does help to ‘run off the crazy’, but you should know that the effect is only temporary. The crazy returns, and I don’t know about you, but there are some day that there isn’t a run far enough for my crazy. Besides I find that in a pinch, a good pizza or tub of ice cream can also provide similar relief for temporary insanity.
Fashion – OK I admit it. I like fancy workout clothing. Unfortunately it can only do so much for you. If you have participated in races you will know that during most of them a professional photographer will take pictures of you while you are running – it is a money maker for the race. The pictures don’t lie. Let’s just say there is only so much costly apparel can do for you when you have mid-age sag, and you have been killing yourself for a few hours.
Awesomeness – I would be lying if I didn’t say that running a half marathon was an incredible experience. The actual race was very inspirational.
The one I ran in had these cheer sections where groups of people would gather along the race route. They were holding up encouraging signs and shouting words of encouragement. Since your name was on your race bib some people would even call you by name, or come by for a high five.
As I was leaving Chinatown I rounded a corner to find another cheer section. It was just like all the others except one thing was different – everyone in that section was in a wheelchair.
I have tell you – I wasn’t expecting that so I had to compose myself for a minute after I ran by that enthusiastic crowd.
I find that for many people their initial feeling when they seen another person’s success is not positive. Sometimes when I am witnessing someone else’s victory it stirs feelings of bitterness or resentment rather than joy for that person’s accomplishment. I believe these feelings of envy are a common sentiment in our competitive world. Your gain is my loss.
It is hard not to be impressed by people who are sincerely happy for other’s success – especially if that success is not possible for them, or at least they could not achieve success by the same means.
There are so many things in life we are prevented from doing through no fault of our own. Running is something I can do, so I do it. Not well, but it doesn’t matter.
Whenever I am having a hard time running I try to remember that cheering section. Maybe I will never have an impressive time or noteworthy physique, but for me that was never the point.
I have finally decided that I still run because nobody has stopped me yet, so I am not about to stop myself.
It is supposed to be hard…..It is the hard that makes it great. Unknown
If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon. K. Switzer