My history of running:
In the dark days of elementary school and junior high (middle school, in the Midwest) there were always the fat kids. While the athletic kids were out wooing the ladies in the arenas of football, basketball, baseball, and other “traditional” sports, the fat kids were left to the one impressive skill no one else would touch…eating contests. Physical activity wasn’t my friend back in those days, for I was the quintessential fat kid. Always last to cross the finish line, always first to apply the anti-chafing powder.
In gym class there were several different units (i.e. baseball, dodge ball, wrestling, etc) and the most dreaded of units was the running unit. Those were the fateful days when we would trudge out to the track and were forced to run around it several times. I never made it very far…never completed the mile without walking a majority of the way. No matter how the gym coach yelled, I would not exert myself in the arena of running. After I finished, I always felt like a wheezing old man. It was on those dusty tracks that I uttered my first profanities.
As time went by, gym became but a memory and I assumed my role as “academic nerd boy.” No matter how much prodding there was to join the football team (and there was a lot of prodding), I would faithfully draw on my most reliable of excuses…”Hey man, I’m a thinking man…no sports centered around savage beatings for me.” I was still a hefty dude and running was still my bane. I ran only to get out of the way of speeding buses and to get to the front of the buffet line.
Fast forward to this past January. I decide (with the help of my faithful friend Greg) that it’s time to lose some weight. I go on this crazy diet and start walking every morning. It’s only a matter of time before I turn to my old nemesis, running, to speed the process of weight loss. It starts slow. I don’t run very far. It doesn’t quite seem to suck as much as I remember. I keep at it, enjoyment growing with each outing. Running’s not so bad.
My enjoyment of running culminates in one exquisite evening…the evening when I drank four cups of coffee at Perkins and then didn’t sleep for 40 hours. Much was accomplished in that caffeinated frenzy…I read a novel, watched a great movie (Il Postino), watched the sun rise from the hot tub, watched both “Martha Stewart Living” and “The Price Is Right”, and ran farther than I had ever run before. That night I ran and ran and ran and ran. It was then that I knew I would be a runner.
I then stopped running for a month and a half. It was too hot, I couldn’t get up early enough, and I certainly wasn’t going to stay up 40 hours very often. When I started running again, I hated it. Now I go with TJ and I hate it a little more every time. It’s crap. I feel all out of breath, my knees start to buckle, I get side aches, and tonight I felt like I was going to blow chunks all over Tempe Beach Park (maybe it was the hearty Sonic meal I had at lunch).
Running sucks and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.