This is a post about running. I thought you would find it interesting because my jokes about not running marathons are always so well-received. It's true. I don't run marathons or any version of Ks (half, 3, 5, or 50) and I don't really want to and probably won't ever. But who knows. That could change. I don't have anything against people who run ks and marathons. I think it's a respectable goal for people. It's just not my goal. The reason it's not my goal is that I don't like to be around people who are exercising or wearing exercise clothes or tight stretchy bands of any kind or sweating. I also have no desire to exercise, jog, run, or bend in front of other people. I can barely tolerate it in the privacy of my own home. I also don't want to worry about chafing or toenails blackening and falling off. I am already losing the battle between me and my feet for an acceptable aesthetic. But I want you to know I will virtually cheer for you and "like" your runs on Facebook. Please know that. My son joined the cross country team this year. I love to clap for people in races and give them Gatorade!
True story: Yesterday morning I was out and about and I saw a tall, fit man jogging down the street decked out in running clothes and all manner of running gear and my initial visceral reaction was utter repulsion. I don't know why. I just think it's gross. Surely people don't want to see ME out there. Certainly not.
But I'm not completely sedentary. I know you have to exercise to be healthy. It's not like I don't know that. And I want to be healthy. Quick body image overview: If I'm completely honest, I think I am on the positive side of neutral, looks-wise. I think I am a little fat but I truly don't think about it that often until I read blogs or statuses of people who are obviously thinner than me who think they need to lose weight. And then I remember. But I do what I want to do and have enough energy for it. Of course, what I want to do is lay in bed and read but that's not the point, is it? The point is that my little bit of fatness doesn't hold me back. I can carry really heavy things and move furniture up stairs by myself.
Last year I went to an Education Week class about health and fitness. It was kind of aimed at seniors. I got a great perspective from this class. I decided my main fitness goal is to decrease morbidity. I didn't know what the morbidity rate meant but the instructor told us (after setting his medicine ball down and bicycling his legs in the air) it's days of sickness. So there's death (mortality) and there's sickness (morbidity.) Obviously I don't want to die anytime soon, although I admit that the thought of living another 40 years is a little exhausting. But I do want to be healthy until I die. I think we can all agree that the worst thing would be to become fat, sick, and incapacitated for a really long time before you die. Talk about embarrassing! I do not want that.
So I do try to run on my treadmill. I try to run 2 miles a day or 30 minutes or until I have to wipe Ellen's bum. Even then, I cheat by leaving the treadmill going. (It totally thinks I'm still running! Hahahahahahha. Ah, hahahha. Jokes on you, treadmill!) I always hate it. It never feels good during or after. I don't get endorphins, I don't lose weight, I don't get energy, I still get migraines--in fact, I often get what I like to think of as "exertion headaches" when I run or exert myself in any way but Lisa told me they are allergies (and she's right). I'm sure you are thinking that I need to run more in order to get benefits. Well, no doy. I should read Born to Run and try running barefoot? Yes, yes. But I ran barefoot on the treadmill once because I was too lazy to get my shoes on and I had blisters for weeks. Also, I believe that I should read Born to Run and that it is good but why would I? Especially when I could be starting the George Martin series or Ready Player One or, frankly, eating a ding dong and staring at the wall. I'm sure I'd be better at running if I did it more. But I don't want to be good at running. It is at odds with so many things in my life. For example, I like to get up and shower, but if I shower I don't want to run. And if I run I can't shower before taking kids to school and on and on my life is so hard. But. I do my small part to decrease morbidity so bully for me.
Today I put my music on shuffle--my treadmill plays my music and even has a fan! (I still hate it.) Everybody Hurts by REM came on. This is both the best and the worst song to listen to while running. In many ways it is the most demotivating song ever because it is slow and reminds you about pain and suffering and how long the day is. But it is also encouraging because it tells you to hang in there as it plods along. I love that song. As I "ran" at 4 mph I imagined Michael Stipe sitting sideways out of a van with the door open singing to me and dropping roses on my path. (Good thing I'm not barefoot!) Then I imagined him just walking along beside me feeding me a cup of water with one hand and reading tweets on his phone with the other. It was discouraging but when I was done I had burned 165 calories! That's, like, half a ding dong! After 20 minutes I was sure I'd had enough but I hung on. Then I felt like letting go so (against Michael Stipe's advice) I let go. And went into my "cool down." Sometimes my whole "work out" is a "cool down." No matter how long I run or how fast I go, my entire "work out" is never more than the cross country team's warm up lap. That's life. Everybody hurts. Take comfort in your friends. Don't throw your hand. Sometimes everything is wrong. Now it's time to sing along.
When you read this, don't picture me running.