Taking up Running


In the beginning of all things we tend to feel quite silly. Picture me, chubby girl, jogging through my neighborhood. I’ve got the shoes, the shorts, a water bottle and of course the required music blaring in my ears. At this moment, my pace is nothing to brag about. My GPS phone app clocks me at 5 K  in 57 minutes. And that’s estimating that my last 30 minutes will be the same as my first, which they won’t. By the time I get a mile and a half (about 2.4 K) of walking and running in, I’m sweating like crazy. My calves burn and my knees are weak. I am no picture of athletic prowess.

Of course, it won’t always be like that. Eventually I’ll build up enough muscle to finish in half that time. Hopefully I won’t be as sore. My stride will look stronger and my run will be more fluid. I picture myself like as a leaner version than now, running like a gazelle through the neighborhood. Onlookers will be in awe of my agility. I wonder if I should take my hair out of the ponytail. Hmmm, then the wind could blow it as I run. I would also be in color coordinated clothing. Shoes, shorts and tank top all coordinated. Yeah, I look like I belong.

It’s humorous because when I started with my old tank top and 10-year-old shorts and shoes, I felt awkward. Pretending. I’m pretending to be a runner because it’s cool. It’s trendy now. And I hate being trendy. Aside: Running vs jogging. The two are technically the same. Jogging doesn’t become running at a certain pace. Jogging is just an uncool word for some people. I’m not sure where this started except possibly in the marathon running group. You can’t jog a marathon, right? When I looked up the terms in all the online running blogs I could find, no one was sure of the difference between the two. Jogging tends to imply you are trotting along through the neighborhood with no intent to do any more, as opposed to running. In the case of running people tend to mean that they are training for a run or a marathon. But that’s all speculative.

As I was saying at the start, when I started running, while wearing my out of date shoes, I felt awkward. So to legitimize myself I purchased some official running gear. The funny thing about that is the models displaying running shorts and tanks are 5’10” and 100 pounds. Their BMI is probably 5%. I know, I know, it’s really 14% and I’m exaggerating, but they are skinny girls. My BMI is a lot higher than that. All those chubs on my body are well-earned. It took a lot of cookies and pints of ice cream to build them. My BMI is nicely bumped over the 25% that is the line to cross to become unlovely and overweight. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/obesity/BMI/bmicalc.htm

Now that I have my running gear, at least I know the shoes are not going to injure my knees and shins. With time, I will develop the strange quirks that go with being a runner. I don’t know if I will ever feel authentic because my mental picture is so hero-i-fied that no true person could meet it. I think we do that with a lot of things. Even being an adult, which is something that comes with age and we don’t truly earn, the mere act of not dying brings us to it, we can feel like we are a fake. In the beginning of every attempt, we step one foot in front of the other until we’ve trained our senses to become familiar with our new task. Adulthood, parenting, hobbies and vocations are all that way. It always feels strained. Not quite right. Awkward. Like everyone sees your stumbling and fumbling. That actually makes me smile. Even though I may not reach gazelle-like grace in my running, eventually even I can become comfortable jogging and running about the neighborhood dressed in trendy shorts and bright-colored shoes.

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Running a day in my shoes

I went running yesterday. It looks so easy when you see someone else doing it. Let’s just say I thought I was dying there for several minutes. I was only active for 30 minutes but the after-effects were felt for a couple of hours. It’s crazy because running, like other activities, seems so harmless and painless, until you’re running in your own shoes.

Reality check. I can give advice. Dish it out cold and with a full set of instructions. Because I know. Like saving money. At the end of the month I have big plans. I’m NOT going to spend money so freely the next month. I’m going to budget and put more into savings! That’s right about the time I get the clever idea that I will wash my car and my kitchen will stay clean. Yep, I have grandiose plans.

While I was going up the hill, I kept thinking, this is what it’s like when reality hits the road. It’s a good thing. It helps me to filter through my whims. I can decide what it is that I really want, not just the fun ideas from Pinterest or the things the commercials tell me I want. Reality checks help me see through the romanticized life.

A perfect marriage is one of those things. I knew of a couple which from all appearances were wonderful together. Both entrepreneurs and similar lifestyles. They traveled worldwide together. It all seemed so beautifully romantic and perfect. But it wasn’t  They are now going their separate ways. If you are working on a marriage and both parties are cooperative you can come to a workable solution. You live and alter your expectations continually until you have a realistic livable life.

Life feels different when you’re stepping out to do your version. No matter how many books and videos you’ve seen it never feels like you think it should. You may know how you want it to look. As you walk out your front door, when you are out there alone, you can feel naked and vulnerable. It seems everyone is looking at you and judging you. All of your doubts are exposed and your ineptness is showing. But it’s not. Truly other people rarely notice your flaws in the way that you do. Mostly we rarely notice anyone but ourselves. When we do see them, we see them as “that other person” and we get back to our own life. 

There’s a reality check in actually doing an activity. So as I was walking up the hill struggling to get my breath, cars passed and kept on driving. I continued on in my introspective way, knowing what it feels like to begin running. To begin a process and work it through. No one was critiquing my stance or pace. I was simply someone walking up a steep hill. I do enjoy the running, just not the wheezing and the hills. I will look for some alternate running places and maybe invest in some better shoes. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=reality%20check

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