HUMOR – I have been running on the same trail for a few years now and have discovered a trend. At the beginning of every year, there is an influx of new, motivated runners. By the end of the first week the crowd appears worn out and angry. By the end of week two the crowd begins to dwindle. By the end of week three it is just me and that guy who runs in the black ski mask that scares the daylights out of me.
That is no joke. There is a man who runs on the same trail that I do who wears a ski mask on his daily run. I do not blame him. It is cold out there. And sometimes I want to hide my face when I run.
I am not the fastest runner in the world and generally my running gear consists of mismatched, holey sweatshirts and a beanie with a pompom on top. When I began my running career I was just recovering from having my third child. My running form looked less like that of a runner and more like that of a startled penguin – there was a lot of hasty waddling going on. Running in public was embarrassing and painful, but for some reason I persisted. Public humiliation is kind of my thing.
Here I am, five years later, and running has become a habit for me like brushing my teeth or forgetting that Wednesday is trash pickup day. If I can run, then any idiot with two legs and a minor tolerance for pain can be a runner. The trickiest part of making running a habit is not making excuses. Today I am going to debunk some common myths that get in the way of hitting the running trail.
Myth #1: I am too overweight to run.
I don’t belong out there. I feel out of place.
If God – or evolution, or whatever you believe in – did not intend for you to run, you would have fins and gills instead of two legs and a pair of lungs. You have the equipment. Of course, if God intended for you to run really fast he would have equipped you with cheetah legs and fewer ribs in your ribcage, so go easy on yourself. Anything worthwhile is going to be uncomfortable at first: running, wearing skinny jeans, voting Republican. You name it.
Myth #2: People will see me – and scoff.
Remember that every runner had to start somewhere. Do not worry about what the other runners on the trail think. Most of them are so focused on not barfing that they do not even notice you.
Myth #3: I don’t have time to run.
If you sit in an office on a padded chair for twelve hours every day and feel that you could never squeeze in a 30-minute jog, prepare to be debunked. I have recently discovered the TrekDesk. Although it sounds like the command post from which Captain Kirk would battle the Klingons, the TrekDesk is actually a desk at standing height with a treadmill where your padded chair should be. The idea is that instead of spending your days sitting on your duff and playing solitaire, you can spend your days jogging in place while playing solitaire.
If that level of coordination and multitasking is beyond your abilities, you can always make time the old fashioned way – by getting off of the internet or watching less television. But the TrekDesk is much more exciting in terms of galactic exploration.
Myth #4: It is too cold outside.
You are right. Myth number four is not a myth. It is much too cold outside for running. This is how I deal with this cold: I envision a hot shower at the end of my run. That, and eating an entire box of doughnuts. Other people deal with the cold by wearing a ski mask and scaring the daylights out of other runners. It is your call.
Elise Haynes chronicles family life in her blog Haynes Family Yard Sale. Any opinions stated in this column are her own and not necessarily those of St. George News.
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