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What running taught me about life

What running taught me about life by rihannsu

It's okay to go through life utterly without grace—just going through it is enough.

When I run, I have no grace whatsoever. I waddle like an angry pregnant duck. If I'm ever forced to look at a video of me running, I'll hide under the table. But hey, I feel terrific when it's over, and I'm getting some amazing cardio exercise.

I wish I could say that I learned the value of humility (also known as completely sucking at somethng) by running. Actually, I learned it when I discovered that I have no talent whatsoever at playing tennis. Running just confirmed this discovery. For a perfectionist, having to admit that I have no athletic bones in my body is a truly humbling experience. But I love doing it. And at least I can't be ultra obnoxiously competitive (as I usually get when trying something new, nursing this hope that I'll turn out to be some unknown latent talent that was just bursting to be unleashed with the first lesson) when I know there's no hope in being the best. Ever.

Any amount of effort is good for me.

It's really okay to just run (or walk) for fifteen minutes. No runner will go out her way to jump out of her SUV, point at you and laugh her head off. And if your body can only stand fifteen minutes at the beginning, don't try to be a weekend warrior. There's plenty of time for reflection and regret in the ER.

It's okay to go tiny step by step- really. Pushing myself to do too much too soon just burns me out. It stops being an accomplishment and I lose a sense of wonder in small things. And it stops being fun.

I like warm weather better.

When I moved out of Texas temporarily, I was excited about running in cool or cold weather. I figured it would be better just for the reduction in sweat. I would finally get a chance to wear those cute little caps and running tights.

Ah, no as it turns out. I'm much happier sweating my hair out in August in Austin. At least there's no black ice to slip on. Turns out the body does acclimate and you really can turn into a wimp by moving south. And you should probably stay there once that happens.

Dry wicking is the way to go.

I honestly thought that the dry wicking thing was just a way to part me with my money. One sweaty back stuck to a cotton t-shirt taught me that I was wrong. Very wrong. I was also unaware that sweating on a cold day can feel just as weird. Dry wicking effectively eliminates that problem.

So apparently not every “technological breakthrough” is a scam. Dry wick is sold at places and times other than 3am infomercials.

Just by going out there, I am a runner.

I always feel like such a poser when I go out to run. I think it stems from the whole “I have no athletic bone in my body” thing. But even as the greenest beginner with no experience whatsoever, I can still call myself a runner. Just running makes me a runner—I don't even have to join an association to become one.

And when I started, I expected another runner to strike up a long conversation that featured terms like “negative splits,” or “long runs.” I planned on countering with “I just managed to run for a whole thirty minutes!” with a smile. So far I've only encountered civilians who are impressed just with the “I'm a runner” bit.

If I completely fall off of the wagon, there's really no shame in starting right back at square one.

I lost count of how many times I had to quit midway through starting a running program (usually during about week 3) due to injuries, moving, sickness or inclimate weather. Having to start back at week one going for two minutes running followed by three minutes walking is annoying and humiliating, but I stuck with it because getting a regular running program was important to me.

Starting back at point zero isn't the end of the world. I can build my way back up and probably enjoy the process of building myself back up. A setback isn't the same thing as a finale.

  • Currently 4.0/5 Stars.
Posted by: rihannsu on Jan 10, 2011 | Comments: 4 | Visits: 11968 | Posted in: Spirit


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Traxee user runnerchick I love running and always will, even if I am the slowest in town at times, but not doing anything is way worse!! I finally got over all my previous issues, but now a new one on the "horizon" and I am writing, so I don't go crazy!I noticed some dizzy spells after runs and spinning workouts and just kept ignoring it (blamed it on summer heat, hydration, etc) But my blood pressure was very low, so I started logging my resting heart rate in am's and saw a couple of dr's to seek advise, but you know they look at me and just said, oh you runners just over do and runners just have a low rate.So, I let that go, and now saw a cardio spec. 3 days ago and he informed me I could have (early) sick sinus syndrome, what the...... is that? Well, I looked it up and to my surprise I found an awful lot of runners in that forum!! Some of them 30+ year runners, I could not believe my eyes. Our heart has a natural pacemaker inside that can become either too relaxed or working not working properly(not beating with rythym of the heart). I don't know which condition I have yet, but will have to deal with a heartmonitor for 30 days! And another test and I will know what's going on, but he mentioned, fitting me with a pacemaker, I almost fainted and cryied my eyes out all the way home and thinking "why me"!!! I wanted to run the half in Dec 15th this year and now I have to consider this condition, and the worst part, what is everybody going to say, oh she used to be fit and such a good runner, look at her now! Amazingly, there are runners (aka marathoners) who are running with pacemakers as I have read on the web. Sorry to be so lenghthy, but I am so frustrated, shocked, mad, dissapointed and scared. Maybe someone has gone thru this and will read it and has some good advise for me. I like what L.Armstrong said:Pain is temporary, quitting is permanent! I like that a lot. Thanks for listening ya'll and keep running.
Posted by: runnerchick on Nov 13, 2011 at 09:34 PM
Traxee user bmoore You're probably right - and gives you solid faith that even when you're back at "point zero" you're gonna come back. That's a great asset especially when injury comes calling.
Posted by: bmoore on Jan 11, 2011 at 03:42 PM
Traxee user rihannsu I think the fact that I'm so bad at it and I have to push extra hard means it's better exercise for me.
Posted by: rihannsu on Jan 11, 2011 at 11:45 AM
Traxee user bmoore I just love this post. I SO know that whole poser thing. Somehow I just never have come to think of myself as an athlete even though I've been doing it for nearly 20 years. ;-) I've always thought that it takes sooo much more courage to go out and do something when you know you'll never be the best...or even close. I guess that's where doing it for a myriad of other reasons comes in, eh?
Posted by: bmoore on Jan 11, 2011 at 09:41 AM
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