How to Not Hate Running
You just need feet and chatty kids.
Saddle up, Horsemen. I've taken up running, so clearly the apocalypse is upon us.
That’s “running” by its loosest definition, meaning I’m working up to a 5K at a blistering 14-minute-mile pace. But I’m three weeks in and haven’t collapsed on the sidewalk yet, which represents big progress for me.
I’ve always felt running wasn’t the right exercise for me; like I was just built wrong for it. As a kid, I had a lopsided gait that inspired my parents to see a specialist. He declared my right leg shorter than my left leg, gave me an impressive array of orthotics to keep my leg correctly positioned, and prescribed a few rounds of physical therapy. This could have devastated my social status, but luckily I was not a cool kid in the first place.
I love my parents, but had sort of chalked the leg thing up to an overreaction on their part. I decided I'd grown out of it. As the kids say these days, I decided it “wasn’t really a thing.”
I met with a trainer a few weeks ago. She watched me run for three seconds and said, “I think I see part of the problem.”
“What’s that?” I said.
“You’re running on your toes, but only on your right foot. Your feet are doing two different things.”
“How is that even possible?” I panted, suddenly feeling like I was limping down the track like Quasimodo.
“Is your right leg shorter than your left?” she said.
“Uh...maybe,” I said. “How do I fix my feet, in that case?”
“I’d recommend orthotics and physical therapy,” she said.
So, while those things await their turn on my to-do list, I’ve been running three days a week and have realized I made a much bigger deal out of it in my head than it ever needed to be. You really just need feet, and take it from me, they don’t even have to work together that well. I have, however, procured three key pieces of equipment:
- a good pair of sneakers (mine are Asics Gel series, available at your friendly West Lebanon Kohl’s)
- music by which to jog so you cannot hear yourself gasping for air and possibly dying (for me, Broadway show tunes. See previous comment re: coolness).
- two small workout buddies who bike beside me and
literally talk to me the entire time without skipping a breath. By the time
they finish their longwinded, meandering story, I’m done running.
See you all in about three miles.