Enjoying…Running?

Help me raise $500 for the homeless through the charity Back on My Feet.
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Let’s get this straight: I have hated running for as long as I can remember having an opinion on the subject of running. It seems so pointless given there is no ball to catch, no opponent to tackle, no puck to chase. It is slow in the most literal sense. It is also clunky. A cyclist will whiz by and a hockey player will glide past even the most talented runners.

It is why I dislike soccer and field hockey. Clunky is the best word to describe something where running intersects with goal-oriented athletics. I would much rather watch an ice hockey game than see cleats stumbling around a grass field.

I have a history with running too, as I recall training for the basketball team in tenth grade, during “optional” (heh) pre-tryout workouts. It was all running, no ball. I got the concept and I appreciated the lesson being taught. But I despised the approach with a passion. To run three miles every day after doing sprints for most of the evening was tiresome and in many ways demoralizing.

Now it has not helped that over the past few years, my fitness level has declined, in so much that I was getting winded even during basketball pickup games. I have always relied on an ability to will myself into the play, given no real natural talent at the sport. To no longer have that extra gear was disheartening the past few years. There is no doubt in my mind that come this fall I will get back to playing basketball and potentially ice hockey too.

In the near term, however, I have but one focus: running. I have continuously been running during this fitness program, and at times I have found myself almost, dare I say, enjoying the activity. It’s a weird enjoyment, as I thoroughly enjoy cycling, in part for how it feels to bonk (completely be spent) and then recover, which is easy to do once you reach a summit. Running does not exactly have the same effect, but in a way there is a kindred spirit shared through that endurance that I have noticed.

Some of this new-found, shall we say, appreciation, for running comes in part from less stress on my joints through reduced weight on my frame. I will hold off on stating interim results until I reach the end of the second month of training (given I started on January 15, I will post an update similar to my “One Month in the Books” post probably the week of March 17). I can say though that the difference in weight has been substantial and steady, so much so that I have noticed an ease in extending my running times and speed.

I am unsure if it is purely my repetitive practice at running or the necessity of bearing such an activity that is creating at least a cease fire regarding my usual hatred of the sport. Whatever the case, I welcome it, as I have plenty of time left to continue this training…

 

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