I’ve never been terribly athletic. I took gym in school because I had to, and then, admittedly, put in the least effort possible to pass. I never went out for sports – cheerleading was too much even. I don’t like to sweat and my face turns this awkwardly embarrassing shade of red when I get warm. And I’m horribly uncoordinated. If there’s the slightest chance that someone could get hurt, better believe that it’s going to be both you and me.
I’m more of a liberal arts person. Give me a book to read and tell me to write a twenty page paper detailing the symbolic use of water and I’m your girl. Got a painting that needs painting? A drawing that needs drawn? A picture that needs taken? I’m your girl. As long as it doesn’t involve sweat. I think we covered that already. I’m your girl when you need to get all creative up in here.
My roommate is the opposite of me. She’s athletic and in shape. She does CrossFit and then goes for a run afterwards. She on a softball team and played sports in high school. She’s pretty awesome. She offered to show me CrossFit sometime, and while I agreed, I knew it wasn’t going to happen anytime soon. I can’t run. I can’t lift things. I’m not athletic.
But I wish I was. I think it was Roommie’s CrossFit combined with the new healthier eating and all this twitter Red Faced Runners talk that got me out the door. And while I’m far from running my first 5k, I’m making a start – and a surprising discovery. I actually enjoy running. All day Friday at work one thought occupied my head – I’m going for a run tonight!
I don’t even mind that my face gets bright red and sweat is pouring down my skin. I don’t care that I could probably walk faster than I run. I don’t care that I run like Phoebe from Friends. I’m getting it done! And I feel great!
Some things I’ve learned in my very short running career:
Don’t pay attention to what people think. Running slow? Covered in sweat? Red-faced? You’re not the only one out there! Embrace it! The lock screen on my iPod has this phrase that I repeat to myself when I’m feeling….fat and slow: “No matter how slow you go, you’re still lapping everybody on the couch.” And it’s true.
Pick somewhere you enjoy running. Yeah, you could run on a track at the local Y, but that’s not fun – that’s a work out. I like to find nature trails and parks and places I’ve never been before. If you’re not staring at the same walls whizzing by over and over again like some Saturday morning cartoon, it won’t feel like work. You’ll be done with that mile before you realize it.
Music is vital. If I don’t have to hear myself breathe, it’s better. If I can hear how out of breath I am at the end of a run, it feels like work. Find some good, up-tempo music that gets you going. Or a podcast. Or an audio book. Whatever takes your mind off it.
And get moving!