Posted by: grasshopperme | March 21, 2013

And He Didn’t Even Have to Double Dog Dare…

Tonight I was presented with a dare….a challenge….maybe I should say expectation….to write a facebook post about my training session tonight and the “tortures” experienced within. In the sweat-filled delirium of the moment I joked with my trainer that the real challenge would be to write a post about him and NOT be banned by facebook for violating their quota for profanity used by a single author in one instance. In hindsight, however, the challenge is really to put everything I’ve been coming to realize is true for me into something coherent when I’m not sure it completely makes sense to me.

I HATE RUNNING. I started it four years ago as a way to diversify my cardio routine and refocus on a new challenge and jumpstart my weight loss. I have logged countless miles on treadmills, trails, and tracks. I have a closet full of running gear for all seasons and distances from 5K to half-marathon. I have collected bibs and medals from literally dozens of events, costing a staggering amount in registration fees, and sometimes even travel expenses. None of these truisms negate the fact that, as I have been reflecting the last month, through illness and a series of life-events which have shifted my focus off running and onto other areas of life, and with the anniversary of my first half marathon coming this past weekend, the reality is I HATE RUNNING.

In all those events, I have never stood at a starting corral and felt glad to be there, excited for the run ahead, confident about my performance and eager to get on the way. I have never crossed a finish line (at any distance) and felt exhiliration or pride in my accomplishment. The steps in between are usually spent beating myself with self-doubt and feeling slow and fat. Not exactly the “runners’ high” of which I have heard so much and been promised “will come in time” by so many. Time? Really? I’ve given it four years. I think one of us missed the exit ramp.

In thinking on the drive home tonight about what I should post about my gym workout, I started thinking about so many of the workout sessions I have had recently. I more often then not leave exhausted, already sore (with the promise of worse to come in the morning), ravenous, drenched, and…absolutely amazing! The feeling I get when I can add another set of big plates to a quad press, or modify burpees to use my beloved bosu ball, or hit a new high time holding a plank, or reach the 2ft vertical box jump stand on the first try (admittedly after staring at it and pacing around it for several minutes) fill me with more pride and more of a sense of real accomplishment than crossing any finish line ever has. It is not something I can explain, or ever expect my friends who love the run (and they are many) to understand, but it is my truth, my high.

No crowd, no timing chips, no cheering, no medals, (definitely) no pretty pictures…and no matter.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything, and I can’t wait to do it again.


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