I’ve said previously that I am no fan of running. But if I really remind myself of it, it’s true that I’ve been a reluctant runner at various points in my life. There was that time in college when I had a dog and ran up stairs to the mostly abandoned East Campus at Western Michigan University. There was that other time when I was visiting my parents and ran laps in winter while my dad fished in a nearby partially-thawed river. Usually these running spurts are phases and when they pass, I forget they ever happened.
But as I type this, I am just coming down from the runner’s high. It turns out it’s a real thing. I was convinced it was a myth. Well, that’s not totally true. I must have believed it a little, or why else would I so occasionally go back to running? It’s not like my runner friends are liars, and heck, if Haruki Murakami says running helps his writing, and he’s a creative genius not to mention a worldwide best seller, then hey, maybe runners are on to something. I think a little part of me must have wanted to discover what everyone else was raving about. Maybe this is also why I continue to watch Wes Anderson movies.
Here’s where it started this time: I was in Prague for my friend’s wedding. Another friend, one of my workout buddies from way back, suggested we jog in order to meet the wedding group for a tour of the city. It’ll just be a 15 minute run, she said. I don’t really deal in directions, so I let her map our route. Apparently she doesn’t really deal in directions either because three miles later we were under some train tracks crunching crack pipes under our feet and thinking Prague wasn’t as cute as we’d previously thought. A little more than hour after we started, we finally found our group. We had run almost the whole way, and it wasn’t that bad. Which made me realize my aversion to running is mental. My body can do it.
After I got back to Spain, I started forcing myself to run. It helps that nearby Retiro Park is spectacular and filled with runners, so once I finally reach the park, I get a little infusion of motivation to keep myself going.
If I’m going to be totally honest about why I run, and do every any workout for that matter, it’s because I want a rockin’ bod. I know, shallow. But, I also have moments while exercising where I feel so strong and powerful and energized (surely, purer motives than vanity?) and then I almost forget that I only ever started working out at age 15 to combat a nascent muffin top.
I’ve been so vocal about my dislike of running over the years, that I feel like a total flip-flopper now. Mr. Dame in Spain and I have a running joke (pun intended) that we know that even though we both dislike running, the other one is bound to come home one day and be like “I’m running a marathon!” and then “I’m doing a triathlon!” then “I’m doing an Ironman!” Where will it end? It will end in the loss of a morning cuddle partner, that’s where.
Anyways, what happened today was I finally got around to downloading a running playlist on Spotify and I went on one of my longer runs. Somewhere between Alanis Morissette and R.Kelly I just got this whoosh of energy and I was like “Yay! I could keep going and going and do anything!” Minutes later I was writing a feminist slam poem in my head, thinking about this blog post, and mapping out the rest of my work and creative writing week. So, unlike the first time I tried smoking pot and was like “Ummm, I think I’m high. Not sure. I guess I could eat a cookie, so maybe I’m stoned?” I really did know this was a runner’s high. It’s not a myth.
I’m not making any promises. I’m fairly certain the next time I run, I’ll think it sucks as much as I usually think it sucks. But for today at least, I’m feeling pretty darn good about it.
To running (tentatively and sporadically)
The Dame in Spain