No longer just when chased

October 31, 2011 § 1 Comment

In the last two weeks, I have taken up a new hobby. It’s one that’s entirely antithetical to my other top hobbies (cooking, eating, and The Internet, in that order) and one that I suck at. Every other afternoon, I put on some stretchy pants and one of my mom’s old sports bras* and kind of lurch down to the lake and back.

I guess, technically, I’m running, despite the fact that the word implies a modicum of coordination. But jogging has these awful Olivia-Newton-John connotations of sweatbands and pastel hand-weights, and my own approach is much more minimal. I put on shoes that I had fitted for me an eternity ago at a real running store and I listen to a bizarre cocktail of This American Life, The Offspring, and Katy Perry and I just go. Not far, mind you. I can do about 4 miles (rounding up generously) in a single heave, and even that’s a bit of a stretch. I’m slow, very slow, but I take unjustified amounts of pride in the fact that I can at least maintain a continuous running motion without breaking down and walking.

And? Why? I don’t know. I’m not a natural athlete and never have been. Even in high school when I was ostensibly on the track team, my idea of exercise was to come home and run between the TV room and the kitchen while eating a toaster-strudel-sandwich**. Once upon a time I dragged my bony ass to the gym every weekday but then I realized that gyms smell like feet and sweaty people always phone in their cardio-machine-wipedowns. I do yoga, but my arms shake a lot and my hips hate me for it.

Running is different, though. I get to be outside, which I love. I get to do some hardcore woolgathering, which I also love. It’s like the feeling of letting your imagination wander while staring out the window of a train or car, but with more moving around and gasping for oxygen! And afterwards, when I stagger up the stairs with a bright pink face and unclip my Dorky Running Belt where I keep my pre-dosed children’s Benadryl and apartment keys, I am tired. Not dying, I-slept-four-hours-on-a-futon tired, but the kind where your body makes your legs feel warm and pleasant and cuts off energy to just the chattery part of your brain that spouts insecurities.

So maybe I’ll keep doing this? I actually look forward to it? I can only phrase these things as questions because I don’t really believe it? Maybe I’ll train for a race one day?

*Too big, natch
**You smear two packets of frosting between the strudels and oh my God

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