Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I Started Running (Why?)

To me, running at any age after childhood has always felt laughably silly, and undignified. If you think of this the next time you watch an adult running, then further explanation is not necessary. I could elaborate endlessly on the hilariousness of adults running, but that's beside the point of the I-Saw-The-Light theme of this post. 

My hate-hate relationship with running goes back as long as I can remember. I partially attribute my anti-running attitude to my childhood experiences. I remember having to do excessive amounts of running in school, and the one year that I played kid-football. Following years of suffering these torturous indignities, I gleefully shed my past-life and walked into the world of adulthood. I had no aspirations to become an athlete, and I was physically satisfied with hiking and doing lots of pushups. Recently, it dawned on me that perhaps in our modern world, we are evolving past running? Surrounded by ever-increasingly larger number of hazardous elements, doesn't running increase the risk of inadvertently jumping right into one of them? As a result of extensive and intense internal debate, I determined that there are a few, rare scenarios that require developed running-skills. 

To illuminate these scenarios, see the image above ("Rambo"). The two scenarios in life that justify running are: to deliver justice (attack), or to escape an explosion (self-preservation); both of which are automatic, involuntary responses to external evil forces. Running across the street to avoid being struck by traffic falls into the latter category; self-preservation. Premeditated running remains entirely unjustified with regards to the preservation of dignity— without exception. This is basically the code of self-respect that I have strictly adhered to for [almost] my entire adult life. 

So.... after years of lovingly embracing my pride, I decided to flush it all down the toilet and give running another chance— because it's healthy. So, I purchased a pair of cheap running shoes yesterday, and went for a jog this morning. To my surprise, I effortlessly ran one mile, uphill, in the unforgiving rainy Seattle cold. It felt surprisingly refreshing, and I've felt amazing all day long. So much in fact that I plan to do it again tomorrow. If you see me doing my run-jog, know that in that moment I have no self-respect, but that's healthy (?). Yea!