If anyone has seen pigs flying recently, that’s my bad. A couple of weeks ago, I did something so outrageous and insane, that I’m fairly certain the balance of nature has been permanently affected. It’s only a matter of time before Hell starts stockpiling snow-blowers.
For starters, let me say that I love yoga. It’s the only exercise I have ever found that makes you sweat while calming your mind and relaxing your body. Yoga is slow-paced, involves a lot of different muscles, and is excellent stress relief. Yoga is my kind of exercise.
Now, if I had to name my least favorite form of exercise, without hesitation or stuttering, I would say “running.” Yet somehow, two weeks ago, my roommate talked me into going for a run with her. I’m pretty sure she has magical powers. Otherwise, what would compel me to lace up my tennis shoes and strike out on the pretty walking track near our apartment? Oh it started out innocently enough: we walked. It was a beautiful day (for once), and it was nice to stretch my legs in the open air — I never said I hated walking.
At the outset of our walk, my roommate (Danielle, by the way) had started up this app on her phone that calculates mileage, calories burned, level of roommate aweseomeness (probably), and likely a dozen other things. She used to run, she told me, and she was trying to get back into it a little at a time. I had heard of the “couch to 5k” apps; my Facebook newsfeed is always papered with my friends’ “training” updates.
I thought it was a pretty good app, though, for those crazy people who actually choose to run for whatever reason (e.g. exercise, fun, zombie apocalypse). I didn’t really think much of it past that; the app is for runners or, more specifically, those who are trying to become runners. I am definitely not in that category.
However, I also have quite a competitive streak. It doesn’t show itself often, but when it does, amazing things tend to happen. For instance, when Danielle said she was ready to run for a minute, then walk again (this is High-Intensity Interval Training, aka hell), I thought to myself, “It’s sixty seconds. Danielle can do it, probably without breaking much of a sweat. For crying out loud, I can run for sixty seconds!” For a little more background info, Danielle used to do Crossfit; I, on the other hand, have never willingly run more than a few seconds for anything in my life. For further reference, this is what I look like when I do run:
So. I ran. I huffed and puffed and felt like a flailing idiot. But I ran for the full sixty seconds. Then two minutes later, I ran for another sixty seconds. I lost count of how many running intervals we did in that initial run (and how many black spots I saw pass across my vision). But when Danielle ran, I ran. Since then, I have gradually built up my endurance a little, and I love that tingly runner’s high (aided by Christina Aguilera thanking some loser for making her stronger) that makes me want to plow ahead even when I’m doubting I’ll make it another second.
Although I am still far from an aspiring runner, I don’t hate it quite as much as I used to. I have even decided to try out a couple of “couch to 5k” apps to help me along and build up some endurance; I’ll be keeping commentary on how I like each app and which one works the best for me and my lack of running initiative.
So, I guess I run now. It’s still not pretty, and I’m slower than a dead sloth, but I run. Maybe my competitive spirit was the only magic I needed.