“That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d run to the end of town… For no particular reason I just kept on going…I figured, since I’d gone this far, I might as well just turn back, keep right on going.”–Forrest Gump
I have a love/hate relationship with running. Well, really, exercise in general.
I love to walk. I’m like the Forrest Gump of walking. I could walk for miles and never get tired, as long as John is with me.
Before kids, and even when the boys were small and we had a double stroller, we used to walk at least 4 miles every night. And we weren’t even counting distance. We’d leave our house and just talk and walk (let’s be honest, I was probably doing most of the talking) until we felt refreshed. Often we’d end up at Graeter’s on Romany Road, a little over 2 miles from our house, and we’d have an ice cream before heading back home. The day I went to the hospital to have Henry, which was coincidentally my 30th birthday, I first put on my shoes and took a 4 mile walk, then drove to the hospital to check in. (In retrospect, I should have just walked to the hospital…)
But then we had Cate and we never did buy a triple stroller (because let’s face it, they cost as much as my car). And even though we’ve tried to take walks with the kids on their bicycles, it’s not the same when you have to stop every few minutes to push someone or tie a shoe.
So a little while ago I started running again. I ran for a few months. I hate to run, but I knew it was good for lowering my cholesterol (which apparently they mixed up with a 65-year-old man’s at the lab) and also it made the boring scenery around my house go by faster.
But I hate to run. I hate how I feel like my lungs will explode and how no matter how many months I train, I can never run faster than an 11 minute mile or farther than 2 miles without throwing up. I hate that my knees feel like they will rip apart when I’m finished, even if I stretch for 2 days beforehand. And I hate that I exert all that energy and I don’t lose a single pound. Honestly, what is the point? If anything, I just eat so much more after I run, that it’s counterproductive.
To be completely honest, the only thing I enjoyed about running was being able to Tweet to my friends that I had completed a run. I felt especially cool when my friend Nathan would Tweet back that I had earned a Gold Star, even though the stars were imaginary. It really doesn’t take much to motivate me, obviously.
Then about 5 weeks ago, I just stopped running. I went out for a run and I turned the first corner and there was a big dog without a leash or an owner. He growled at me and I threw my hands up in the air and said out loud, “Well, that’s it for me!” And I turned and calmly walked home and I haven’t been running since. And I look and feel exactly the same. Go figure.
(note: I am not a doctor and this is not an endorsement to be a couch potato. Remember, I still have high cholesterol and I’ll probably keel over at any minute from lack of exercise)
I have no idea if I will run again, ever.
But then two nights ago I was telling John the story about the dog and we decided–“well, why can’t we just walk again?” It seems that having all these little kids around and no triple stroller had somehow lulled us into believing we could never walk together again.
So made up our minds: We told the kids to stay inside and we locked up the house. Then we set out–3 houses up in one direction, turn, and then 3 houses past ours in the other direction, turn. We walked back and forth in front of our house for about 30 minutes, wondering at what point one of our more uptight neighbors would call social services because we’d abandoned our kids.
And then we did the exact same thing the next night. One day, like when Thomas is twelve and it’s legal to leave them alone, we may take an even longer walk together.
Because we just like to walk, so we may as well keep right on going.
Disclaimer: If you go back far enough on this blog, there’s probably some post where I talk about how much I love to run. I was probably on crack that day. Or maybe it was just a runner’s high. But really, I’ve been known to enjoy a run on occasion, it’s just been the rarest of occasions, (usually when there is a Gold Star involved). And knowing me, I probably opened my big mouth and blogged about it. As always, I am too lazy to go back and check myself, so if you find it, please feel free to call me out.