to-do list one: ode to my unused running shoes

if you really think about it, running is likely one of the strangest things that we humans do.

i can't help but think about the fact that if aliens were to be watching us from their far-away-galaxies in their super-powered telescopes that spanned light years, they'd see people leaving their house, stretching, jumping around, and then running away for no apparent reason.

"where are they running to," they'd ask. "or what are they running from?"

they'd scratch their bald alien heads in confusion when, in 45 minutes, the humans run right back into the house again. why do they take off as if the house is on fire, or like they've got someone to save from drowning? and then - just as quickly as it all starts off, it ends. they resume life as if nothing out of the ordinary ever happened.
they'd ask themselves in their alien language (or maybe they use telekinesis, who knows), what the point was.

the answer is that, to the outsider, there is no real point outside of fitness. we just run. who does that? did any ancient egyptians jog? i assume the ancient greeks must have, considering how they invented the olympics and all that.. but really, at what point did western culture decide that running around in circles was a great form of exercise?

don't get me wrong - it's gotta be one of the most convenient ways to get yourself in shape. you don't need anything to run; just a pair or running shoes, really. but then, if you're really hardcore i suppose you wouldn't even need that. just a pair of willing legs and feet that will move you from one place to the next and back again. i love that kind of simplicity in a workout.

i also love the fact that you can get all sorts of cool running gear; you see those hardcore runners in all types of weather, wearing all kinds of apparel that's sleek and awesome; that perfectly fitting zippy, with water bottles or hand weights or whatever suits their fancy. and that ipod nano setup with nike running shoes? suh-weet. it doesnt get much better, my friend. you can join the local running club and go for group runs - i always see them stretching and chatting and cooling down in the parking lot as i'm on my way home from work. i love that it can be a lil bit of a social thing, but i'd likely just end up running alone. just me and my shoes hitting the pavement.

it's just a shame, then, that someone who loves the idea of running as much as i do would hate the actual activity. i feel messy and sloppy and uncoordinated and often like my lungs are going to explode. i'd love to get past that part and get to the exhilarating freedom that is shangri-la for runners, except for the fact that i just cant get over that feeling like i'm gonna toss my breakfast all over lawn.

i'm planning on making that transition from running poser to running enthusiast. it's gonna happen this summer, and it's gonna start out slow.
i have the running shoes, the lululemon pants, my ipod with arm band, and a coordinating hoodie to get me started. i think i'm pretty much 3/4 of the way there, no? (ha - kidding!)

here i go, one foot in front of the other.

(and in the meanwhile, any of you runners out there - please feel free to give me any tips to help get me to the good part!)


littlebyrd said...

Ha! I have totally thought these same thoughts when I see people running. It looks strange! I love running at the gym on the treadmill because it is easier :)
If I am outside though I prefer going somewhere hilly and walking with the occasional bouts of jogging thrown in. Good luck!

Miss Mish Mish said...

Good luck, i admire your courage wunderbug :) Fun post

Julia said...

I too love the idea, but can't seem to run for the life of me. My equipment (looks at her chest) doesn't allow for extreme movement and my knees rebel after just a mile. Then I hobble around for a month wondering why I thought it was such a good idea. But, golly, I wish I could!

SleightGirl said...

Even the Greeks used the Olympics to show who the greatest warrior was...it was all about training to fight.

I consider myself a runner only if I'm being chased by someone with a weapon.

Amanda Nicole said...

I have more of a masochistic relationship with running. I like the idea of it, getting out in the fresh air and listening to some tunes, but every time - every time - it destroys me. I can't walk properly for a week, I ache, I don't sleep well... It's probably because I go all out when I should take it slowly, but I think it just comes down to me and running just not jiving.

wunderbug said...

ha! you guys are too funny.

jewels - my 'equipment' hinders me a bit too. i forgot to mention that part.

there's gotta be a better option than buying a sports bra that's one size down and then keeping my fingers crossed for the best!

sleightgirl - you made me laugh out loud!

littlebyrd - treadmills are most definitely where it's at. there, you have no choice but to keep running.

miss mish mish - thanks!

MagicMarkingsArt said...

As the old commercial says...Just Do It.
I used to run all the time...loved the camaraderie of running with friends and talking.
Now, I'm more into walking, or doing the run 10mins. walk 1min. routine.
Best of luck...if you lived near, I'd strap on my shoes too.

Glitzer said...

I admire your persistence! I cant run to save my life.. therefore I need to join group classes.. as I am the type who performs under group pressure...

therefore i decide to go for hot yoga and aerobics instead.... but i admire to those who can run... because I am the type that will get distracted and wandered into shops instead of focussing on my pulse and my running path! :o) Keep it going!

katelynjane said...

Last year, I built up my running endurance to 30 mins of solid running. The rest was speed walking. I thought that was pretty good, but then I tried running outside and felt like a complete foot when I couldn't run more than a couple blocks!

It's my goal to build up my running skills outdoors more this year. It's harder than a tredmill, but it's so much more rewarding. And the distractions of nature are always worth it (:

My advice is to just push yourself past the part where you feel like puking. Make a goal of reaching the next telephone pole...then when you get there, try to reach the next one. And don't be too hard on yourself (: If you have to stop, it's ok. But next time remember how you felt when you had to stop and make yourself go a bit further.

I'm not a pro or anything, but this is what I do.

Cherry Lane Jane said...

I love your writing! You made me giggle and I know exactly what you mean. My husband is in the transition from couch potato to avid runner so this all rings clear for me! I hope you get through the hating part and start to enjoy it...I for one still hate it! ;)


Soul-Fusion said...

for the first time in my entire life I have decided to try running. And I have found it absolutely helps to have fun things to wear and fun toys like the nike+. I've actually written two similar posts about my new attempts at running in the last couple of weeks! I'm doing the couch to 5k program and so far so good. I like that it starts really slowly and gradually integrates running (err, jogging) into a walking routine. Good Luck!!

Rachel said...

I wish I had tips for you! I'm in the same boat - I love the idea of running, but my execution is not so great.

The few times I've been successful I've done the couch to 5K program (you can google it if you aren't already using it yourself). It makes it easy to build up to a solid 5K. Helps if you have someone with you, though. I usually do it in the summer, when I can get companionship.

audrey h. said...

I get discouraged because I get out there thinking I can run like a teenager and then by 1/2 km I clutching my chest.

I definitely don't have the 'equipment' issue. No issue there at all. I kinda wish I did. I like doing the 10 minute run/2 minute walk/10 min run/2min walk... That's the only way I'll keep running, knowing I can walk for a bit. Good luck, I'll need it too.

Blair said...

Oh, I loved reading this post! I had never thought about how silly running is:) I would love the become a running enthusiast myself.

cindy : quaint said...

you can do it! we'll wait here for you ;). i would consider myself a slow runner. i think they call it walking. have fun!

CheshireCatsGrin said...

Haha, I'm a runner. Just start out slow and build up your endurance. But be careful about what surfaces you run on because it can be death to your knees! Also, I can never ever run in the heat of the day, it kills me!

summer said...

oh how exciting!!
i am an aspiring runner, and i, too believe that have all the gear is 3/4 of the way there! in fact, i've just been thinking about how i should really splurge on some new running tops & pants... i think it would really help me build my stamina!


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