People hate running, they just do and honestly I understand why. I used to hide in the bushes to get out of running the mile in school. That's not a joke. I used to go to elaborate lengths to get out of running. Yet I had this image of what a runner looked like -- they were tall and fit. I wanted to look like that. (Turns out I confused runners body for supermodel body and running won't make you look like a supermodel -- only your genes will do that.) I spent 23 years hating running so according to the 10 year rule, I am an expert in running hatred. Here is why you hate running:
You Hate People Telling You What To Do.
I hate people telling me what to do. (The hypocrisy of this blog and the fact that I tell people what to do all day every day is not lost on me.) If you're a new runner, you're going to do a lot of listening to other runners because runners love to talk about running. Basically they'll tell you everything you're doing wrong. It will drive you insane.
Running sucks. It's hard, it's painful and it's uncomfortable. I'm right there with you. When I lived in San Diego I cried on the side of the road at least once a month whenever I realized I was still at least 6 miles from home. And can we talk about those people who make running look effortless. When you're getting started they're the last people you want to see as you're wheezing and a stone throw away from passing out. (DISCLAIMER: It does get easier. Trust me, I wouldn't lie to you. In due time you'll be bouncing down the road winking at the new runners as well.)
You're Not A Runner.
"I'm not a runner." That's so weird, neither was I! Let me rephrase this one for you, "You're not a runner...yet." Becoming a runner is hart, you just have to want to try. Now if you don't want to become a runner then you go Glen Coco, you live your life! I can tell you from experience that you won't regret it.
This one's a double edged sword because running is almost always uncomfortable. Not wanting to deal with discomfort is a bad excuse. Remember this, it's in discomfort that change lives. Learn to love to be uncomfortable because it's your body's way of telling your brain you're a bad ass.
You Have A Big Ego. Such A Huge Ego.
I have a big ego and those first few weeks of running really sucker punched me straight in my hope. I mean, I wasn't out of shape necessarily. I went to the gym five days a week. But when I couldn't make it to the end of my block without feeling like I was going to die...that hurt. That hurt physically and emotionally. But if you're an ego person, eventually being able to put a 13.1 or 26.2 sticker on your car or post a finish line picture on Instagram saying, "Look what I did and it's only 10 in the morning!" will do wonders for that once bruised ego. Good things come to those who wait.
You’re Out Of Shape.
Running really sucks if you're out of shape. It's going to be hard, it's going to try you emotionally and it's going to be painful. But you have to believe in yourself and care enough to stick with it, I promise it gets easier and every step will be worth it. Don't compare yourself to anyone and take it one day at a time. Is it going to be harder for you? Yes. But that day that you're able to run 1, 3, or even 6 miles without stopping will change your life. You can do it. Time flies when you're in pain so stick with it. (Wait I think it's fun...well,
You’re In Shape.
Here's a curve ball, running sucks even if you're in shape! Running will teach you a thing or two about patience and self respect, that is just a fact. But once again that bruised ego will grow back stronger than ever if you can stick with it. There's no easy way to fall in love with running. The only way is to put one foot in front of the other.
Running Is Boring.
I got nothing for this one because you're right. Running can be really, really boring. But it's one of the reasons I love running...it's my only alone time. I can daydream, listen to music, or just turn my brain off. If you're a parent, it's an hour or two of silence. After working a 10-12 hour day, sometimes all I want to do is run really far away from everything that is happening in my life. I started running as a way to run from my problems and I am still running from them today. Sometimes boring is nice.
Running will teach you is patience. I'm impatient. I want results yesterday. I am the type of person who will read the last chapter of a book or fast forward a movie for spoilers before watching it all the way through. That's how impatient I am. So I get it, running is really hard for someone who isn't keen on slowly learning to like running. But it can be done! Stick with it, patience is good for you. Just ask my friends, I'm a lot easier to travel with or hang out with because I learned how to be patient.
Don’t Want to Walk.
If you're learning to run, you're going to spend a lot of time walking. I hated spending time walking because it didn't feel like working out...It felt like walking. You have to walk before you can run. It's a fact of the running world. But it's a very brief portion of your running journey, so if you can make it through you'll be doing less walken' and more runnin' in no time.
You Have Bad Knees, Ankles, Hips (Etc. Etc. Etc.)
These are all really great reasons not to run...incorrectly. There's a line between "bad knees" and actual bad knees. If you have "bad knees" then go see a physical therapist! You'd be amazed at what those magicians can do to your body. (But always listen to your body.)
You Get Flashbacks to High School Gym Class.
I hear ya, whenever someone gets a stopwatch out I run very fast in the opposite direction. It's a kinesthetic response. Running in real life is nothing like running in gym class. It's 10 times more fun! (Why is that? What are gym teachers around the country doing wrong?)
You’re Not Athletic.
Not athletic? ME NEITHER! There's hope for you yet! Some people were born itching to be active. They ran before they could walk. If you're not athletic it just means you have to dig a little deeper and push a little harder to find your ease. But you'll find it. It's not impossible. I'm living proof.
You Care About Your Dignity.
Does not being able to run a mile hurt your soul? Make you feel kind of sh*tty? Yeah, it made me feel pretty sh*tty too. But the payoff is the look people give you once you become a runner and you tell them how far you run. "I'm gonna head home, I have a 15 mile run tomorrow morning." You watch their jaw hit the floor and you walk out feeling like a total bad ass. It's worth it. Sticking through the pain and discomfort is worth it just for that reaction.
There is only one thing you need to learn to not hate running -- you have to want to run. If you don't want to run, you're not going to run. Running isn't something you do just to stay in shape. You'll inevitably fall in love with everything that running does to you physically and mentally. Now wait, before you throw those walls up hear me out. I know you hate running. I hated running. I tried running for years and did the same walk of shame back home time and time again after each failed attempt. But I didn't want to run or need to run, I just wanted to try to run. You need a goal and you need to give it just 4 short weeks.
So if you want to become a runner, here's my advice to you. Download the app RunKeeper and set a goal. If not, hate on. I get it. Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.