I hate running. I’ve always hated running. And I have always known that I will forever hate running. Until the day I started to love running.
Growing up, running had always been a horrible, terrible thing the gym teachers made us do every day. The grouchy old men and women would shout at us, “Don’t cut corners!” and “Run faster!” Then they’d finish it off with some push ups and sit ups on the concrete (have you done that before? It’s the worst). Thus, running became more of a punishment and a way for me to feel like I wasn’t good at anything.
What’s even worse is that the winning kids of those mile runs liked to do “victory laps” where they would pass by the last place losers (AKA myself and a few other kids) all while looking smug about the whole thing. And after the last kid finally finished running, we all had to go to our next class sweaty, disgusting and exhausted.
It was awful.
With each passing year, and each teacher yelling the same things over and over again (“Is that all you got?” “Stop going so slow – kick it into high gear!”), I felt more and more hatred toward this stupid sport. All I wanted to do was be left alone, but adults kept yelling at me (and the other poor souls who were never good at running either) that I wasn’t doing good enough with smug peers looking at me like I was inferior.
Okay, yeah. An eleven minute mile is nothing to brag about, but that was my eleven minute mile.
For years this pent up rage toward running built up inside of me, until whenever I thought about jogging, a feel of loathing would bubble up and I’d walk away from the whole thing.
But then I stopped for moment and though to myself, “If I hate it this much, maybe I should actually try to do it.”
I was out of school. No one was yelling at me to run faster. I could just…run. In peace. By myself.
So I did.
And every day I hated it at first. It was so boring! Who actually liked to run?
Until I started to hate it a little less. I discovered that running was easier outdoors than on a treadmill..
And then I started to be okay with it. I went outside and ran gorgeous trails in the forest by myself. No one was telling me what to do or how to run. I just ran
And then I started to like it.
And then, this Christmas, when I received tons of winter running gear from my family, I knew that I loved it.
What’s your exercise of choice?