That’s what I used to think when, once a year, I laced up my shoes and hit the streets because I had decided that running was just the thing I needed in my fitness regime. This usually occurred in the two-week balmy transition between dreary winter and brutal summer. (Also known as “spring” in Texas.) A sort of fitness-spring-fever hybrid, I suppose.
And a fever is probably the only explanation for my sudden desire to run.
Here’s what would happen:
- With care, I dress for the endeavor, eager to feel the cool-edged spring warmth. I imagine myself striding through our neighborhood like the model in a fitness magazine I had picked up the night before.
- I warm up and step outside. I’m ready for this. I can feel that I’m a runner.
- I begin, giddy with thoughts of how far and how well I will run.
- My shoes slap against the unforgiving pavement. The impact jars my body to the top of my skull.
- Can this really be healthy for me? Isn’t something about this supposed to feel good?
- I am wheezing, gasping, emitting sounds that no one under the age of ninety-nine should produce.
- Legs trembling, I bend over and brace myself against whatever solid object is closest to me. My face is hot. My skin seems to throb. But I did it! I ran around the entire block.
- I stumble home and into the shower, wondering what sadomasochistic goofball coined the term “runner’s high”.
- I’m grateful not to be in the hospital.
Apparently, twelve months was the length of time it took my body to believe that the previous years were aberrations, that this year, I really was a runner, because I repeated this nonsense every year for several years.
So how did I get to the point of enjoying running so much that I dream about the day when I can do it again? I’ll save that for another post. But I promise, I made it there without self-torture, hypnosis, or a lung transplant.
Eager to run again,