Why This Non-Runner Started Running

I hate to run.

I hate it because I detest being too hot and my face gets red and my thighs eat my shorts and I have zero stamina and I start to sweat in places I didn’t even know had glands.

Mostly, I hate to run because it’s hard.

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Recently, though, after drawing inspiration from some very motivated friends and colleagues, I started to reevaluate my health choices and decided I needed to do something about the sedentary nature of my life post-babies.

So I chose to start prepping to run a 5K.

This isn’t easy for someone who hates to sweat.  But I’m doing it anyway, and here’s why.

My body is falling apart prematurely.  I have a chronic back condition characterized by disc degeneration, 3 bulging discs, and osteoarthritis.  It’s genetic (thanks, both sides of my family!).  My doctors think I need a spinal fusion to control my regular pain.  I think early 30s (and especially age 25 when they first suggested the surgery) is far too young to have a procedure normally reserved for those over 50.

While high impact activities like running aren’t recommended for someone with my condition, sitting on one’s ass is recommended less.  I’ve tried dozens of other exercises, and none has stuck for longer than a week (some only once).  Training for a 5K gives me a goal to shoot for.  It gives me a purpose.  It’s cheap.

And staying in motion is apparently good for someone whose body is as fucked up as mine.

I want to set a good example for my kids.  I already let them watch far too much TV and spend far too much time indoors during the school year when I’m busy from sun up to sun down.  I don’t want them to think coming home from work and crashing on the couch with a glass of wine, a stack of papers, and a laptop is acceptable every single day.

I want them to see me moving and want to move, too.

I like to eat.  I’m not much for the cooking part (though that’s a hobby I bet I could get into if given enough time), but the eating part?  Yes, please.  

I enjoy food for food’s sake.  I appreciate a variety of culinary concoctions.  I find some dining experiences to be down right divine.  I want to be able to enjoy a nice white pasta or grilled salmon with garlic whipped potatoes and buttery asparagus without fear of looking like Patrick from Sponge Bob Square Pants or clogging my arteries and increasing my already high chance of heart disease (again, thanks both sides of the family!).

I want to be able to enjoy dining while maintaining some semblance of health.

I like to drink.  I am a wine lover.  I’d marry it and ask it to move in with my husband and me and defy plural marriage laws and do its laundry and make it sandwiches if I could.  I realize it’s not good for my liver or my heart in mass quantities, but it’s also not one of those pleasures in life I’m willing to part with.

Running helps me keep my organs working the right way so I can enjoy a glass or two or three or four on occasion.

I’m getting fatter by the second.  I used to be able to eat a bag of marshmallows and a box of macaroni and cheese and a block of meatloaf and lose an ounce or two.  Now, if I even look in the general direction of a bag of chips, I gain 5 pounds.

We all suffer from slower metabolism as we age.  My metabolism is apparently on bed rest.  This is a way for me to wake it up.

My relatives don’t have the best track record when it comes to living.  Heart disease and high blood pressure are rampant on both sides of my family (odd given how incredibly low my blood pressure normally is).  Both my parents have heart conditions.  Both my grandfathers had heart attacks in their mid 60s.  My maternal grandfather passed away at 70, his mother at 60, and my maternal grandmother’s sister in her 50s.

They be droppin’ like flies, yo.

I need something to help me throw punches at that bitch, Mother Nature.

It’s great for mental health.  I have anxiety.  It keeps me up at night and makes me stress out over inconsequential things and gives me the grumpies.  Running helps alleviate some of that.  Instead of stewing about it, I run about it.

It also helps me eat and drink about it far less.

It feels good to do something.  It’s stupid how exhausting being a lazy piece of shit can be.  While it often sucks during, running feels great afterward.  It’s energizing.

So, yeah.  That’s why this non-runner started running.  What have you started doing for yourself?