I have a confession to make, Internet. You know that fat girl in middle school who complained she had asthma or cramps or rolled her ankle or felt nauseous or whatever else she could string together to avoid running?
That was me.
I hate running. I feel like the most disgusting human on the earth when I do it. It’s not pretty. I sweat, first of all, which is something I need NO HELP WITH. I am super neurotic about smelling good, so when I run and get all nasty, it really messes me up. And yeah, I know: sweating is THE POINT when you run, but I really hate it, OK? I like to smell like vanilla or clean laundry. Secondly, I cannot breathe. I literally gulp air in like an asthmatic, obese rhino who has just been shot and is being smothered to death. Watching me gulp air while “running” (that term is used loosely here) could be the most unattractive thing in the world. Also: there’s the hair situation. I have the world’s frizziest, craziest hair, and when I sweat, it looks like I just emerged from the foggiest day of the year because it gets all big and fuzzy and nasty, no matter what headband or product I slick through it first.
Runners are like a foreign people to me. I see them in their little tiny black spandex shorts, looking all zen with their IPod’s and tank tops, sunglasses on. They’re ALWAYS tan and pretty and so damn happy about the whole thing. “Oh, just got back from a short run…only 11 miles today. It was quick, you know, but it feels so good. I always feel so much more centered after a run.” They don’t look or sound like a dying rhino. They look and sound like I do after a good episode of The Real Housewives or an exceptional dessert: happy, satiated, and completely self-satisfied. Don’t even get me started about their legs and their skinny-ness. I swear, it takes all self-control for me not to punch them in their size 0 stomachs. These are the freaky robots I don’t understand. They probably really, really enjoy things like waking up at 4:30 to meditate and drinking water instead of coffee. These are the people who can sit through horrendous traffic and say, “Hey! It’s OK! It’s a sunny day!” These are the people that finish Christmas shopping in July, that have a year of savings in the bank “just in case” and who aced Pre-AP Calculus and Physics. THESE ARE NOT MY PEOPLE.
I’m not going to lie: I want to be them. I mean, I will always hate math and coffee will always be an essential part of this girl’s balanced breakfast, but in truth, I want little black shorts. I want to wear tiny Nike tank tops and look good in them. I want to be seen around the neighborhood, just running and not looking like I should be chasing a Three Musketeers on a string. And if anything can calm me down, and make me feel all zen and shit, I’ll do it. Seriously. And hello? Those legs! Those abs! I read Runners World for the pictures. I want my body to look like that.
This is why I’ve decided to take up running. To give me a challenge. To do something I find utterly intriguing and hard and ugly, and to hopefully learn to love it. To bring some discipline to my life. To show my middle school PE teachers that I can. And most of all, to prove to myself that I can overcome this aversion.
Who knows how it will go. I mean, really…I have no clue. But I’m going to take it slow. Start with some walking, and slowly build up to a run.
And I promise, when I’m all tan and thin and bragadocious about how much running “clears my mind”, I will totally let all you non-runners punch my in my six-pack abs.