Image Courtesy National Broadcasting Company
People know Iâ€™m a runner. I jaw about it constantly. Most are probably bored by my addiction. Some however, dive right in. And so Iâ€™ve discovered an unexpected benefit of running: witnessing friends and family take their first pronated or supinated steps toward physical fitness.
Perhaps understandably, some feel self-conscious when talking to me about their personal benchmarks. They consider me too advanced to appreciate their comparatively â€œmodestâ€ achievements. Never mind that, in the pantheon of running, Iâ€™m far, far closer to Oprah Winfrey than Meb Keflezighi. They still think that somehow Iâ€™m too fleet of foot to regard their accomplishments with awe.
But Iâ€™m unashamedly energized by new runners. Whether theyâ€™ve finally broken the 10 minute mile barrier, or have built up the stamina to run for more than 3 days week. Seasoned runners understand the immensely hard work, dedication, and discipline required to go from coach potato to 5k.
I remember that first mile, and nearly throwing up after my first 10 miler. I recall the elation I felt after my first race. Today, I feel the latent energy coursing through my body; the undeniably agreeable feeling that I can run 20 miles at the drop of a hat, or an ultra marathon without first putting my affairs in order. Put simply, I know the pleasure of running â€œjust because I can.â€
I want others to experience the same thing. Iâ€™d like to think that love and affection prompt me. But perhaps I’m merely reliving my initial foray into the vicissitudes of running. Let the psychoanalysts decide. Regardless, if youâ€™re a new runner making real progress, youâ€™re motivating me.
This being said, there is a right way and a wrong way to get started on this whole running thing. Or rather, there is a right way, a wrong way, and my sister-in-law Andreaâ€™s way.
Recently, she ran her first 5k; a worthy feat. Itâ€™s even more remarkable when you consider she started her running odyssey not through a measured work-up to race readiness, but at the actual starting line. Call it the Michael Scott plan. At least she didnâ€™t carbo-load Fettuccine Alfredo moments before the race.
Andrea has written an amazing, â€œyou have to read it to believe itâ€ post describing her adventure. It’s pure hilarity; no summary will do it justice. YOU SIMPLY MUST READ IT.
Just because I utterly respect newbie runners doesnâ€™t mean I canâ€™t fall on the floor laughing at them.
Just be sure to tell Andrea Iâ€™m laughing with her.