I hate running

Yeah, I said it.

From the moment I step off my porch until the second I’m back on my porch I am hating running.

There’s no clarity. There’s no Nike-like video where a woman is running on a lonely road looking strong and confident.

Lonely Road

Instead there’s me shuffling along angry, tired and wheezing like grandma – wondering to myself when this torture is going to end. I know that’s the case because on one occasion I ran by a punk teenage boy wearing all black who looked up at me, smiled and gave me an encouraging thumbs up. He actually felt bad for me! That’s how sad-looking I am when I go running. People always ask, “But you must feel good after, right?” Nope. There IS relief that it’s done but there’s NO celebration. There’s no enthusiasm for more. There’s no “I feel great!” – only “Man, that sucked.” It’s just not getting easier.

I’m convinced that people who claim they love to run are actually doing it on a bicycle. They’re confused, that’s all.

I only run once or twice a week and about 3.5 miles. And every single time it takes all of my mental capacity to tie up my shoe laces and head out the door. All the block rocking beats in the world in my MP3 player couldn’t help. It’s always the last thing I want to do.

Naturally, on a running day it’s the first thing that I do.

I don’t love working out. Some days I don’t even love doing yoga. I would rather read a book, watch TV or nap. Exercise or anything healthy would not be in the top 10 choices I would make if I were given a menu to choose from.

So to get around this lack of motivation to move, I simply removed the choice.

It’s not whether I would run or not – it’s what time will I go running. In prosaic terms, it become a way of life. It removes the option of not moving. There’s no talking myself into it (or out of it). It’s just something that’s going to be done. I’m healthier when I move. Being sedentary is not an option and that left me with exercising. So despite my hatred of running, I treat it like the many necessary evil tasks of my every day life – just get it done and move on. Don’t linger over it. Don’t wait. Don’t stall. Get out there and get it over with. (This is perhaps why the “Just Do It” Nike campaign resonated with so many people).

This did not happen overnight. I don’t have the discipline of an Olympian. I first had to learn that I could do it and even reap the benefits. But like my yoga practice it evolved over time and I worked on it over and over again. I failed over and over again. But we can train our mind to help us make the right decisions for our body. There is no difference between people who exercise and people who don’t. It’s just that some people push through the inertia of a body at rest staying at rest.

This is not to say that I don’t do a happy dance for the torrential downpour on my running day. I do a little bit but I also remind myself: if not today, then tomorrow.

There is an effective mental trick in all of us that can get us off the couch and moving. You just have to figure it out. Maybe it’s not for running. Maybe it’s for doing another unpleasant task like polishing the furniture. If you have something, will you please share it? Maybe you can inspire someone else!

Photo via Flicker (Creative Commons) by Anoxlou.

11 thoughts on “I hate running

  1. Running is not for everybody! Do what works for you. What makes you move and groove. What inspires YOU…we’re all different. 🙂 Ain’t no shame in your game, mama.

  2. I’d get rid of the ear buds. I roll out with a GPS watch )to make sure I hit my distances) and a pair of shoes.*

    I completely zone out to my foot steps, breathing, and the sound of wind past my ears.

    *clarification, I also wear shorts

  3. If it doesn’t bring you joy, don’t do it. Go spinning or something. Life’s too short to be so miserable about something that’s actually good for you! I run because I can and because I love doing it.

    1. Running is a last resort exercise for me. With my schedule it’s often the only thing I have time to do. And so the choice is do nothing or run. I run. Because it’s good for me.

  4. the times I really enjoyed running were when I was on the track team many decades ago; running with a companion in misery can get you much further than when you are alone. I’d also suggest getting rid of the earbuds, but that is mostly because they make it impossible to be fully aware of your surroundings.

    1. Yes! Someone else suggested I get rid of the earbuds and focus on running. I’m definitely trying it out on my next run.

      I used to run with hubs. And those were a bit more fun but he’s abandoned me now especially since I run in the morning. That’s just not his thing.

      Do you still run?

  5. I found this post incredibly helpful and motivating. I find it very difficult to get into that discipline to exercise and I always wonder how other people do it. It’s good to know other people find it difficult but still do it anyway. I’m going to start trying to change my mind set to ‘what time’ and I hope that will help. Thank you for sharing this.

    1. Don’t worry! Some days are easier than others! 😉 Let me know how it goes for you. Sometimes I only get into the gym because I have to be there to teach. Have you considered getting certified in something to teach? I’m only half joking. It’s not as hard as you think. Also, it helps when you start becoming a regular at the gym (or the park) and running into folks that you know. Make friends and exercise! It’s a winning combination.

  6. My FB comment was already a bit of a novel, so I figured I’d save my specific suggestions for the blog comments. First, I just wanted to say that once or twice a week doesn’t seem like a last resort, but I totally get the scheduling issues. I’m thinking that if you’re going to run that often and if you already hate it, then you might as well make more effective and potentially shorter, but with better benefits: yes, I’m talking about intervals. Sprint/recover/sprint/recover. Much more effective, plus you can set it to music that you can then use in your spin classes 🙂

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