I have never been a huge exerciser. I didn’t grow up in a sporty family. I recall my parents jogging a bit from time time but the closest I got to exercise as a teenager was cheerleading, and my main focus was really the football players.
As an adult, I have mostly done the bare minimum to stay healthy but occasionally, I am inspired to do more. On more than one occasion, the inspiration was a cute guy at the gym.
I have run a few races with my college friends but they involve a lot of things I don’t enjoy (exercising in the morning, exercising on a schedule, running in the cold, uncertainty about restroom availability, crowds, and travel). I had checked “run a 5K, 8K, and 10K” off my list off and was not planning to revisit these activities.
My sister asked me to run an 8K with her a while back. She caught me on a day where I was so annoyed with work, that the idea of doing anything BUT work sounded very appealing. She was completely shocked when I said yes, and I believe she asked me again to be sure she read my response correctly.
I rallied and trained so I could do my best to keep up with her on the course. The night before, I jokingly (but not really) suggested that we could just run around the neighborhood instead at a more godly hour when it had warmed up a bit, but my sister would have none of that. She has her own list of things she does not enjoy, but they are not the same as my things so I couldn’t talk her out of it. She had barely run in months, but she was in and taking me with her!
We ran the race this weekend and I was reminded of the benefits of powering through all of the things I don’t enjoy about races:
- It is really cool to run through the streets of a city that are shut down especially for you (and hundreds of other people, of course)
- There is a sense of bonding with the strangers running with you because you are in it together (I ran behind the Bisexual Turtles for Breast Cancer whom I assure you, I will never forget)
- People cheer for you and give you free stuff if you run an official race
- Although I was a serious cranky pants before the race, the post race endorphins were amazing
- My workout was over by 8:30am
- I had a great excuse for nice afternoon nap
- You run faster because of all of the excitement (not as fast as my much younger sister – but fast for me!)
- I got to spend quality time with my sister because no one else (including her husband) would wake up at that ungodly hour
- People on the street are so proud of you and friendly when you walk around in a post race heat wrap thingy
- I push myself to actually run more frequently when I commit to a race
- Since this activity involves so many things I don’t enjoy, it is even more awesome that I actually did it, again
Although I did get back out and run today and was happy to be reunited with the endorphins (I might be addicted), I did decline the proposal to run ANOTHER 5 mile race two days from now. Two races in one week could potentially negate some of the positives listed above. I think I will bask in the glow of this accomplishment for while before committing to another one.