I can't run.
|Me, after approx. 2 minutes of "running." I drew this in Paint. Believe it.|
I know, you're thinking, "Can't is for losers! You can do it if you put your mind to it! I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!"
Well ok, if a bomb went off and I had exactly 30 seconds to get to safety, I could probably manage it. Probably.
But I don't enjoy running for fun or even for exercise. I never have! I swear, within moments of even the mildest jogging, my lungs and throat feel like they're on fire. And I can't stop coughing. You'd think I smoked a pack a day my entire life. I'm jealous of the people who can run even 5 miles without stopping and get a "runner's high." I still have no idea what that means.
When I was 14 or so, I came down with a serious bronchial infection that seemed to last for months. After a few tests, the doctor concluded I had asthma. This news was slightly devastating (but not as crushing as the awful haircut I received from a Vietnamese woman earlier that day), but I was fully expecting it. Aerobic exercise has never been comfortable for me because I CAN'T BREATHE while I'm doing it. Asthma was a reasonable explanation for this phenomenon.
It's not that I haven't tried to run, though. In high school I ran quite a bit for exercise. I was up to 3 miles each session. Then, I got super sick one winter with, like, four illnesses and gave up. The truth was, I liked being able to tell people I could run 3 miles. But I hated everything else about it. So I took the first excuse to quit.
During my freshman year of college, I enrolled in a required fitness class. I had to run 1.5 miles under a certain amount of time (I think it was 20 minutes; something very reasonable) by the end of the term. Additionally, I had to exercise regularly throughout the semester. So I started jogging again. I'd head down the Stairs of Doom (just beyond the SWKT, for you BYU peeps) to the rickety old Smith Fieldhouse and lumber around the track for about a half hour before deciding I'd been tortured sufficiently. Then, I'd hike back up the Stairs of Doom and to my dorm, wondering all the while why I didn't think of something more fun to do for exercise.
I pretty much haven't run since then. I think I tried after I had Bubby, but I decided I'd rather lose the baby weight some other way.
But you know, I think exercise is important. I really do. I am naturally thin but don't let my size fool you -- I am OUT OF SHAPE. I have noticed lately that my middle is squishy and I feel lethargic all the time. I get winded easily and can't lift heavy things. And I decided last week that these are the stepping stones to diabetes and high blood pressure and I don't want that.
So, last night I put on my New Balances and my Spandex pants and took myself for a brisk one-mile walk.
I know, that sounds so lame. Whooooo doggie, ONE MILE! I did jog about 300 yards of it just for old time's sake, then BURN! COUGH! WHEEZE! so I quit while I was still ahead. My legs felt like jelly afterward and my head was spinning, but I did it. I exercised. And I've decided that even though walking is kind of wimpy and geriatric, it's still exercise (especially when you power walk). So I'm going to keep it up. It's rather nice to get out of the house after a long day of chasing kids and jam to some tunes on my iPod. Also, the weather here happens to be gorgeous now. So really, the benefits outweigh the cons.
I'll keep you updated on my progress. I'm sure you can't wait for when I hit TWO miles!
Question of the Day: What do YOU do for exercise?