April 26, 2012

So why do I?

Superman: How was your run?
Me: It sucked, as usual.

If you knew how often I have this conversation, you would wonder why I run at all. There are, of course, several reasons.

First, I want to be something like this woman:
You can read about Harriet Anderson here. I want to be like her in the same way I want to be like the little old lady who used to ride her bicycle around my neighborhood. Inspirational. Inspired. Moving and pushing at an age when most are content to do little more than walk from door to car and back.

Second, I do not want to be like this:
While I am not obese, I am currently overweight. I consistently eat an excess of calories, regardless of how I try to be "healthy" or "reasonable." I have emotional components to my eating that I have yet to overcome. That said, I do manage to maintain a somewhat reasonable weight. I've been at or around the same number on the scale for years. I maintain my weight through running and moving and exercising. If I did not run, I would be much larger than I am. I would also like myself a hell of a lot less. True story.

The third reason I continue to run is the same reason people continue to gamble. There is  psychology behind gambling that says you will continue to come back if you win, even if that win is just a small amount, and even if it doesn't happen very often. If you continue to lose over and over and over, you are bound to walk away in disgust and never come back. But if you win just once, you are more prone to returning because it's been proven that you can win so you might win again.

So the third reason I run, even though I rarely enjoy it, is because sometimes I do enjoy running. Sometimes a run doesn't hurt, the planets align, the angels sing, and it feels like I'm floating on air or zooming down the sidewalk. Sometimes, even if I suck wind and the run was really hard, the numbers on my GPS make me smile. Sometimes it's enough to just be able to say I got out there and ran, regardless of how it felt.

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