Like all great ideas, it started out as an innocuous little seed. I was reading a book by Wayne Dyer and came across a portion where he said he has run 8 miles each day for decades, never missing a single day. My inner OCD over-goaler was impressed. I imagined the commitment of engaging in that. But make no mistake, I wasn’t considering running myself; I have always loathed and detested running for exercise.
The next seed actually came with a little fertilizer and watering as well. A young lady in my Speech class at college gave her speech on why it was better to run for exercise outside, rather than indoors on a treadmill. Again – doesn’t apply, I never run for exercise and don’t have a treadmill or a gym membership. Still, she said a few things that intrigued me.
To begin with, running outside burns more calories than running on a treadmill, she argued. You have many terrain changes and atmospheric conditions to adapt to, and that burns more calories than just running along on a smooth treadmill. Hmm. Good point.
She also mentioned that running outside is more intellectually interesting than running inside on a treadmill. You run a treadmill looking at TV or maybe reading a book, but in any case, you aren’t focused on your exercise, you’re really just trying to get it over with.
She did have a few other very good points, but those were the two that really gave me food for thought. While I don’t have a treadmill and never run for exercise, I do have a recumbent bike that I ride for aerobic exercise. By the end of her speech – assisted, no doubt, by the fact that we were then enjoying beautiful, pristine spring weather – I had begun to consider that maybe, perhaps, on an occasional perfectly clement day in the near future, I would exchange riding my bike in the bedroom for running outside on our bike track.
That is precisely what I did. And then I almost tossed my cookies from exhaustion.
I was amazed that someone who has factored exercise in for decades (me) could be so incredibly unequal to the task of real-life exertion. I could not believe how physically un-fit I actually was (am). Discovering I had such a glaring inadequacy of health was all it took for me to instantly decide that I must run every day. I was hooked.
So, now I run. Every day but Sunday and not if it’s pouring down rain (I lucked out this morning, though, because the rain held off until I was finished). I can’t really say I love it, but I like what it represents by committing to it. And now I can at least get around the track without feeling like I’ve gone a few rounds trapped in the washing machine. I’m a long way from 8 miles, though.