It's 5:15 am. I have my running shoes on, knuckle lights strapped on my hands and my iPod is tucked into my armband. I step outside my house take a deep breath and inhale...skunk.
I hate running.
But, I do it. At the beginning of the year, I promised myself that I would start running and get up to 30 minutes at a time. To do that, I bought a book.
My husband didn't understand why I needed a book to help me learn how to run. "It's just running, right?" he asked. I didn't try to explain it to him. I just followed the program outlined in the book, and now I try to run at least three times a week.
And I still hate it.
There is no runner's high for me, no desire to complete a race and my only goal is to get through the running so I can go home and take a shower. But I do it because I need exercise and it works with my schedule.
When I was little my mom enrolled me in dance classes. I didn't realize that was exercise, because in my head it was just "dance class." So when I quit dance class I didn't know to replace that activity with a different type of exercise. Maybe I'm not that bright, but I never made the connection.
So I'm building the connection early for my son. I tell him that all of the activities that he does are forms of exercise. We talk about energy output and growing big and tall and strong. I tell him about my running. But he's little, so I am not sure that he gets it.
Until he gets his first bike with training wheels. He shoots off on his bike and I start running beside him to keep up. I keep pace with him and we do a full mile together. I am insanely proud of him (and of myself for keeping up). The next time he goes out on his bike he asks for me to run next to him because he knows mommy can keep up.
Do I still hate running? Yes. But I do it.