This view is not the norm - I must have been about seventeen the last time I ran seriously. And by seriously, I do not infer any enormous commitment on my part. But at my school, we were all obliged to run cross-country, the season hot on the heels of the hockey one, which thankfully left me with enough residual fitness level not to disgrace myself.
But it has never been something I would choose to do for my own enjoyment. Give me a team sport and I'm a happy camper, appealing as it does to my social side. But somehow the opportunities to play with others seem to drop away as we get older and lives get busier with jobs that mean travelling and offspring to factor in. Team sports require commitment and juggling of schedules and I guess at some point it all got too much hassle.
Couch-potatodom seemed so much easier to squeeze in. But I have Lina's post to thank for a bit of an about-face on the matter. She was talking about a running podcast C25K. I actually misinterpreted it as running about 25 kilometers (c.25K - see how important punctuation is?) when I responded to her in awe. And then I went to check it out.
Without that panic inducing full stop, the podcast's full name is Couch to 5K - a running plan for complete beginners. It's free and in a moment of impulsiveness my urge to join in overcame my laziness and I downloaded the Week 1 plan and put on my trainers. The cheery woman was very encouraging and only required me to actually break into a run for 60 seconds at a time. You can do just about anything for sixty seconds, so I did. Around the deserted Recreation Ground where I thought there would be no witnesses to my bizarre stop-starting and increasing levels of sweatiness.
And I managed the 30 minute cycle just fine, no collapsing or gasping like a guppy. And the endorphins must have kicked in, because I didn't feel ashamed when I bumped into a neighbour and my postman on the way back home and had to explain what I was up to.
Thirty minutes does not a runner make, I know. But I've also learned this last year that if you build something into your routine for long enough it becomes a habit. And I also know that when I have a challenge in front of me, my stubborn streak kicks in and sometimes I surprise myself. We'll see if this is one of those times. Don't suppose anyone else wants to join in do they? Just 60 seconds at a time.