Saturday, May 19, 2012

To Run Or Not To Run

It's Saturday morning, and the wind is calm, the sky is clear, with not even a suggestion of humidity. In short, I can find no reliable excuse not to go for a run. In addition, the fact that I have failed to go for a run all week despite similarly perfect conditions, makes it all the more imperative that I get this done. Yet I sit here drinking coffee, in my pajamas, staring at the beautiful morning struggling vainly to summon sufficient resolve. I do battle with my conscience thusly...

Why do I have to run? Exercise is actually quite dangerous. How many times have I read stories about some runner collapsing from a heart attack or being hit by a car? And what exactly is to be gained by the sweat and pain of a three mile run? What, will it add 7 days to my lifespan? I'm sure I'll be thrilled with another week of Leave It To Beaver reruns at the nursing home in 2048. Yeah, but it IS good for me in the here and now what with the release of endorphins and what-not. It does relieve stress, I guess. But it's just ....running. When I was two, running was the most awesome thing in the world. In fact I would bolt off in chaotic spasms of glee at the slightest provocation, often resulting in hilarious face-plants, to the delight of all...or so I'm told. When I was a teenager running was great competition. I would challenge anyone, anywhere to a sprint. Who was fastest, THAT was the question. Running was about the race, and back then, who didn't love a race?? Now, running is a dreary business. It is a chore, a tacit admission that one "needs exercise". I run to mitigate the ill-effects of ominous sounding ailments...hyper-tension, heart disease. But the very act of running opens me up to all manner of disastrous possibilities. I could turn an ankle, become distracted and run into a light-pole, be run down from behind by some intoxicated teenager behind the wheel of his Dad's SUV, become disoriented by all those endorphins and get lost, winding up in a bad section of Wyndham. The more I think about it, this running business opens up the Dunnevant brand up to a sizable and disturbing level of risk that I'm not sure is appropriate, given how many people are counting on me. I have to think about THEM, this exercise thing can't be all about me!

But, if I don't run...I will start to put on weight. The middle will get soft, and soon it will start looking like the lower-middle. Before long, I'll have a double-chin, then when people who I haven't seen in a while run in to me they will whisper to their friends after I leave..."Wow, Dunnevant really let himself go. What a shame." Finally. I've finally stumbled upon an emotion strong enough to get my sorry ass motivated...vanity!