Friday, July 25, 2008

Life is not a marathon....

...It's a series of sprints.

I've often heard this said and thought there must be something to it, but it was not until recently that I received its full meaning. In the "somebody gift wrapped it, tied it with a Martha Stewart bow, and left it on my front doorstep" sorta way.

First let me start with this:


Hate it.

There I've said it. Put it out there for the whole world to see. There's no turning back now. And it feels goooood.

Let's face it. As far as the exercise du jour, running is the new black. The IT trend. C'mon I read Us Weekly...religiously. And every week I see Miss Reese Witherspoon with her iPod chugging down some Hollywood Hill. Or Fergie with that weird water bottle thing. Seriously, what's up with that?

Now being that I like to fancy myself a "with it" kinda girl, for any number of years I have tried with great dedication and perseverance to convince myself that I, in fact, would actually LOVE running if I just gave it a chance.

Look at all those happy people. Their head bands tucked neatly over a bouncing pony tail. Running and smiling. Smiling and running. Now granted in Connecticut these people insist on running year round in the negative 20 degree weather, so for all I know their smile froze like that sometime last October and just hasn't had a chance to thaw out yet. But still, they LOOK happy.

Yet each and every time *I* try to take up running my face turns a lovely shade of purple (eggplant 120 according to those paint swatches at Home Depot...y'know the square ones, not the ones that come in those strips) and my side feels like it's going to explode. And that's just from lacing up my tennis shoes.

I have tried any number of things to get myself excited about running. First I bought some running pants. Ya gotta have those. Then, moving southward, I realized I would be nothing without a good pair of running shoes. White ones with the teal trim (gotta love branding with athletic wear). And honestly how could I even possibly consider running without a teal iPod shuffle to match? And yet, totally surprisingly to me, I did not run.

So you can imagine my enjoyment at my husband's recent announcement in his State of the Couple Address that, in our ongoing efforts to get in shape, we were going to start waking up at the crack of dawn (8:30!!) to run "telephone poles". What are "telephone poles" you may be asking, to which I would say "good question!"

Telephone poles are where we run the distance of two telephone poles and walk one. Then run again. Then walk again. And...well I'm sure you're getting the picture.

Now I tried everything to get out of these. I hid under the covers. But he knew where to find me. I begged for mercy. He had none. I even tried bargaining. "Darlin, we can eat Krispy Kremes for breakfast, lunch & dinner and I won't say a WORD." But still, he was unmoved.

And so I run. Two telephone poles, and walk one. And on and on it goes. And here's the thing, even for a self-professed running hater such as me, I've discovered that you can do ANYTHING for the space of two telephone poles. Anything. Because the end is always in sight. You see, life is not a marathon, it's a series of sprints.

And so I run. Yes, by golly, I run. But know this blog world, you will never, no never, catch ME running & smiling in 20 below weather.

On that I stand firm.


Mountaineer03 said...

I always wanted to run too, and I was the same way -- it wasn't working! Then I went to a Team in Training meeting a few years ago. This is terrible, but some of the people they showed in the videos?!? I was thinking if they can, why can't I? Now I've done 3 half marathons and although I've taken an injury break ( body is breaking down) it really does feel good. I'm proud of you, Miss Mary. :)

Erin Harvey said...

Oh man, I hate running too! I have been trying to convince myself that weight lifting will take the place of the aerobic workout, I mean you get your heart racing so you must be burning lots of calories right?! It always seemed like running for exercise had no point. When we were kids we'd run to the neighbors house, but the goal was in sight. Running for exercise never made sense. Maybe I'll look for some telephone poles to motivate me. LOVE this post!!

Emily said...

kudos to you! I hated running too - mainly because people were making me do it not by my own motivation. It was Team in Training for me too (and an honest mistake - that got me into running. I encourage you to keep at it (and get some good shoes!). Gosh, now I am convicted to get out there and start training for my next half marathon in November.

Timothy McDoniel said...

I hate running too. Perhaps it was because when I served in the Army they made us run so much nearly every day. I do go for 5 mile walks (walking very fast) while listening to podcasts. That seems to take the boredom out of it. But no, I really don't enjoy running.

Great Post!

carla ten eyck said...



I KNOW how much YOU hate it and believe me it makes me so freaking proud of you I could BURST! YAY!

You are so right, about the telephone poles thing too- and here I am, a running lover, for real, who has stopped running so long ago my nike plus system reset itself on my blog..HOW EMBARRASSING!!

I think you may have just given me the proverbial Nike in the crikey to get off my duff and run some poles again!


Richard said...

I love your post...I hate to run...but I love your post...millie holloman's mom, julia

joe said...

when i ran cross country, we called those fartlecks... i kid you not...

hope this helps in running them...

Brody Grant said...

What a super idea! I'm slowly learning life seems a lot less intimidating and daunting when you can break it down into little steps or pieces. It is much easier to look at the details than it is the whole thing sometimes.

Oftentimes, I try to apply this to shooting. When I'm feeling overwhelmed with my usual angles and like things just aren't clicking that if I start to focus on the details, things start to come together.

lil' pieces. Or as the great Bill Murray chanted in What About Bob?, "Baby steps. Baby steps. Baby steps."

Stay happy and healthy,
Brody - Polarity Photo

Orchard Cove Photography said...

You are too cute. This is a great idea...actually makes running bearable. For me I have to go right when I get up so I get dressed in running clothes or else it simply won't happen. And I also have to have my IPOD. Pack your running shoes....we can run at the lake (since I haven't done it in a week....yikes!). Can't wait to hang with you. xoxo

E. Broderick Photography said...

Too freakin' hilarious. Loved the post. Laughed my butt off. Actually felt some jiggling that I didn't much enjoy, but I am NOT going to be running that off. I can't run. Total mental block, maybe, but even at my most "in-shape" I could not run distance to save my life. But I CAN sprint. I love little reachable goals so this approach just might be the ticket! I used to play weird little games when I walked home from the bus stop, "I will make it to the next telephone pole before the next car passes..." I like to make little contests up that I know I can win, I guess! See you tomorrow!

Beyond The Lens Photography said...

Mary you are hilarious!!!!! Just for the record....I'm not a runner either. I'm an eliptical junkie....try that. It's nice and warm inside the house, and you can watch CSI or whatever while you're doing it!

Robin Dini Photography said...

i generally dislike any exercise all together. for me, the running around at a wedding is enough cardio for me. ha ha. i love the poles idea though. we're near the boardwalk now and have been taking the bikes out for a spin to get a little movement into our schedule.

carla...i hear ya on the Nike thing. mine did it too! ha ha. let's start challenges again ladies! i'm game!