If you’ve been here before you know I’ve been running for a while – more than 15 years. My wife (a proud – even defiant – non-runner) has seen the positives and negatives of my involvement in running. On the positive side: When I’m running I’m a calmer, happier person. The frequency of my migraine headaches goes down. In general I have more energy. Those benefits, however, tend to come with a price. Doctor appointments. Physical Therapy appointments. Doing these ballet-like exercises Physical Therapists like to prescribe. Ice bags everywhere and me sitting around using them on some part of my body.
Over the years she and I have worked into this routine where she expresses her amazement that I (and other runners) would proactively choose to participate in a sport that is so hard on the body and results in self-inflicted damage. I then try to defend the sport and convince her that, once I get through this injury, all will be grand and my injury rate will drop substantially. “You really should develop an enjoyment for a different activity because you’re not going to be able to do this forever.”
For many years she has been using a Nordic Track in our basement. She is not one of these people that naturally enjoys exercise, but she is very determined and very persistent in whatever she does. She understands better than anyone I’ve ever met how a small change, implemented consistently over time, can lead to a profound result. After using the Nordic Track for a few months she finished her routine one day and said “You know – I now really see how exercise calms you down and makes you feel good. I can start my routine feeling tired and lethargic and I finish feeling good and energized.” She was hooked. I think it’s fair to say she even looks forward to exercising – or at least looks forward to the satisfaction that comes following exercising.
Yesterday at lunch, following three days of pondering the results of her latest cholesterol test, we were discussing her exercise routine. She said she thought she needed to do something that was more taxing on her body. She looked at me and said “I know exactly what I’m going to do: I’m going to start running.” I about choked on my tuna-on-crackers. She is known to be a bit sarcastic sometimes so naturally I thought she was joking. Nope, she’s serious. Completely serious. She went to a local running store and bought some good shoes and socks. She even bought a watch. (The accessorizing must be complete before run #1 can be completed.) My 5’ 3”, 98 lb. wife, the one who has given me so much grief about running, has begun a running program.
How did her first session go? When she came in the house she said “I think I need to see a Physical Therapist.” Great. Now the joking non-runner has become a joking runner. This is going to be interesting……..