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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I'm a Runner and I Don't Get It!

My last couple runs I was surrounded by wildflowers and trees blossoming. I saw wild turkeys, two bald eagles, a great blue heron, a golden marten, deer... I enjoyed the greenery all around me and the snow-capped mountains on the horizon. I exulted in the changing seasons and in the feeling of being able to run up and down hills with pleasure.

Within a linear mile of me, thousands of people sat in front of their TV's or computers in their hermetically-sealed dwellings. They have to watch their diets (I eat as much as I want, which is a lot); and still gain weight (not me). They complain of being tired all the time and of the various aches and symptoms and conditions associated with growing older. I have lots of energy and am in the best shape of my life (going on 55). Running isn't work, it's a joy.

If I meet one of those people, and they learn that I like to run long distances almost daily, they will often look at me with something like pity and say something condescending like, "Good for you, I just don't get why anyone would choose to run like that." I think they actually feel sorry for me!

Yeah, well, I used to be a non-runner and I remember symptoms and chronic tiredness and staying cooped up because getting out was just too darned demanding and having to watch everything I ate and still adding inches to my waist and worrying about my heart and all that other stuff that was happening to my peers.

I can understand friends who say, "I wish I could run but I can't because (legit reason)" or "I prefer biking/swimming/pogo-sticking" or "I really should but it's hard to get started" (that was me for 20 years). But the ones who think that vigorous exercise would detract from their well-being and enjoyment of life?

Maybe I'm dense, but I just don't get it.


David Haddon said...

Just where did you see that marten? I've never seen one.

Are you sure it wasn't a fischer? or that lone wolverine prowling the state?

Mark Swanson said...

upon further review (I got a closer look yesterday and did more research and talked to an expert), it is neither a marten, nor a fisher, nor a mink or ermine or prairie dog or ground squirrel or marmot.

Just what this beautiful long-furred blonde really is is quite a mystery- perhaps a mutant or an illegal alien. I tried to catch it on film today but failed. I'll try again tomorrow.