Reluctant Runner Series #1: Embrace The Contradiction


Published on June 20th, 2013

Embrace the contradiction. That’s what today’s post is all about.

My name is Sharon and I’m a reluctant runner, to put it mildly. For me, running rates up there with the other great joys of life such as taking the trash out, going to the dentist, and paying my taxes. When I share this with people, I get the inevitable question- “Well then, why do you do it?”. People have expressed a wide range of emotions about my choice, most of them a criticism of my decision to engage weekly in an activity that rates only slightly higher than cleaning out the fridge for me. So, in an attempt to placate the finger wagging masses, here’s the best explanation I have.

Running doesn’t feel good to me in the moment- I hate thinking about doing it, I dread preparing to do it, and I spend every minute I’m running counting down the minutes until I’m done. In spite of all that though, it is still a positive component of my life. Not because of all the medals I win at my 5K races, because I’m far from achieving that, not because of the runners high all those beaming runners are always raving about (we’ll tackle that elusive beast in another post), and not because of any EatPrayLove ideas about running transforming my life. I run because it’s good for my health.

When I’m done with a run I feel just a little bit stronger. A little more vibrant. When my heart is pounding after a good run, and my muscles ache just a little, and I’m cooling down from, I feel a quiet, simple satisfaction. I know that I just gave myself a gift. I recognize that I am keeping myself healthy and strong in my present and for my future.

It also reminds me that worthwhile things don’t always come easy and that I have the determination and strength to persevere when it feels hard. So, that brings me to the final verdict…

Running- I love it and I hate it. I avoid it, and I choose it. I insult it while praising it. I embrace the contradiction, I strap on my shoes, and I run.

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Sharon M

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