As we exit Anno Domini 2017 and enter the new year of 2018, there are many here among us who have resolved to make a better man or woman of themselves in the coming twelve months. And within that set of resolutionists are many who have chosen running as the means to their end.
To each who have made that choice, we rose-lipt maidens and lightfoot lads who made that same resolution long ago say, good choice and good luck. But we also remind you that nothing good comes easily, nor would you want it to. A better you isn’t something that can be wrapped and left beneath the Christmas tree. Instead, it presents in the form of a long, drawn-out process that builds day by day, week by week, month by month. Yes, the running hustle exacts a toll for its rewards and pleasures.
For that toll alone, it strikes many as amazing that any endeavor requiring discomfort and delayed gratification ever caught on in the first place in this ADHD society, much less that it swelled to the size that it has – which, BTW, is somewhat below its peak numbers of 2014.
Notwithstanding, as anyone who picked up running in their adult years can tell you, the first time you try it you end up overheating like a `71 Ford Pinto, feel a severe pain in your side like Jesus being doubt-probed by Thomas, and possibly end up bent at the waist wheezing like you’re trying to make music through the broken toe of an old wooden leg. And that’s before you ever get pushed, in which case there is likely to be vomiting involved. In other words, onset running is a lot like onset cigarette smoking. That anyone continues either after day one, much less for decades, is stunning. So, evidently, there has to be something there that isn’t apparent at the start.
But again like smoking, if you just stick with running long enough odds are you will get hooked because as with any endeavor which requires an investment of time and effort (not to mention puking), running holds out the potential of a payoff. That’s the potential, mind you, but hardly the guarantee. Smoking, I believe, does carry the guarantee. Not necessarily the one you might be looking for, true, but let’s not quibble. Guarantees are hard enough to come by these days as it is.
But the promise of running is mighty. And it is quite simply this, that one day it will turn from a burden to a blessing, from a chore to a choice, until having crossed one’s personal fitness Rubicon, in its final manifestation the sport will have become a personal sanctuary that gives purpose and pride to the act of living to the fullest. Almost makes you want to sit back, have a smoke, and consider those early days of wheezing and puking.
This small offering, then, just a way of saying may 2018 prove to be a happy and healthy New Year to one and all. And to each and every one who found time in 2017 to read from this site on occasion, please know that your time and attention were most sincerely appreciated. And will be again in 2018. And that, my friends, is no joke at all.