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By TED SILLANPAA

My first step toward running, jogging or walking a 7-kilometer event in Davis on March 9 was to jog 2 1/2 miles around my neighborhood on what I hadn’t realized was a really, really, really warm Saturday afternoon.

It was sunny. It might not have been all that warm, I suppose. I didn’t notice it being warm, frankly, until I’d run a mile or so. At that point, it seemed unseasonably warm.

The woman I’ll be entering the event with (and for) once said, “I’d exercise more, but I don’t like to sweat.” She’s gone through a grueling physical transformation and is now one of those exercise nuts I used to laugh at for planning healthy meals and scheduling training sessions while I was always seemed more fit than they were eating whatever I wanted and running five miles, really fast, every day. So, she’s clearly worried I won’t train for this Davis deal because I won’t train like she’ll train.

You see, she’s just now realizing the joy of getting fit and being fit. Me? I’m sort of settling into accepting that I have no real reason to be fit as long as Dockers doesn’t start making their biggest slack a 38-inch waist.

Speaking of training, and running, I realized today that I can’t think about why I’m doing it. There’s no novelty in my working up a good sweat and pushing myself. I did it my entire life.

When I was 25 or 35, I knew I’d feel better simply by going out and running … hard and up as many hills as I could find. I knew if I lifted weights that I’d hit a raquetball harder. If I did an aerobics class, I’d be a better basketball player. So, reminding myself why I was running 5 miles at a 6 1/2-minute-per-mile pace made training a blast, nothing but a good thing.

Now?

I’m jogging 2 1/2 miles, feeling an ache in my low back and calves, so that I can jog-walk 7K with a woman who once admitted she didn’t like to sweat. My 17-year-old son is mortified at the thought that I feel I need to train simply to make sure I can keep up with her. (He still gets high working out. Darn him!)

I pushed through a fairly simple 2 1/2-mile jog on a beautiful day trying not to think about the fact that if I get really fit again it means … it means … I’ll lose a little weight and maybe live a little longer. Maybe.No guarantees at my age. The ultimate running guru, author Jim Fixx, dropped dead of a heart attack at age 52 … after his daily run. He felt great, right up until he died, apparently.

While I pushed through the 2 1/2 miles, the only thing that reminded me that I was ever athletic was that … I realize that I can still push myself through a little discomfort and that I can still regulate my breathing. Oh, and I know that if I’d had to that I could’ve kept running for another mile or two.

I just couldn’t imagine a single reason why I should keep jogging though. The discomfort that comes from jogging now doesn’t scare me anymore than plowing up sand dunes on the coast on a 6-mile run did in 1985 — I just didn’t see any reason to extend the discomfort simply to jog a little further.

And, it was really hot out.

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Comments

2 Comments

  1. The Bat

    It’s good for your heart, good for your cardiovascular system, and will ultimately be good for you when your kids have kids of their own, and Grandpa needs to keep up with them ;-)

    February 10th, 2013 9:20 am

  2. overtime

    Bat…Thanks. That’s really the only motivation for being any kind of fit for me. Ted

    February 11th, 2013 1:06 pm

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