I’ve had to take a day off running after an early morning encounter with a plastic Army guy on a darkened staircase. Though small, the Army guy was clearly very well trained. I never saw him, and the next thing I knew, I was right on top of him and my feet flew out from under me. I thudded down the stairs and emerged mostly unscathed, but with an eight inch welt and bruise on a region rather critical to running.
I’m doing fine and will be back out to run today, but the forced rest left me preoccupied with how I came to be a runner (only a year and a half ago) and how I would like to respond to all the people who say, “Oh, I could never do that.” Here are the top 5 reasons why (which people feel compelled to share with me):
Reason 1: I don’t have time.
Response: Neither do I. At least, not in the way you mean. The time I spend running could easily be taken up by doing laundry, reading to my kids, catching up on work, seeing a movie, and so on. And these are just the necessary or worthy things I could be doing. It’s true, you will need to elbow some other things aside. I assure you, there are things you can afford to elbow.
Reason 2: I don’t have anyone to watch my kids.
Response: I appreciate this. My kids are not old enough to be left alone. If yours aren’t either, and they’re very young indeed, take them with you. That’s the actual reason jogging strollers exist, not just to impress other suburban moms. If you can’t take them with you, and you can’t afford to hire a babysitter, get a friend to watch them. If you have no friends, expand your definition of friend to include anyone who will watch your kids in exchange for cookies, petsitting, or whatever other barter currency you have to offer.
Reason 3: I don’t have the energy.
Response: Running begets energy.
Reason 4: There is no sports bra in the world that can restrain my ample bosoms.
Response: You think you’ll get sympathy from me?! I, who have a concavity where your ample bosoms are bounding painfully around? I, who sacrificed what little I had on the altar of breastfeeding? No, I have nothing to offer you on this front. Take comfort though; the scientific community is working to help you with articles like this one, entitled “Predictors of three dimensional breast kinematics during bare-breasted running.” Imagine the scene in THAT lab.
Reason 5: I don’t have the money.
Response: You really don’t need much. A pair of shoes (and they can be the cheapest ones at WalMart; there is no benefit in terms of injury prevention to expensive shoes), a good sports bra (see Reason 4) if you’re a lady. That’s about it. Cheaper than a gym membership, even if you do have to pay someone to watch your kids. Also, probably cheaper than anti-anxiety meds, and high blood pressure meds, and cholesterol meds.
If all five of these reasons are obstacles for you, and you have no time, no friends, no energy, and no money, then I suppose you should sit down and re-examine your life. But take some comfort in your ample bosoms. After all, it’s not the worst problem a girl can have.