Thursday, October 3, 2013

RUN, don't walk!

Yesterday morning I had a track workout (yay!) and shared the track with the usual suspects - the semi-serious runner, the shuffle runner, the women with dogs, and the "let's meet up and walk" moms. Luckily no kids on bikes (which annoy me to no end, we have plenty of giant empty parking lots for that), and no guy-on-skateboard-pulled-by-his-husky.

Between mile repeats I found myself studying a group of four women walkers who were probably mid-30s to mid-40s. They all looked perfectly capable of running even just a little. Perhaps that was a big assumption, but I could not stop wondering, what kept them from running? Had they tried? Would they try?

Walking is fine and all, and certainly I recognize that not everyone can physically run. But if you can do it,  running is freedom and strength and capability and belief!! Just typing that I get excited thinking about running!

So finally as I was cooling down with some easy aerobic stuff at the end, I blurted out as I passed them, "why don't you all run a lap with me?"

And without hesitation all four broke into an easy little run! I was so shocked! I ran backward for a while and some rambling encouragement fell out of my mouth, and then I ran back to them and said, "you know, I started this way, running to a mailbox and then walking to the next. You all should mix it up and run a lap and walk a lap. You'll be ready for a 5K in no time!"

They lasted half a lap or so, and I let them be, but I soooo wanted to follow up, to coach, to encourage, to challenge. I hope maybe I planted a seed.
I fear that after a childhood of hearing "WALK, don't run," we've just beaten the RUN out of people. I want to tell people "RUN, don't walk" (if you can).

I think adults get so far removed from running that it just feels foreign, strange. And we can't think of where or why we would run, so we don't. But we should!!

I love the expression of "running is a dance that covers distance." It is that indeed.

We need signs like this at the track:

Yes, walking is better than not. But if you can run, it's worth a try.

Running is playing. It's breaking the "rules". It's freedom from the expected.

Don't walk. RUN!