As I’m lying here on my couch in my sweatpants under a blanket surrounded by cats, hot coffee, and books, I don’t feel a strong need to go outside…at least until April.
When my alarm went off at 6 o’clock this morning, my bed was so warm and cozy. I set my alarm for 6am to allow myself 30 minutes of reading and coffee time before having to get dressed and drive to Roanoke to run with my “friends.” (They deserve the quotes. Seriously. These people are relentless.)
However, instead of spending that 30 minutes finishing one of my books and enjoying the morning, I spent it lying in bed thinking through all of the possible excuses (or lies) I could come up with to excuse myself from driving an hour to run up and down the mountains in 14 degree weather. I didn’t want to go. Running isn’t fun.
You people who want to run, but don’t because you hate it and you think that people that love it are crazy and you could never be that crazy? Here’s a secret. Most runners hate it. We hate the act of running. We hate leaving our warm beds at 6am on a January Sunday morning. We hate the pain and exhaustion. We hate the wind and cold and endless climbs. (Don’t get me wrong, there are those that love the act of running. They’re weirdos. We won’t talk about them here. The act of running sucks.)
What we love is the feeling of friendship and camaraderie that comes from suffering along with other runners. We love the feelings of accomplishment and overcoming that come after the run. We love how our muscles remind us of how hard we pushed them for hours (or sometimes days) after a run. We love being able to look at one another and say, “See those mountains? Yep. We just did that.”
And if we can do that, imagine what else we can do? Go ahead. Tell us we can’t do something. (And then hold our beer. Because we’re probably holding a beer. We like beer.)
So, I knew, even as I was frantically trying to come up with the best lie I could use to get out of this run, that I was going to get up and go anyway. Because runners fear shame more than we fear discomfort.
And now I get to lie here the rest of the day reading books and watching basketball and daring someone to call me lazy.