I began running on the treadmill in my basement – a very safe place for me to begin this new experiment of trying out the sport. I have always envied some people as they run – they look so lithe and athletic. I have tried on and off many times in the past, but I have felt clunky and blubbery with no rhythm whatsoever. So I have stop started many times or just resorted to going for walks. But walks can be boring and I wanted to overcome this insecurity I had with running.
But then, we purchased this treadmill I could really try and run in the privacy of my basement. I was able to lumber and wog (walk and jog) and no one has to see me wheeze and figure out my groove. I knew there would come a point when I would take my jogging outside – and two things changed my point of view and kicked my insecurities on their ass and pumped up my confidence.
The first was music – if it wasn’t for Mary J. Blige or freakin’ Foghat there is no way I would push myself as hard as I have sometimes. Many times of the day I crave silence – but not when I am running. I need it thumping and pumping and I am always looking for something else to get me moving.
The second confidence change is – I pretend while I am running. I pretend that I am my good friend, Renee. Renee has an athletic perseverance to her running that I admire – and Renee is never afraid to be vocal as she runs. So I pretend that I am Renee – because it gets me out of my head and it pushes me to run harder.
So as I am jogging around the neighborhood and I am listening to 90’s R&B cranked up high, I am most likely embarrassing the heck out of myself, as I do a lot of loud, “Oooh’s!” and “Alright!” And I even throw in a “Do it!” At any given moment, I may be air guitaring (which I never, ever do in real life)as I am snaking through the hood.
In many ways I am in better shape than I was in my twenties – there was no way I could have ran two miles back then. I have no idea what I look like, but I imagine that I look tough and strong – and I am having a ton of fun.