Summer Hustle

This is not a revolution. It isn’t an identity crisis, either. I don’t know what it is.

Last month, I started running. Well, I called it running, but it is more like jogging. Actually, it is whatever is slower than jogging and more sloppy-looking than walking. I can walk like a champion. I have long legs. I stand up straight and make sure my heels hit the ground first. I could walk to the ocean.

I can barely run to the Water Filtration Plant.

That’s funnier if you know that I live 0.75 miles from the Water Filtration Plant.

On May 3, I rather abruptly decided I’d had enough of being out of shape. I’ve never been physically fit. For a long time, I was just lucky: naturally skinny. That I’m not still naturally skinny has been a hard reality to face. I was in denial for awhile. I think I honestly thought it would come back somehow—defying age, bad habits, and science the way all magic does.

On that fateful Sunday, I ran to the filtration plant and back and didn’t die. I ate three lunches, but I didn’t die. So I did it a few more times and ended up running 13.5 miles in May. My goal for June is to do more, even if it’s just 14.

Like I said, this isn’t a revolution. I’m not suddenly a runner, and I won’t be running any 5Ks. I don’t like running. It doesn’t make me feel free or unencumbered or even stronger. It makes me sore and hungry. So far, I haven’t noticed any physical benefits except that I sleep better, which is something. What I do like about running is that it’s relatively easy. Of course, my shins hurt and I come home with sweat covering every inch of my body. It’s easy to schedule, though, since my work schedule is light and I live five steps from the river greenway, and it doesn’t take up much of my time. Someday, maybe I’ll be able to run farther and longer, but for now, I just go to the filtration plant and back.

When I started this post (300 words ago), I wasn’t sure why I wanted to write about this. It didn’t take me long to realize that I’m moved to document this lifestyle change because it’s just that: a lifestyle change. I don’t change easily, and who knows if I’ll stick with this? A month is a pretty significant commitment for me, though. Ask anyone who has ever tried to work out with me. (It won’t take you long; there’s only one person brave enough to attempt that.) Even if I fail, I’ve learned something about myself: I can run to the filtration plant and back without dying.