Saturday, November 13, 2010

Running? It's Not About Age

Whenever I see articles like this one, about elderly people (even older than me) still running and doing all sorts of athletic stuff, I have to catch myself from feeling guilty. 

How can these people run better than I did decades ago?  Is something wrong with me?  I don't run.  I was never good at running.  I walk.  I play (exercise) in the pool when it's open.  I used to dance, but now I have to "guard" my knees.

Running just isn't me.  I tried, really.

In my mid-30's when my youngest was in infant I joined some friends for a jog every night.  They jogged; I ran, and they were still faster than me.  They made it look effortless.  I struggled and I suffered.  I had never before in my life experienced so much pain, back pain, knee pain, but I persevered. 

For over four years, religiously I ran six days/nights every week.  I didn't run on Shabbat, but after Shabbat and after breaking fasts on some water and fruit, I'd be out there pounding that pavement.  I finally stopped when I visited my parents in New York and didn't have any place to run.  The running/jogging didn't suit the visit.  I was there with my two young sons.  I couldn't just disappear.  When I got back home to Shiloh, Israel, I just never resumed running.  It was a relief.

I understand that running/jogging is easy for some people; they don't suffer constant pain or injury.  I'm not telling them to stop, but we're all different.  I'm no lazy, wimpy couch potato; I'm just "allergic" to running.  Just like I could never have a "model's figure," no matter how much weight I lose,  I'll never run a marathon.

Do you want to meet me for a walk around the neighborhood?


Anonymous said...

I don't like jogging either. And yet running seems so easy and simple to take up that I do feel guilty regularly too.

Batya said...

When some people run, it does seem easy, but it wasn't easy for me.