by Jeff Lund
At some point, I started hated running.
Then, that became my excuse for not doing it. As if I was entitled to never again do it because I didn’t like it. I have run two marathons, six half marathons, so I am done. My home workout room is modest, but enables me to do most of the exercises of Jay Ferruggia’s workout program and on the conditioning day I do a hike.
As an Alaska who loves to hunt in the alpine, I climb lots of mountains. Well, not lots of mountains, the same few mountains multiple times every August and September. So, with that in mind, I was especially turned off to the thought of running.
But in April I woke up and did 30 burpees to get ready for my morning staff meeting on Zoom. It felt good. Then, rather than a hike, I ran a mile. The next week I ran a mile, then when I got to the bridge next to my house, I sprinted across. I walked back, and sprinted across again. And again. And again. And again.
One of the last distance runs I did was a 6-mile run on the 4th of July with Danny and our buddy Derrick. We confirmed afterward that hiking shoes are not as comfortable as running shoes.
There is always a difference between who we think we are, and who we really are. Sometimes it’s huge and we are lying to ourselves in big ways. Sometimes it’s smaller.
I fit into a demographic that is not necessarily at risk when it comes to Covid-19. But I wondered how much I was just projecting. I look like I am fit. Not CrossFit, but like I’m in shape. I’m 38. Eat pretty healthy. Meat, vegetables, leaves. No fast food. No energy drinks or soda. It takes me two months to work through 1.75 quarts of Tillamook ice cream.
What pissed me off is that I can run but chose not to. That I was relying on the fact that was in an age group to dictate whether or not I should be concerned about risk. I was not doing everything I could to get my immune system and body prepared for battle. My year tilted toward being the readiest in August and September for those grueling hikes in the mountains with heavy packs. Then there was a taper, then winter, then spring and then a gradual build up during summer. As long as my body was ready in August, I’m good.
My body needs to be ready but not just the muscles. My lungs, my heart, all of it. I can’t rely on hoping I fit into a demographic the virus struggles with. I need to be ready for battle.
I run twice a week at least now, with Tuesday being the day I sprint the bridge. It’s not a long space, but that’s not the point. It point is I lost track of what being prepared means. I don’t want it to come down to whether or not my mask works, or someone sneezes or the government protecting me. It’s my responsibility to look after myself.