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Running is the best thing ever. You don't need any expensive equipment, other than a sports bra (maybe two, no one wants to be knocked out by a renegade tit to the face) and a pair of running shoes. You don't have to buy a membership to any sweaty, stinky, somewhat intimidating gym filled with grunting gorillas, gawkers, and people that seem to be there solely for small talk and selfies.
Don't get me wrong, I love the gym too. I learned early on in my running career that you can't just run, as amazing as that would be. You've gotta have balance and strength and so on and so forth... It's just that running is my first love, and will always have a special place in my heart as the one thing that saved my health, my sanity, and my life.
Yep. Running. It might be the only sport where you can be smiling like a fucking lunatic when you're done, even though a few minutes ago you were on the verge of shitting your pants. Maybe you even did shit your pants a little. It's okay. First rule of long-run skid mark club is that we don't talk about long-run skid marks. Unless of course, you had the kind of gastrointestinal event that dribbled onto your socks; in which case, you wear that horror story like a badge of honor and retell it often. I mean, if it was that bad, someone probably made a meme out of you and you might as well embrace it because memes live forever. I haven't made it there yet, but someday, dammit. SOMEDAY...
See, I told you it was gross.
But even if most people would consider the possibility of shitting yourself (among other things) as the polar opposite of awesome, somehow the magic of distance running transcends that.
You're out there, on your own, for most long runs. There is no team, no coach, no crowd to cheer you on. All that propels you forward are your own two legs, and your own will.
You're alone with your breathing and your heartbeat, and maybe some music. If you live in a rural area like me, sometimes people you know will stop and ask you if you're ok, and whether you need a drive, and if you say no... "ARE YOU SURE?" (This happens most frequently when it's raining and you're smiling like an idiot, for some reason).
There is no one to answer to except yourself.
If you cut your run short, or even skip it altogether... There is literally no one that is gonna talk shit. They all think you're fucked in the head anyway, out there running (or "jogging," or whatever the fuck they call it) for hours at a time. They are secure in their belief that you are "RUINING YOUR KNEES," and they applaud you for every day off.
It really is a thankless sport, and it's disgusting. Blisters and chafing and shitting in the woods and bleeding and crying... And for what? FOR WHAT?
Because you fucking can, that's why. Because from the moment one of our ancestors stood up on two legs with our big ass stupid brains and hairless bodies, that is literally the only thing that gave us the edge to survive. It's why we are still here. We were gifted with not only a big brain, but most importantly, with the body and physiology for endurance. We were built to run.
We were born for it.
And we are dying because we don't do it enough.
PS—I'm not ruining my knees. Sitting on your ass is ruining YOUR knees. XOXO.