Yesterday we talked about why running might not be for everyone, because some people’s bodies simply might not be built for it.
But what about people who are physically capable of running, but just don’t like it? I’ve had friends tell me that they want to love running, but they find it totally boring. And of course it shatters my soul into a million pieces because I want everyone in the world to enjoy the endorphin highs I get to experience almost daily. Even running around a flat circle 10+ times makes me happy in a weird way.When people tell me that they just don’t like running, two conflicting thoughts come to mind.
First, I want to tell them to keep trying. I’d say that running is definitely an acquired taste. When I started running I totally sucked and was really slow. I had to walk/run most of my two-mile loop and the only way I got through the workout was by blasting music through my iPod (or wait — maybe it was a CD player?! omg.) and running really early in the morning so that I was too sleepy to talk myself out of it. (A tactic I still rely on today – ha!)
For the first few months I was running mostly out of pure determination, not out enjoyment. I still didn’t “get” the whole running thing, but I wanted to keep trying out of curiosity and stubbornness.
And then, really slowly, I actually got better. And then I kind of started to like the whole running thing. This all went down during the end of my senior year of high school, when I was excited/nervous/sad about moving to Baltimore for college. I realized that running was an excellent tool to deal with thoughts and emotions and I started to really find my zen out on the run. And the rest is basically history.
So: Couldn’t everyone have a similar happy ending to their “I hated running” story? Well… I want to say yes, but:
Second, I want to tell them that I totally understand. Here’s the thing, though. Although I don’t understand how anyone could find running boring, I can relate to finding certain exercises boring. All I do is think about yoga As much as I’ve tried to get into yoga over the years, I still find it totally boring. I just don’t get it! I can’t stay focused and feel like each minute drags on during class. There have been very few instances where I’ve left a yoga class feeling like I’ve gotten a good workout or accomplished much of anything.
What’s also weird is that I feel like yogis talk about the zen they find in yoga like the way I talk about the zen I find in running. We’re striving for the same thing — but just have different methods of getting there.
So, to everyone who hates running and thinks it’s boring: I want you to keep trying, but at the same time I totally get it.
What do you think? Can anyone learn to love running?