Get Your Prance On
October 03, 2007
Left to myself, I'm not a runner. Or even a jogger. I'll walk. I'll bike. I'll swim. I'll skip. I'll rollerblade. I'll train on the elliptical. I'll do somersaults, whatever. I won't run.
Something about taking steps in such quick succession makes my heart rate shoot through the roof, like a misfiring machine gun, and to me it feels almost as frightening. Which is why I'm still not sure why I joined a running class several weeks ago, or even why I'm considering signing up for another.
Before the class began, we each had to write down our goals for ourselves and give them to our trainer. Mine was simple: I want to run a mile. And then I want to run two miles. And then I want to run a 5k. Without feeling like I'm going to die.
The first night of class was hot and humid and we were training next to the Dallas Mavericks, which was sort of intimidating to me. I mean, they're professional athletes and I was totally winded every time I passed them. My pride hijacked my body and I was convinced they were all staring at my red face, sweaty shirt and leaden legs. I was heaving and couldn't breathe, and even though they were just doing crunches on the sidelines, I'd be damned if I didn't run when I passed them. Every. Single. Time. I'm still not sure why I was compelled to save face in front of the Mavs.
So that first night I pushed myself too hard – what with all that running, and all – I actually thought I was going to pass out. And I'll admit it here: after class, I cried. So they moved me down one level, which sort of bruised my ego, but by the sixth night of class, I was actually enjoying running, which has always been an oxymoron to me. In fact, at times it was even FUN. Is that normal?
Of course, I should also admit that I use the term running loosely. It's more of a jog. Or actually, no, it's more of a prance. I'm in a prancing class, and I know this because I can stop running and start walking and I don't lose my pace with my group.
(Should I have admitted that?)
Last night was our thirteenth class and we ran relay races, circa third grade. There's something to be said for long, powerful legs and easy, short distances. The sprinter in me leapt to attention and I'll tell you this: I totally schooled our opposing team. There's nothing more terrifying than the sight my body rushing toward you in a very matador-meets-raging-bull way and I'm feeling quite pleased about it today.
This weekend I'm running my first 5k, and though I doubt there will be any sprinting involved, I'm pretty certain that I'll be able to prance it without feeling like I'm going to die.