I ________________ to run.
The answer for the blank space above could just as easily be love as hate.
I both love and hate running. I get a little adrenaline rush while I stretch, put on my running clothes, and trip over Tasha as she lunges at me in excitement to get out the door. I despise the feeling of the first mile. I always feel anxious, short of breath, and out of shape. My calf muscles always protest loudly as I hit the first hill of my 3 mile trek. I am such a creature of habit that I feel like I am cheating on my running route if I deviate from it. I do a lot of self-talk at this point, reminding myself that I have gained mastery over this distance and this speed. I curse the traffic light gods when I am forced to stop at the light, and feel like everyone at the light is staring and wonders why I would run with humongous double sports bra clad boobs bouncing around. When I hit my stride, I feel invincible. I feel like I could actually take on a half marathon someday. I think about how I enjoy having clothing fit looser and less back fat. I think about how I want to be in shape for my children, so that I can enjoy a long life with them. I think about the fact that if I don't run, I will really need to diet hardcore and give up food I enjoy. I think about how I wish I still had a running partner, so we could motivate one another...how I wish that my husband could be my running partner but that 1) he's with our children and 2) he runs too darn fast for me. I am always correcting my posture and trying to strike the ground with the correct part of my foot. I am always monitoring Tasha's speed. There's a sweet spot where neither of us is pulling the other along. When I hit the half way mark I tell myself I can surely manage to complete what I just have. I remind myself that the way back is more of a decline than the inclined way there. I am extremely conscientious of other dogs and worry and one will jump out and attack Tasha. I am sure people recognize me running because of my white fluffy poofball partner. If I start to falter around 3/4 of the way done, I begin to chant in time with my stride. A common thing running through my head is "one foot in front of the other" or "one piece of pizza, nev-er two". Stopping isn't an option unless my shoes are untied. Finishing is bliss and victory. I tell myself I am amazing. I tell myself I am entirely proud of myself. I tell myself, I love to run.