When I was a kid I could run really fast.
I was quick and squirrelly.
I had to be. I was always one of the smallest kids in school, or liddle’ as the resident White House toddler calls it.
The bigger boys in my class enjoyed practicing their wrestling moves during recess, and conveniently enough I was the perfect sized 3rd grader to pick up and suplex. Granted we all wrestled as boys do, but I was never the one picking up somebody to suplex. I was always the suplexee.
Honestly, I don’t know how we never broke any bones or worse.
So I learned to sprint to get away, but no stamina. By the time I was in college playing intramural soccer, running also meant shin splints and aching knees. These days my knees feel like old Tinkertoys and bubblegum rather than bone joints and cartilage.
Recently I was cleaning out my closet for donations, and I found an old pair of running shoes that I bought ~10 years ago when was working out regularly at the gym. I only used them for working out, and maybe a few minutes on the treadmill. They’re still practically new, but also pretty fugly as most running shoes are IMO.
When I found the shoes in the back of my closet I asked myself – keep or donate?
“Donate, duh Slothman”.
But then I found another pair of running shoes. I guess I only liked buying the shoes, not using them for their purpose. For whatever reason I decided to keep the newer pair.
Now back to my walk with Jeff the Dood.
The day after we double timed it, I had a giant blister from my slip-ons. I like how they look, and they feel super comfy while walking, but they’re way too casual for jogs.
I know I need to wear these basic, ugly running shoes- with their giant, floppy laces and weird thick heels.
But at least now they serve a purpose other than holding down the back of my closet. They’re also pretty comfortable thanks to all the cushioning and support.
Our first walk wearing the shoes started the same. Walking. Slow steady pace. Jeff’s sniffing the sidewalk and plants to find out which friends already passed by.
But no podcast this time, and no silence. I need better sound motivation for this.
This time I put on my workout playlist, also from over 10 years ago. Mostly House music with BMP above 120. Remixes like Sinnerman, and Paradise, I Can’t Get Enough and Music Sounds Better. They keep a good, bouncy pace that I can jog to.
I should clarify what I mean by jogging. My jogging is not graceful like this:
Mine’s more of a rhythmic plodding. If someone filmed me in slow-mo I’m sure it’d be me bouncing up and down at all angles while seeing the Earth move under my feet.
And speaking of my beautiful feet. A pair of genetic blessings passed down from my Grandfather. They’re often confused for adobe bricks due to a condition podiatrists refer to as Flintstonian.
They make running fun and I can always stop on a dime.
So now we’re walking. Cue the Squirrel! Time to move.
I catch the beat playing in my headphones and we’re off. I’m jogging. Jeff’s long legs skitter along next to me and he’s gliding on the sidewalk. He’s barely in second gear. I time my breathing to my steps so I don’t get winded.
We jogged the long side of the block all the way to the end, then walked up the short side, and jogged the long block again crisscrossing our way back home.
Jeff’s infectious energy is guiding me to do something that I’ve always disliked doing for a number of reasons. And now the reasons (excuses) are disappearing. That’s what a good personal trainer helps you do. They help you empty your bag of excuses.
I’m now running short sprints that play to my physical strength instead of longer distances that force my body to do something it wasn’t made to do.
I’m running comfortably thanks to a proper pair of running shoes that I almost gave away. And the pain in my knees and shins has been replaced by healthy muscle soreness in my calves, quads and glutes.
The cannabis acts as a bronchodilator allowing me to breathe in more cool morning air so I can run further without losing my breath. And I’ll save the “Runner’s High…On Weed” for a whole other blog post.
Jeff is pushing me and he doesn’t even know it. He’s just living his best damn life and he wants me to join him. Walking, jogging, running together puts me in the present moment with him.
Our daily routine started as a way to get him exercised so he wouldn’t drive us crazy. Now I’m exercising as a way to help me stay sane in a crazy world.
And we really do have a great time jogging together.
A Yabba-Dabba Doo time.