Today, I went for a run on our city’s “Hike-and-Bike” trail. I’ve been trying to get in shape for several months now after realizing that the “Newlywed 20” is completely legit. Normally, I get up in the morning and go exercise at our apartment’s fitness center. I like it there because I’m usually the only one who uses it at that time of day, and I can watch “What Not to Wear” and no one can judge me as I huff and puff my way through an elliptical machine workout.
This morning, though, I was feeling ambitious. Sam and I recently acquired our first smartphones (iPhones, to be exact), and I’ve been playing with mine non-stop for days. Yesterday, our OtterBox super-duper “Run-your-phone-over-with-a-Hummer-an-it’ll-be-fine” cases came in the mail, and now I don’t have to treat my phone like an egg anymore. I thought a great way to celebrate that would be to take my new phone on a good old fashioned run, outside.
Nike has this awesome app for the iPhone that I also tried out today for the first time. Using the phone’s GPS system, it tracks your speed, distance, and calories burned on any run. It even shows a map of your route at the end of your run that highlights the points where you ran faster and where you ran slower. It’s also completely free and you can get in the app store here.
So, there I was. All set. I had my headphones, some water, and… then I started running and remembered. I’m not so great at running. I don’t have the body type for it and I don’t know the correct technique (although Sam did help me improve a lot over the summer so I don’t look like a flailing infant when I jog).
The trail here in Waxahachie is really beautiful. There are overhanging trees, old train tracks, and flowers. The trail has tons of squirrels that just sit by the sidewalk and wait for people to come along. I imagine they’ve been fed a few too many granola bars and crackers. They’re not scared of humans at all, and that’s unsettling.
Squirrels are Rigby’s hillbilly cousins. They’re not as cute or as fluffy. I would never want one living in my house. Plus, as I learned today, they’re total jerks. I was just running down the trail, minding my own business, trying to ignore the feeling that my heart was about to pack a suitcase and ask for a divorce from me, when a little mangy squirrel runs around my feet and tries to trip me up. You know that joke about a squirrel making it 80% of the way across the road and deciding it needs to turn back? That works on sidewalks, too. Then, to top it all off, it starts scampering down the trail, right in front of me, just mocking the fact that it can run faster than me.
Okay, maybe I’m giving the squirrel too much credit. They’re not that smart. Still, though, running is embarrassing for me even without squirrels to rub it in. Just the whole situation of jogging on a street or trail or track, awkwardly nodding as people zoom past you. All the while, I’m just wondering how long I can keep it up until I have to pretend to do stretches just so I can sit down for a while. And then there’s that feeling when you see someone in really good shape running towards you and you say to yourself, “Well, I better start running too so I don’t look like a loser.” So, despite my amazing technology and the great scenery, I still only managed a 15 minute mile.
Maybe running isn’t the right exercise for me. The skinny girls on Pinterest make it look so easy!
I think it’s going to take a lot of time and patience for me to be the one soaring past people walking and catching their breath, the one leaping over squirrels in a single bound.