The Great Escape

My running shoes- worn and well loved

Here’s what happens.

I’m going to use a good friend of mine as an example. She has been my running partner for about two months, and initially, she ran on a treadmill, inside. Then, she’d venture outdoors with her youngest son strapped securely in his jogging stroller. Yet, this didn’t really give her the release she was looking for. When she’d have time to run alone, it wasn’t for very long. You only get so much time when you have three strapping young boys for children.

I invited her out for a run one cold, blistery winter morning. It was early. She showed up not dressed for the weather, and she borrowed a few essentials from me, including gloves, scarf and hat. We head out into the murky darkness, streaks of pink etched into the sky as the sun began it’s lift up into the horizon. She commented frequently on the burning in her lungs from the frigid air, and she’d use the scarf as a shield on her mouth, breathing in warmth. We ran 3 miles that morning, and she said she’d never experienced anything like it.

And that’s where it got her. That sort of event would make some people choose to never run outdoors again, or at least not in 30 degree weather. But there are a few who are junkies, like myself. We don’t go for drugs, or booze. Most of us have been there, done that anyway. It’s the high you get from running that makes you lace up those sneakers, and you don’t care if it’s snowing, or if there’s rain, and sometimes you will press your luck if you see lightening outside. If you can’t run, it hurts, like withdrawls.

We are obsessed. 4 days a week, we are out at 5:30am. Some days it’s hard to get out of bed, but we do it anyway, and only in certain situations (like a sick kid) will we cancel our run.

It is our escape from the demands we often feel from life. We work hard to be good mothers, good spouses, good people, and there has to be a break. This is our time to enjoy, to vent, to be quiet as we focus intently on making it up a difficult hill, and what started out as a 3 miler has turned into 9 miles for her, the farthest she’s ever ran. We motivate each other to keep at it, each feeding into our own reasons and obsessions for wanting to run, needing to run.

It’s how it starts. You don’t know how far you can go, but you will get there.

We all have to start somewhere.


A move from Barbell class yesterday: Get into plank position, but on your arms/elbows, like this:

Now, staying in this position, take your left hand and place it on the floor, so you are lifting up on the left side. Then, your right hand, so now you are in a straight armed plank position, like this:

Now, reverse the process, one arm at a time, until you are back on your arms/elbows, and keep doing this. Try to go for 30 seconds, and gradually build from there. Talk about a core worker!


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