There are certain things in life I will probably never, in a million years, understand. Quantum physics, for one thing. How certain people can look me in the eye, and tell me they "don't really like guacamole." Why decaf coffee exists. And on National Running Day, a holiday that encourages runners and non-runners alike to lace up their shoes and hit the pavement, I don't understand how anyone could possibly be excited by the prospect of spending an hour of their life going for a good ol' jog. I've spent my fair share of time on the treadmill, and guys? I hate it.
Of course, there are plenty of reasons why running should be celebrated. For one thing, it's a great way to get rid of all that pent up stress, not to mention it boosts your immune system, keeps your blood pressure in check, and can improve your energy levels across the board. It's cheaper than taking a fancy exercising class since you can do it anywhere, and it's a great way to keep yourself feeling alert and mentally focused. I get all of that, OK? The benefits of running are numerous and well chronicled — and yet, if you were to ask me to choose between signing up for a 5K and locking myself in a dark room with nothing but a bag of stale pretzels and old reruns of Teletubbies to keep me occupied for six days straight... well, let's just say it wouldn't be a completely obvious decision. I just don't like running, never have, and possibly never will.
On National Running Day, in particular, non-runners have the opportunity to give the sport the old college try, and to possibly awaken a passion that may or may not have laying dormant in the depths of their non-running souls. If that happens to you, congratulations! You've possibly found a hobby that will bring you happiness and wellness for the rest of your life — wa-hoo! Me, on the other hand? I'll give running another go (this is a holiday, after all, and one thing I love more than all other things is celebrating holidays), but I have some questions for all you runners out there, first. Here are 11 things about running I just don't understand. Like at all.
1. What is this runner's high everyone speaks of and how do I get it
This is a serious question. As far as I'm concerned, a runner's high happens when you can't breathe and everything hurts and you kind of just stop and then your body is like "THANK YOU KATHRYN LET'S NEVER TRY THIS AGAIN." What are these endorphins that you runners rave so much about? How do I get those?
2. What am I even supposed to think about
Besides how I think my brain and lungs and muscles are on fire. That's legit the only thing on my mind as I'm running, and even that gets boring after, like, 20 minutes.
3. Running outside
Let's talk about everything that could go wrong here for a second. It could be freezing cold and raining or snowing, and then you catch pneumonia for exposing yourself to the elements, and then you die. It could be 100 degrees and humid, and then you pass out from heat stroke, and then you die. It could be a mildly sunny, perfect spring day, and then you trip over a rock, or get hit by a kid on a scooter, and break all of your bones... and then you die. If you ask me, that's just a few too many "what ifs" for me to deal with right now.
4. Running inside
You can only watch Real Housewives of Beverly Hills for so long from your treadmill before you think you might faint from boredom. Also, that guy making all the weird grunty noises on the machine next to you gets to be kind of unsettling and weird after a while, and you probably should have just gone to spin class. At least there's better music.
5. How people can take running selfies and not die
One time I was leisurely walking down the sidewalk on a beautiful day, tried to snap a photo to show the world how much fun I was having being outdoors, and I tripped on the curb, scraped both knees, and had a blurry pic of the street to serve as a memento of my clumsiness. How people can take pictures as they're actually, forcefully in motion is something I will never, ever know how to do.
6. Why running in races is fun
Because you're probably not going to win, right? I mean, honestly, what are the odds? And why play when you can't win? This is obviously my inner competitive psycho showing her ignorance right now, but I don't understand, guys. I DON'T UNDERSTAND.
7. Why waking up early to run is fun
I can think of about a million other things I'd rather do before 9 a.m. You know, like, sleep.
8. Why you would put your toes through such hell
My runner friends actually take weird joy sharing horror stories of things that have happened to their toe nails after a particularly long run. Meanwhile, I try to shut my brain down immediately as they're talking, because what if I get actual nightmares from listening into this conversation?
9. Uh, tummy trouble
Hi, that sounds humiliating and awful and gross. O_O
10. Those weird toe shoes
Actually, don't even explain this one to me. I don't want to know.
11. How people can walk upright and function like normal humans after a long run
And by long run, I mean a run that lasts longer than about five minutes, which is my record. And then I spend the next six to seven days complaining about how I'll probably never recover. Like, ever. OK, so maybe I'm not a non-runner so much as I'm just a mega drama queen.