Runnin' Down a Dream

When I was a high school senior, we all had to run a mile in order to pass gym for the year. While other kids looked at gym class as a goof-off period, I hated dodgeball and rope climbing and overall physical activity. I never played any sports and I was not athletic at all.  I was an art club kind of girl.

. . . OK . . . not really . .. if they had a club for walking around town aimlessly with my friends, I would've been in that extracurricular activity. I simply was not motivated in my early years, so the thought of running awkwardly in front of my peers horrified me.

Seriously. Horrified me.

The day of the big mile, I learned that we didn't actually have to run the mile, we were allowed to walk it. I sauntered around the track with a few of my like-bodied friends and finished the mile sometime shortly before class ended. It was pathetic. I pretended not to care. I hated running. I've said that for years.

"Ugh, I hate running. Hate. It."

The reality is that I've always had a secret interest in running. My friend Martina made me run with her around Kutztown in our college days, and I said again that running wasn't for me. Hate it. But I knew that I was just embarrassed about how I looked running. The panting. The insta-red face. The profuse sweating. The way I felt like I was going to trip over my own feet at any given second. I said I was hatin' on running . . . but I was actually crushin' on it.

. . . and I was crushin' pretty bad.

I don't know what's come over me lately. Maybe there's something about being twice pregnant and having my uterus and lady parts examined thoroughly during routine checkups for several months . . . maybe it was the labor, where I sat on a gurney with legs spread wide for whoever should walk from around that hospital curtain . . . maybe it was the subsequent emergency C-section, where I was laid out on a table with, like, 12 to 15 people rushing around my nearly naked body, just trying to get that baby out and me sewed up.

Yup, there's something about all that business that makes me not give a rat's ass anymore what I look like while I'm running.

So now I run. I enjoy it! Who knew?! I run on a treadmill, I run outside, whatevs.

Of course, I can't run fast and I still don't go that far. My biggest accomplishment is running 2.2 miles without stopping. That was a special day. I took a picture of the display screen on my treadmill.

When I'm at the gym, I watch home improvement shows and House Hunters on HGTV (OK, and maybe Wendy Williams sometimes). My YMCA has these great treadmills with personal TVs mounted right on front, so you can pick whatever channel to watch. But when I run outside, I listen to music. I get into it, too. You should see me pumping my fist to Bon Jovi (I change the words as I sing along in my head – "Jeanne wipes tiny hineys all day/bloggin' for the fans, she brings home no pay"). I painstakingly prepare playlists because I neeeeeeeeeeed good music to keep me pumped up. I ran a 5k a few months back, and Kanye earned a long-term spot on my playlist because "Jesus Walks" kicked in right when I was about to fall down. 

I've even added some light weightlifting to my routine, so I carefully select songs for that, too . . . and yea, I'm all up on that Robin Thicke bandwagon. Not ashamed at all. 

Then I cool it down with something mellow and deep – I mean, how much deeper can you get then "Renee"? "She wants to be a lawyer. In other words, Shorty studies law." He might give up the surprise ending in the hook, but damn. Those lyrics are deep.

So I thought I'd share what my latest playlist looks like because its awesomeness just might inspire you to get out there, too.

Do you have any good workout songs to share?

Jeanne McCullough is a Montgomery County, PA mom. This post was adapted from her blog Mom Hearts Pinot.

Categories: MomSpeak