My Struggle With Running

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962)

I don’t remember when, exactly, I started running. Somewhere between 10–15 years ago, whatsoever. I hated it from the first step. In spite of that, we went on, developing a love-hate relationship that endured. Like big love stories — it is never easy, many ups and downs, but always coming back to each other.

I still find it difficult to explain what I love and what I hate about running. But not drawing conclusions is key to building long lasting relationships, whatever their nature. There are, nonetheless, things I like and things I struggle with.

Like I said, running has a lot in common with love.


The undeniable truth about running is the immense sense of freedom it gives you. When you’re not able to fly to the African savannahs, running is the closest thing to unleashing your inner Amundsen. All you need is a pair of decent trainers and a road.


When it comes to sports, I am not a team player. Traumatic experience during my teen years be blamed. When in high school, I was forced by unfortunate genetic circumstances to be part in the basketball team. A sport I’ve always found not only too masculine, but also brutal with any imaginable part of my body. Since then, I skip sports involving large teams. Yet, I need motivation to perform. Running gives me that. Pilates does not.


Call me crazy, but I find running gear one of the sexiest options when it comes to attire. Perhaps it’s my subconscious calling for the essential catwoman underneath. But hardly can I find something more appealing than a sleek black combo paired with glowing sneakers. I know, I should go for a dress instead. But I ain’t.


I can’t meditate. I lack patience and focus — which is not necessarily a good thing. Thus, running all alone in the woods gives me time and space for letting go and for taking all the right decisions. Supposedly.


Despite these major pros, I still have to find the right answers to some daring questions. For instance, how can you increase strength? Even though running has been an integral part of my life for something more than an eternity, I still can’t run as much as I’d like. Four miles is the best I’ve been able to achieve from a shot. And it was a gradual process.

Which leads me to the next topic: do I need a coach? And if I do, what sort of coach? Undeniably, the possibility of being coached by a gorgeous-strong-smart-tattooed PT (#meow) is not a possibility to be, by no means, dismissed. But as I’m not even close to something Angelina, par example, would afford, I find myself forced to seek for some more supposable options (#sigh). Like a phone app (thank you, 21st century!)

A smart Artificial Intelligence based phone app would not only learn my habits and extract data from my vital signs. It would also project — options added — the best scenarios for building up strength and developing a more consistent routine and healthy lifestyle. The answer to my struggle.


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