After receiving the second warning from my doctor regarding my bone density, in an effort to avoid taking medication, I entered a ‘learn to run’ group from the local, you know-who type running store. Health and the desire to not look like a large green lump at my daughter’s wedding were the motivators. Running with the pack was to be my support.
Four weeks in, if I hadn’t paid for this I would be long gone. I may still be long gone. I am looking for alternatives – not to the running, that I like, but the pack, the pack – well it has the desirablitiy of well, a pack of rampaging wildabeasts.
I have never been much of a team player. Perhpas too mildly stated….I have always hated team activities. I knew that going in, but running is rather a solitary activity, or so I thought, and it might be good to have others going through the same thing to act as a support and drive to get up and go. And get up and go they did. The majority of the group is under 30 and as fit as someone should be having managed only to get through 2+ decades of life. The clinic insists that the goal is to have a good time, to run together, to provide everyone with the opportunity to advance at their own pace – well unless your pace is subtaintially slower than everyone else’s.
There they go, trotting off into the sunset, while I struggle along at the back of the group falling farther and farther behind. Considering I am not suppose to feel pressured into performing, how exactly is it that they intend to convey that by leaving me with a babysitter who is obviously struggling to run as slowly as I? Or perhaps it is the whistle and the commands to ‘run now’ or ‘walk’ regardless of how I feel at the moment? Perhaps it is the hords of other packs of runners crowding me off the sidewalk as they thunder past with little or no concern for my space in this running world?
It can’t possibly be the lecture portion of the clinic. It has included so far one brief 30 minute period of time with some useful information on body dynamics. Otherwise it contains tidbits of information about goals – a 30 minute loop lecture on how important it is to have one whether it is running a 5 k or a half marathon – and about clothes – buy theirs. It never once has touched upon the difficulty of building up stamina as you age or how to adjust the learn to run guidelines to suit your body’s messages.
No, the group once again doesn’t seem to meet my needs. Last week’s trip across the high level bridge admidst the roar of traffic seemed to be the cornerstone of my revolution. I would rather continue to find what small enjoyment I can find in running.
To hell with the pack.