I am {not} a runner

I have this dream where I am running on a beach. Damp sand kicking up on my heels, I glide along the misty coastline with the sun rising to my right and frothy sea lapping to my left. My taut muscles flex with every stride like a majestic mare. The skin on my shoulders glistens slightly from small beads of sweat. The air is cool. Each breath is controlled and steady and produces a small cloud in front of my mouth, serving as symbol that I am living my life at full throttle. I run…and run…and run. Not a jog, a full run.

Do you like to run? I do not. Not inside, outside, uphill or downhill. I do not like to run.

I know people who run. As a matter of fact, I know lots of people who run a lot – 5k, 10k, half-marathon, marathon. Even a few Ironmen, those who run after tons of other crazy shit. It seems like there are more people now who run more than ever before. These are the “running people.” They all just run, run, run. They run when it’s hot. They run when it’s not. They run in the sun, snow and rain. Many run for fitness, others run simply because they can.

Sometimes I envision myself as Forest Gump. Not the shrimp fisherman, but the running Forest. I think to myself, “so I just started running.” Then come images of all the majestic things I see when I am running out in the world – across the Painted Desert, along the lakes of Minnesota, through the streets of New York City. In this vision, I can real-ly run. Once I finish running and have seen all that I want to see, I just stop. I turnaround to the group of people that I have inspired to run alongside me on this magnificent journey. They wait with bated breath for me to speak and I say with muffled voice, “I’m tired. I’m going home now.” And that would be it, my running days would be over.

Those “running people” say once you pass the first few miles, it gets easier. They claim there is a point at which running becomes pleasant, even addictive. I think they are lying to me. I have done one official “run” in my life – 12 miles with a lot of obstacles thrown in for giggles. It was a team event so you can ask my teammates about my stellar performance. Then there was a 1-mile fun run. You read that right, one mile. Yes, I walked some of the way. I ran cross country in junior high, but didn’t everyone? I have no idea what that was about. Hated every minute of it.

The marathon is a symbol to me. A great goal, but something I have convinced myself I will never accomplish. That it is not in my cards. I would love to be a a person who says, “oh, I was up early this morning because I had to get in my 15 miles before breakfast. You know, I am training for a marathon.” Or like the young woman I stood next to in line recently. She was sporting a boot brace on her leg, so I asked her how she hurt herself. She said, “I got a stress fracture while running a half marathon last weekend. I overdid it a bit when I got to the finish line and just kept going and ran the full thing.”

Who are these people?

There is a running-friendly mix on my iPod with copious amounts of Usher, Ludacris and Pitbull, which works well for picking up my feet, but nothing for my disdain for the activity. I feel less like the majestic mare on the misty beach and more like a beached seal on dry land.


As you can clearly see, I have convinced myself that am not and will never be a runner. Precisely because I believe in the image of the beached seal, I have little chance of ever becoming the majestic mare. A reality which lies just a few miles and a looping Pitbull and JoLo remix away from where I stand today. Each of us have false narratives. Those stories we tell ourselves so many times that we begin to believe them.

This is {one of} mine. What’s yours?


Lift and Sink

I have always been somewhat of a lunatic, which I attribute to my early days of swallowing bugs whole on a not-so-street-legal motorbike with my Dad, aka Captain Safety. It is true that these mostly ground-based escapades made a firm impression. However, I remain completely bewitched by the heavens and the seas. Wild and unruly places where anything can happen. Where natural forces can and will steal breath from your lungs and the life within your limbs instantly and without even the smallest of consequence. Bewitched maybe, but my time in the heavens and upon the sea has been limited. Read the rest of this entry »

One Saucy Redemption

I know a guy named Rodrigo. But, I call him Roddie.

Roddie is Mexican. Roddie loves to eat. Read the rest of this entry »

Happy, Shining Grizzly Bears

Scene opens.

I am riding in a late model car with an open roof. Could have been the rented 2012 Peugeot recently dropped off at Charles de Gaulle Roissy 2. I seem to remember tossing the keys to the agent and hauling ass into the terminal before he had the chance to survey the vehicle. We rode that car hard and something about hanging up something wet…oh, I don’t know. Maybe I have guilt issues. Read the rest of this entry »

Urban Surfer

Look closely at this picture. What do you see?

You might see a tall, handsome man in board shorts standing beside a black luxury vehicle.

But, look closer… Read the rest of this entry »