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I run because I can’t hide

I don’t want to go.

My coffee is hot and dark and I’m sipping it slowly, leisurely; enjoying both the relaxation and the morning lift it offers. I’m in no rush to do what I have to do. No rush at all. In fact, there’s some laundry piled in a messy but clean mountain on my couch just waiting to be folded. If I leave it too long, it threatens to become pillows under children’s butts or tissues to wipe snotty noses. The longer I leave it, the more danger it is in. So you see it’s somewhat urgent that I attend to it immediately.

It’s been months since I’ve traveled down the path I’m about to go; the extended winter has sidelined me, kept me shivering even while indoors. All of a sudden, the yearly migration of the Florida snow birds; something never before considered, and in fact lightly mocked, has taken on a nice warm glow.

But I am ahead of myself by a few decades, and right now I am milking my last bit of coffee, even considering refilling my cup. But of course, that’s not a good idea. You can’t run on Dunkin, even though their ads say you can.

Running is my fair weather friend. The moment the temp dips to a certain degree, I tie up those shoes and store them away, choosing instead to split my time between the elliptical in my room, watching reruns of the Good Wife, and classes or machines at the gym where I could climb to the top of Mt. Everest, all while reading my book.

I’ve always exercised, generally five days a week, sometimes six. It’s as part of me as eating ice cream, but for a while now, I’ve just been going through the motions. I’m showing up, but I’m not putting up. Which might explain the heaviness in my body and in in my head. I don’t know which came first. Maybe chicken.

I started thinking about giving up on the whole business. I mean, I’ve managed to maintain myself for my entire adult life. I’m over 40. It would be nice not to worry so much about jamming exercise into my daily schedule or not eating that brownie. It would be nice to lay on the couch, ice cream spoon in hand, zonked to Housewives. It would be nice to just accept being me, instead of all this exhausting trying to be better nonsense.

I could just sit here, flip through the paper and enjoy another cup of coffee. I could… but probably won’t. Because no matter what I tell myself, what I’d like to do – or not do – I know what needs to be done.

Even at 9am, the thermometer reads 59 degrees. The sun is playing peek-a-boo with the clouds and the birds have started singing. My first run of the season has waited for Spring, and now it’s waited for me to tie my shoes, make sure that my in-laws are good with the kids, pee once more and do another last check on Facebook.

I’ve run out of excuses.

Sometimes my kids will cling to me and beg me not to leave them, but no such luck this morning. So now there’s only one thing left to do. Put one foot in front of the other and go.


Here I come...

Ready or not…



About Ice Scream Mama

Mama to 3 boys, wife to Mr. Baseball and daughter of a sad man. I have a double scoop every day.

48 responses »

  1. Isn’t it wonderful to linger over a cup of coffee? I totally agree, I like to workout, so I can have chocolate & ice cream! Way to stay committed with your workout routine!

  2. I’m envious of your determination, even if the coffee is still calling your name. I’ve always wished I was a runner. The way my mind works, I think it would be a work out for my head just as much my body. I just need to tie up my own shoes and put one foot in front of the other I suppose. Some day. If the 19 mth old doesn’t knock off his shenanigans, I may just take off running like Forest.

    Great post. Quite inspirational and very relatable 🙂

    • thanks. i really don’t like running all that much but it’s the most efficient way to get some bang for the buck. and if you can find a half hour to get out of your house, especially with a toddler, you might just learn to appreciate the time to yourself. 😉

  3. America runs on Dunkin has to be the biggest lie in advertising. America sits on its butt in front of the TV on Dunkin. When I used to run, the first half mile was always the hardest.

  4. You know, I’ve never really been all that impressed with DD’s coffeh.

  5. Natalie DeYoung

    I always stop running for the winter, because my asthma gets worse in the cold.
    Still haven’t started back up yet…

  6. Every morning, I have the same situation – in the name of winter or required sleep or something else. But once I start, I am glad that I got over the speed breaker.

  7. This winter has totally sapped all of my motivation. And even though it’s sort of warming up (surprise: snow!), I can’t get myself back into the habit.

  8. I know you weren’t looking forward to your run, but this made me nostalgic for the days when I could run. The picture at the bottom was *perfect* and added to my wistfulness.

    When I was running, it was just me, my thoughts, the breeze, the sound of my breathing and footsteps on the gravel…

  9. I’ve never been able to commit myself to regular exercise, so the only exercise I get is running up and down the stairs at work. I think your run gives prettier scenery than my stairs.

  10. I hear you, all over this. As my mom still says to me, “you’re always happy you went.” And so I do, even on the cold, rainy, snowy days. The laundry, and the couch, can wait!

  11. Ah- the pre-workout procrastination. All in all, sounds like a great way to start the day with an invigorating run. Go you!

  12. I’ve always wished I were a runner, but I convince myself that I can’t because I don’t have supportive running shoes or because no one ever taught me how to maintain good posture while running. Your essay says otherwise when you break it down into two simple steps: “Put one foot in front of the other and go”.

  13. As a fellow fair weather runner, I can relate to everything in this post. This winter definitely set me back, but as soon as I get out there, I feel so amazing, and the ice cream tastes so much better 🙂

  14. I keep telling myself I’m going to exercise/clean the house/do other important things, but I have terrible follow-through.

    Also, about snow-birds — I can’t really blame them for wanting to warm up a little (said as a Northener who moved South), but it makes driving a much more terrifying experience when they visit.

  15. The hardest thing is getting into the habit and not talking yourself out of it. I used to run but my foot didn’t agree with it (stress fractures that never heal) Now I walk, really really fast five days a week. The main reason? It keeps me sane. Well, that and Dunkin’s.

  16. I read this yesterday when spring had clearly decided to go back to sleep for awhile. I’m like you, I don’t exercise outside during winter, (and unlike you in that I don’t exercise inside during the winter!), but I haven’t braved the elements yet for my first spring outing. It’s true though, you really can’t hide.

  17. I’ve been trying to put one foot in front of the other for a couple weeks now…I’m running out of excuses!

  18. This really resonated with me. As I type this I’m sitting in my running clothes, looking out the window, and watching the rain. Because it’s important that I run today since I won’t be able to do it again until Tuesday and if I leave it that long I’ll lose my conditioning. So I have to go today. But I really, *really* hope it keeps raining.

    • go! right now! don’t think about it just walk out that door. go. really. i’m not kidding. just do it. go. seriously. unless of course. it’s raining a lot. then sit back and enjoy some coffee. but definitely tuesday.

  19. I am so envious of you and your exercise/running routine. You go, girl! Sounds marvelous. Truly.

  20. I’m very lazzzy to run…evan for a single workout… if u do it properly.. keep running… have a good day

  21. I ventured out on my first run of the year last week. I decided not to time it or track it and just go with what felt right. In those first few steps I realized I have left the land of dreading a run and entered the age of enjoying myself….but don’t get me wrong, I mostly run so I can eat chocolate! I just also apparently kind of enjoy the run too. I raise my ice cream spoon in a toast to you! Cheers!


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