Runners Must Be High

I’m a believer in waking up every morning feeling refreshed and energized.  One of these days I’m hoping to be able to practice what I preach.  In reality most mornings are spent pressing the snooze button so many times that my husband will actually have to lift me off the bed and dump me in the shower (true story).  But this morning was different.  Nevermind that it was my day off which allowed me to sleep in until ten.  No, what was different about this morning was that I awoke to the warm feeling of sunrays making their way through my bedroom window blinds.

As a resident of Western Washington, this is a very rare feeling and one that must be taken advantage of.  Sure enough, I looked out my window and found no less than 1300 people outside with their dogs and strollers basking in the glorious………damn I forgot the word……..oh yeah SUN!!!

I immediately changed into some workout clothes and decided to take advantage of the good weather by going for a little run.  Now, before I go further I have something to disclose.  I am not a “runner.”  I do not own more track suits than jeans.  I don’t kid myself and tell people how much I “enjoy” running just to run.   I never understood all those track athletes in high school.  Really, this is the sport for you?  All you have to do is remember to turn left.  That’s it!.  Sure if I was running for my life or running to score the winning point for my team I’d go for it.   But running just for the exercise sounded psychotic.  In fact, there was a time that I did not believe in running at all unless it had a purpose.  Of course that was about five years and ten pounds ago, so my attitude has changed a bit.

Once I was clad in my runner’s gear and had taken my allergy medication so as to avoid an asthma attack from the fresh summer air my body was not used to, I decided to start with a small goal.  Of course my definition of a small goal when it comes to running might better be referred to as miniscule.  My husband, who was one of those track athletes in high school, can run five miles after 6 months of no strenuous exercise just to “get himself back into it.”  My goal was ½ mile.

I am happy to report that I was able to accomplish that goal; albeit with the use of some very peppy music on my ipod, interesting breathing techniques, and serious will power and mental strain to keep myself from turning around and saying “fuck this!”

The problem I have with enjoying running for running’s sake is that I have never experienced what some might call a runner’s high.  I have to wonder if my brain has some sort of endorphin blocker when it comes to exercise or if everyone else is just bat-shit crazy when they say that they feel energized after a quick jog.  Energized?!  Not only do I not feel energized after a run, but it’s quite the exact opposite.  My legs feel like lead, my lungs burn like that of an eighty year-old smoker, and I can’t imagine doing anything else with the rest of the day because I’m so exhausted.  To top it all off, after every run I always crave ice cream thus negating the whole running experience in the first place.

“It’s good for you,” my husband says.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” I reply like a native New Yorker.

“I’m sure it will be worth it in the end,”  I tell him as I lick what’s left of my butterscotch dipped cone.

C’est La Vie

The recent arrest of former International Monetary Fund director Dominique Strauss-Kahn in New York City on a sexual assault charge has led many French citizens outraged and many Americans perplexed at such outrage.  The difference between the two cultures is believed to be the source of all the confusion.  In response, the American Society for the Culturally Illiterate has issued a report on some common differences between France and America to avoid further confusion.  The report is titled:

Things You Can Get Away With in France

Male Chauvinism:  A French word used to describe the belief that men are superior to women.  Dominique Strauss-Kahn is not the only Frenchman who has been accused of this.  Please refer to the image below of French President Nicolas Sarkozy engaging in what the French consider appropriate behavior for a male politician:

Smoking in Public: The cool factor of cigarettes still trumps the health risks associated with them in this European country.  This explains the country’s lack of a decent athlete in any Olympic event.  French citizens simply do not have the lung capacity to keep up.

Being an Asshole: The very same nation that promotes peace and acceptance of all is quick to offer an “up yours” whenever possible.  French people have even evolved the size of their noses so as to stick them higher than anyone else’s.

Playing the Accordion: Aside from a tiny minority of polka enthusiasts, this is not tolerated in America.

Taking a two-hour lunch: The French have been slow to the American concept of working 60 hours a week and dismissing meal breaks.  Instead, the citizens of France choose to value personal happiness over economic production.  We’ll see who wins this one in the end.

The society is currently working on a report of American values for our French visitors to help bridge the cultural gap.  Such values include watching television for a minimum of six hours per day, granting media attention to the least deserving story and ignoring the rest, and accepting all races (unless it means giving them special treatment), genders (except transgenders), and religions (except Islam, or anything that’s not Christianity).