Why I Hate Running, and Why I Do It Anyway

Here are just some of the reasons I don't like to run (in no particular order):

  1. I don't like to sweat.
  2. I don't like to huff and puff.
  3. It's hard for me. I was born with malformed hip sockets, leading to two separate hip replacement surgeries in the last few years (I'm now fully bionic!). Calcification in one of the artificial joints limits my range of motion, and many years of pain-induced inactivity gave me atrophied muscles, so it's just very hard work for me to make my legs run.
  4. I look funny when I run, so I feel self-conscious. The aforementioned birth defect and surgeries left me with legs of unequal length (in addition to those weak muscles), so I have very goofy looking gait when I run. (I'm also very, very slow.)
  5. It takes time. I have a demanding job, a long commute, and family and household responsibilities that are important to me. There are other ways I'd rather use my limited free time instead of sweating and huffing/puffing and working hard.
  6. I'm just basically a lazy person who'd rather lie on the couch and read a book than exert myself.

And here are some of the reasons why I do it anyway (also in no particular order):

  1. I used to be quite overweight, and I did not like how I felt. I don't want to get fat again.
  2. I'm in my early 50s, and as I get older, things don't work as well as they used to. I don't mind getting older, but I don't want to be old and decrepit. Running (and strength training, which I also do a little bit of) is something I can do to make myself stronger and enable myself to stay healthy and active longer.
  3. I prefer the kinds of clothes I can wear when I'm thinner.
  4. Although it seems counter-intuitive, I have more energy when I work out than when I don't.
  5. I spend most of my time indoors, working at a desk. Running gives me an opportunity to get outside.
  6. I can eat more if I exercise (and I do like to eat).
  7. I want to be healthy – running strengthens my heart and lungs as well as my muscles.

Everybody has to decide for herself whether the benefits of exercise outweigh the costs. I haven't yet felt that “runner's high” that I read about in the magazines. The act of running is not fun for me, and there are other things I'd rather be doing, but feeling healthier and fitter ultimately motivates me to put on my running clothes and head out the door. My workout mantra?

I don't have to like it. I just have to do it.

What about you?