I first started running in earnest about a year ago. I bought myself a Walkman to play cassette tapes so I could listen to the books on tape I enjoyed so much. Only not one of the fancy ones; it's a brand I have not heard of and it doesn't have rewind. It's clunky, and awkward, and only plays cassette tapes. It was exactly what I wanted, though, so I loved it. It cost me $9.67 plus tax.
I went to the library and found a book on cassette that sounded interesting. I came home, put my running clothes on, loaded up the first cassette of Janet Evanovich's One for the Money and took myself off down the road. I had been on the South Beach Diet for a few weeks and was looking great. I was so sexy, men watched me hungrily as I ran by. Women pushing strollers paused to bite their lips in envy as they watched me flounce past. I was charged! I was motivated! I was running! I was so sexy it hurt.
I was so fooling myself. I was not sexy, I was floppy. All my bits were moving around, and not in the good way. My ass was flying up and down as I ran and I'm quite sure I made a baby cry. My ankles hurt, my hips hurt, my breasts hurt, my eyelashes hurt. It was truly an awful experience, that first time, and I hated the book I was listening to.
The next day, something sort of funny happened. After work, I wanted to run again. I can't imagine why as I was horrible at it the first time and it has ever been my trend to never again do things I am horrible at once. But, I put my running clothes back on, grabbed my cassette player with the awful book loaded in it, and started over. I waited a bit longer that second day, waited until it wasn't quite so daylight out. I was hoping the men washing their cars and ladies pushing strollers wouldn't be out. I alternated walking and running (less moving around on me that way) and was able to keep at it a bit longer the second time.
I carried on this manner for several days, listening to my book-on-tape and running at night. It was really awful, that book. The female character, Stephanie Plum, seemed to epitomize everything I hate about "being a girl". She was afraid of guns, she worried about breaking a nail, she had girly hair and spent too much time on her makeup. I thought she was a twat, a real dunce of a girl. And she made stupid choices. She had a dumb family, from a dumb town, and had a dumb job. I really hated her, and wished she would get killed by a bad guy.
I did this for several weeks, using my dislike of this book and this character to fuel my energy for running. Soon, I began to like the book. It became part of my routine, and it helped me. When the book ended, I zipped off to the library to get the second book. When I ran out of books, I didn't want to run any longer. The act of running is tied in with those books now, and I have reached the end. Ms. Evanovich isn't writing them fast enough. So, I'm starting over. I've upgraded from my junky Walkman to my shiny iPod. I've got the first book queued up again, and tonight I'll take myself off for a run. I'm no sexier today than I was then, but maybe I won't make babies cry this time.