Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I Finally Get It

Something just occurred to me. For my entire life, my dad has been a runner. He started running in the early 1970s before I was even born. He ran a series of marathons in San Francisco in the early 1980s. Incidentally, he is also going to be running in the Marine Corps Historic Half with me.

During the winter, he always went running no matter the weather. My mom's constant refrain as he prepared to head out the door into a blizzard or 10-degree air was, "Bruce, I don't know why you want to go out when it's like this! Please stay in, just this once!" I didn't get it, either. From my warm, comfy perch indoors on the couch, the winter landscape of northeast Ohio was an inhospitable place indeed and only a crazy person would venture out on foot. On purpose. Without driving somewhere, like the mall.

However.

I finally understand what drove him out our front door every single day. He was incapable of sitting idle. He was addicted to running, if such a thing actually psychologically exists. I have been similarly afflicted. I can't not run when I reasonably could go for a run. Like yesterday. Even after going to the grocery store after work and spending what felt like forever putting groceries for the next two weeks away, finishing at 5:00, with snow starting to fall, all I could think was: "I have to go for a run. I have to." I just couldn't say, "It's too late/getting dark/too cold/snowing/rush hour/too slippery to go for a run." The need for physical exertion was too strong. I had to get out there and get my daily fix.

The cold doesn't bother me; I have warm clothes and after a little while I'm generating so much heat I often get uncomfortably warm even when it's 25 degrees outside. Now I know how my dad could go running when it was zero degrees. I'll probably find myself out there, too, at that temperature.

I think the only time he ever stayed in due to weather conditions was in January of 1994 when we had a tremendous cold snap that had us in -20 to -25 degrees F temperatures for several days.

Yeah, that's cold.

But still...with the right gear...

1 comment:

Laura said...

Hey, I remember that cold spell in 1994! My sister and I were crazy runners in highschool and went out running even after they cancelled school because it was too cold for kids to wait for buses. We put bandanas over our faces and headed out. When the sweat in your hair makes it freeze and the bandana over your face freezes from your breath, it's pretty damn cold! I think it was one of the crazier things I've done in my life, but I still brag about it to this day.

Love your blog, by the way! Must have just missed you at ABC last night.