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Monday, July 13, 2015

Confessions Of A Goofy-Looking Runner

All my life, I wanted to be a runner.

I can remember in my childhood how running used to be a thing. People had terrycloth headbands and wristbands and men wore running shorts that were entirely too tight and short and women used Nair so they could wear running shorts with their rollerskates at the beach.

And of course, I wanted to run, too. I wanted to have long, lean legs and I wanted to have the boys in gym class looking at them.

Oh, that happened all right. Everyone watched me when I ran. It was kind of hard not to, because I am (excuse me as I lower my voice to a hushed whisper) a goofy runner. I mean, really goofy.

For starters, I am knock-kneed. Very badly knock-kneed. If I could find me a bowlegged guy, we'd spell "OX" and live happy.

In college, my dance teacher used to watch me in puzzlement when I tried to pliƩ as my knees would never go over my feet.

"How do you do that?" she asked, looking slightly horrified.

"What you have, really, is a deformity," a trainer once told me backstage after I rolled an ankle in the dance portion of a show. I was given extra exercises to strengthen my inner thighs (heh!) and did a whole lot of side lunges with my butt sticking out, all to no avail.

A good friend once described my running style as "You look like there's a giant rubber-band around your knees and everything else goes flying."

Yeah, she's a great friend. Thanks for that, Terri.

Anyway, it's accurate, if unflattering. And over the years I've tried, oh, how I've tried to run and look good running or at the very least feel good running. And I don't. I never have.

The truth is, a freaking hate running. Hate it. I never get a "runner's high." I never "feel the burn" in a good way. I never feel anything but hot and sweaty and incredibly conscious of the fact that I probably look like I'm running from an invisible bear while wearing an invisible girdle that has slipped down to bind my knees. A bee-filled girdle. And the bear is shooting fire from its eyes at me.

So my running is limited to a treadmill, and instead I walk or hike or ride my bicycle outdoors, which I really do enjoy.

I may never run like the wind, but by God, I'll find a way to rock a terry cloth headband, just see if I don't.


Ellie DeLano spent four years as the Divorce Blogger for Woman's Day Magazine, chronicling her transition to single parenting and mid-life dating after decades of marriage with poignancy and humor. What she learned from her readers and her own experience was invaluable, and she shares it here with a straightforward guide to the things you really need to help you move forward after your divorce.
Available at Amazon for Kindle - and Smashwords for all e-reading device.

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