Before you cry scandal at the opening of my title, let me explain. I am trying to get high, but not from any banned or questionable substance. I am trying to experience a high of a different kind, a runner’s high.

This could be me. Preferably me in that exact location.

I have never been one to seek out cardio in a solitary context. I have played sports (badly, but played nonetheless), enjoyed energetic games with friends, attended classes at gyms, but have never been attracted to what always seemed the lonely world of the most basic heartbeat-based activity: running.

Solo cardio? No thank you. I simply wouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t make myself run. I never had the desire, until now…

(Dramatic pause)

For some reason, the newest unexplained phenomenon in my existence is a growing desire to run. Or, to be more honest and specific, the ability to run further than 20 yards without inevitable collapse, which is my current condition. To say I desire to experience this sensation is a slight understatement. I almost yearn for this high.

And I don’t know why.

Maybe my newfound aspiration is the result of sibling-pressure (different than peer-pressure, but profoundly similar). My sister runs. Two of my brothers have run marathons. My other brothers run. Even my husband runs.  Maybe I feel left out.

Perhaps I’m fueled by the result of a recent fitness assessment (to be discussed in detail later) that indicated an averageness that could be partly conquered by increasing my vo2 max, according to my assessor.

Or, maybe there is a more latent cause for this new pursuit, one that has lain dormant for my almost 30-year life only to be just now awakened by a psychosomatic rustle…Wasn’t it James Joyce who once said, “Rapid motion through space elates one”? Perhaps I seek such elation?

Whatever the underlying cause, and whatever the work that must be put in to achieve my high, the beauty of any new goal is that there usually involves some preliminary shopping.

So, I bought some Vibrams. Weird, bendy things with amphibious style. They are designed to allow for the sensation and effect of barefoot running while still protecting our precious little piggies from jagged rocks, asphalt protrusions, or other such ghastly demons that could damage our soles.

I figured that since I have never run enough to encourage injury, I might as well follow current research-meets-yuppie trend and become conspicuously minimalist in my approach.

(As an aside, I love my Vibrams. I really do think they help me develop a healthier gait. Just sayin’.)

Thus far, I’ve only run a few times. I even ran once with my sister. (Although I did get distracted by some deer and stopped to take pictures. She finished her miles then doubled back to find me.) And you know what?

I enjoyed these runs.

Even though I have yet to run very far (latest record is 1 1/2 miles with consistent pace), I am getting the tiniest taste of why people run. I love the thought that I am always both running away from and towards “something,” be it literal or figurative. And I love the feeling of tiredness for a reason other than lethargy or frustration.

Who knew?

~Arrivederci

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