That’s What She Said: Reasons to run
- Dawn Dumont | July 03, 2018
As soon as our long, emotionally degrading winter ended, I laced up my sneakers and headed outside for a run.
I don’t overthink running. I don’t follow any routine. I just pick a distance I want to reach and then run in one direction until I’m halfway there and then I turn and run back the other way. It couldn’t get much simpler than that. I measure miles by tracking the movement of the sun through the sky. Totally kidding. I use a running app on my iPhone which is why I’m the old lady running with her wallet.
I don’t wear expensive running shoes and I hardly ever replace them. My guide is that I’ll replace them when I can feel the pavement through the soles or I can see my feet through the shoes. I don’t get caught up in marketing or brands because Native American runner Jim Thorpe from the Sac and Fox First Nation won Olympic gold wearing shoes he found in the trash.
He went to the Olympics with shoes, they just got stolen the night before the races. Imagine being enough of a jackass to steal someone’s shoes just because they’re going to beat you. That literally makes you an Olympic-sized dick. So ever since I heard that story, I haven’t paid too much attention to what I wear on my feet. (Running bras should be top of the line, though. If you can breathe normally, it’s not tight enough.)
I listen to music which is a new thing for me. I used to run with nothing but street sounds as background because it is safer. You can hear cars and bikes coming. But it’s also boring so I’ve come around to the ways of the earphones. I also run to comedy (Jon Oliver, Bill Maher, Amy Schumer) which is why you’ll sometimes see me hunch over laughing.
I look around a lot when I’m running, admiring the foliage, the infinite shades of green that can be found this time of year. I also look down at the ground because that is the only way to find money. (I have found exactly no money in decades of running but I never give up.) I also check out the big houses on the side of the streets and imagine myself living in one of them. I know a lawyer who used to run past a certain house every week and would point at the house, “that’s my house.” And then what do you know? One day it was. Course she is a lawyer; us regular folk might have to resort to a B&E situation.
I’ve been running since I was twelve years old. I’ve run all over the place – in New York City, Toronto, Montreal, Regina and on my rez, of course while being chased by rez dogs.
Yet with all of my diverse locations, I’ve never ever come across a dead body. Not that I want to – I’m just surprised is all. Because newspapers always say, “Jogger discovers body.” Maybe I’m jogging wrong. If I really want to happen across one, I should spend more time running under bridges and through thick brush – but that’s how you end up getting to be a dead body in the first place.
I get passed by other runners a lot. Because there are some quite fit people out there and I’m more jiggle than not jiggle. A few weeks ago, I was passed by the same woman twice, coming from different directions. It’s like she was time travelling and I just happened to see her on her way back in time. Or, maybe she was twins? Or maybe I’m just really, really slow. That’s why a few weeks later when I finally passed someone – two middle aged guys, I felt like yelling, “this is happening, bitches.” But I didn’t because I couldn’t spare the oxygen.
When you run, other runners will nod at you. It’s a secret communication that only we share. Basically, we’re saying, “Yes we will be ready for the zombie apocalypse unlike these other suckers.”
There are a lot of reasons to run – staying fit, stress release, getting weird tan lines. But I’d say my favourite reason was one of the most unexpected. One day I was out running and I came upon a dad and a little girl about five. She had long black hair in a ponytail like me and when she saw me running towards her, she started running too. Her dad pointed at me, “she’s copying you!” It was the best compliment I’ve had in years.