Running and dating
In this sense, I’m much more American than my wife. (Though clearly not bashful enough.) In the opening paragraph of his memoir, , Haruki Murakami writes that “a gentleman shouldn’t go on and on about what he does to stay fit.” He then goes on and on about something millions of people do to stay fit. I’m not remotely close to being a professional athlete, so who cares about the tempo I did last Thursday?At times, it feels hard to justify doing it at all. There’s a drying rack in our modest-sized New York City apartment, which, more often than not, will be laden with my pungent workout attire. I feel the same way about the super-toned girl on the treadmill next to me I can feel silently judging my mph.
I ran in a relay race from Miami to Key West, I have finished two half-marathons wearing a Tinkerbell costume (complete with blinking wand and tiara), and I did pretty okay in the New York City marathon. Like they probably have some mild yet annoying form of OCD and they always have to wear plaid on Thursdays or they’ll go nuts, or they have to eat peanut butter after every single meal. Which would actually be good if they were dating me because I’d dislike them so much and I’d just be like “YES PLEASE GO! I started an eight-week Couch to 5K program about six weeks ago, which means I've been complaining for approximately, oh, six weeks. It's not just that I'm lazy, per se, it's that I've always preferred other forms of activity, like yoga or dancing or sitting on the couch with a box of Hot & Spicy Cheez-Its. Which kind of reminds me about how I feel about dating sometimes, especially when I was first getting back in the swing of it last year. In fact, they both always manage to hurt in new, unexpected ways. In the form of Advil for those shin splits; bourbon for heartbreak. Finding the right sports bra and shoes is proving to be as difficult a mission as finding the perfect comfy-yet-sexy combo for dates. I always dread the first minutes of first dates, just like I dread getting to the gym or stepping outside to run. Hey, what's this constant sharp pain in my shins? But when you live with someone, it’s not easy to be discreet about your jock habits. I’ll be thinking, “Hey, it’s not so bad,” while Nora is lighting incense in the next room.Such challenges of cohabitation are real enough, but traveling is the ultimate way to see how well a relationship holds up under duress—especially when one of you is a runner.