At what point does someone learn how to run? I recognize the differences in body types – longer legs, larger waists, overfull bras, and even those lacking serious coordination – and how certain physical attributes might cause one’s stride to appear a bit off -kilter. I even acknowledge the fact that anyone getting out there to run should be commended for pursuing fitness and probably deserves some respect for the effort. However, sometimes, and I’m just saying this so as to protect certain people from incredible embarrassment – you know who you are – certain people should NOT be running. Perhaps they could try another sport, something in which their body parts don’t move around like an unfolding lawn chair, in which chiropractors and physical therapists don’t hover outside the lanes waiting for the inevitability of a new client, in which the idea of getting healthy means moving gracefully and smoothly through a stride rather than like an octopus caught in a tornado. Remember the ol’ hokey pokey thing – “right foot in right foot out” – when you were a kid. That is NOT how you run.
The phrase “put one foot in front of the other” is a good place to start. Heel to toe, straight, pump the arms a bit. It’s really not that complex, and yet, on any given morning, you can witness some courageous acts of athletic endeavor: the grandmother whose Depends are clearly creating drag on her derriere and causing her right foot to splay eastward as though she’s trying to shake something from her shoe, the portly housewife whose chest bounce resembles two midgets trying to fight their way out of a duffel bag, the I-spend-my-life-behind-a-desk-and-this-is-my-day-off middle level exec with the Russell brand tank top and matching terrycloth headband whose molasses-like movement actually challenges Newton’s theory about object in motion, and the college co-ed, home for the summer after putting on the freshman-fifteen and now jogging around the track with a lateral-ish gait that suggests something might be terribly wrong with her x-axis, oddly-shaped thigh-sweat stains notwithstanding.
I guess all I’m asking is this: When I pass you, if you could find a way to proceed without me worrying about getting smacked in the jaw or de-cleated in a way that your average Joplin, MO. tornado victim can really understand this morning, I’d greatly appreciate it.