Monday, December 26, 2016

Running Priorities

Merry Day-After-Christmas, everyone!

I'm sure you're all busy with the aftermath of Christmas and with spending time with family. I know I am. Which is why I'm going to keep this post short and hopefully hilarious.

I run. This is no secret. I've posted about it before. In fact, a number of my past posts have been about me being surprised with the changes that come to body and mind as I become more and more of a "runner." You see, I didn't start out thinking I was a runner. I was one of these people:

Because this is where I started and where I grounded my identity, I still kind of see myself in these terms. So, now, I keep doing this:

"Oh, man, when did I become someone who likes flax seeds?"
"I ran six miles this morning and I loved it. Who does that?"
"Personal best. I broke the eight-minute mile. That's gotta be a mistake; I don't do things like that."

I could keep going (I'm still trying to verify the less-than-eight-minute-mile thing). But my favorite thing was when my priorities shifted to a very strange place. For example, if I get up and look outside in the winter and the sidewalks are caked in ice, I will 1) get annoyed because I can't run, and then 2) decide I can't run because if I do I could slip and break a leg which means I wouldn't be able to run for a long time. That last part in italics is the big, horrifying problem.


Another example: I got sick for a few days. The cold was in my chest, and they suggest that if the cold is in your chest, you don't run. In your head is fine, though. But it was in my chest and I reluctantly skipped my runs those days because I didn't want to get worse and not be able to run for even longer.

I have become a person whose priority in staying healthy and safe on runs is so I can keep going on runs. I want to stay safe so I can keep running. It sounds like an odd priority to me, the newbie runner who still doesn't quite see herself as a capital-R Runner, but believe it or not, I'm not alone in it. Which brings me to Christmas.

As a runner, I got a lot of running gear for Christmas, including this reflective vest:

Now I can go running in the dark and be better seen by cars! It looks like it works; you can see the gleam where my flash reflects on the vest.

So, good, I have a reflective vest for running. I wanted one, and now I have one. But then I see the side of the package:


So, they're telling the buyers that they should get this vest so they'll be seen and be able to run longer. It's hard to run if you've been hit by a car and have broken bones, damaged organs, or are dead. But they don't say, "Be seen. Live longer." No, they say, "Be seen. Run longer." You don't want to get injured. Be safe out there, because if you're not, you won't be able to run, and that would be a disaster.

I have been laughing all morning. All I can think of is this:

"If you get hit by a car because no one sees you, you could be killed. Or worse, you won't be able to run."

Running really does change the brain. Good to see I'm not alone.

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