“Running is Fun!”

I call bulls**t.

Running is not fun at all. Running is hard and it makes you breathe hard and it’s not on the top of my favorite things to do. I’m guessing you feel the same way my fellow Self Forced Runners.

But how can we escape the need? Running is great for you. It’s super convenient. Its totally cheap compared to Zumba classes and gym memberships. And it seems so simple. How could one little jog cancel out all that jolly good fun?

And don’t we feel great afterwards? Don’t we feel good about ourselves?

Sometimes. Then in the first 5 minutes the woman training for the marathon passes you and isn’t even breaking a sweat and suddenly you’re overcome with the reality of how gross and sweaty and awful you feel.

I feel my biggest problems are actually getting my butt out the door, finding the time and following through. Running always is easy to work into my schedule until the actual moment comes and I hit the snooze or jet off to some other ‘more important’ activity (most often feeding my face). Until lately.

I have found my running sanctuary.

I’m not kidding. I have found a place that makes me forget that I’m running at all. A place where I don’t notice the sweat dripping. And a place where any spectators are peaceful if not impressed with your simple leisurely pace.

Where is my running safe haven you’re asking? – The beach.

Now I know my beach is much different than your beaches out there. I’m fortunate to have a Great Lake within a short car ride away from my house where the public beach is surrounded on each side by private property where the onlookers are sparse to none. And I’m lucky to be able to hop in the lake and spend a couple hours recuperating on the sand and then head to work. But the thing that is important here is that I found a place where the activity I try to avoid has become something I look forward to.

I want to run.

Well lets not stretch it. I sort of want to run.

And you can too! Why not? I made it work and realized all I ever needed was a way to distract my inner self telling me I hate running. Run somewhere else. Anywhere else where you think you might like better. Avoid the neighbors and their looks of judgement. Avoid the passing cars that are sure to contain olympic runners pitying you. And run in the peaceful serenity the “Born Runners” you hate have always enjoyed.

Park, Beach, Trail, Yard, 2-Track, Rooftop, Mountain, Forest, Field, Highway, what ever it is – go for it. Give it a try. It may be the nirvana you didn’t even know existed.

I hated running. And will there still be a part of me that prefers vegging on the couch? Well yeah! But I’ve discovered a way to run without the hate and discouragement. And gosh-dang-it I think you can too!

Give it a whirl and go run!

You can read more from Madeline Field on her blog and follow her on Twitter.

(Image via Shutterstock).