I live in the Desert Southwest with my significant other and our two cats. I'm a technical writer and am also involved in local efforts to get our city and surrounding communities to no-kill.
I've been a vegetarian since I was 15 and a vegan since my 32nd birthday. I'm sure I would have become a vegan earlier had I known the why and how. Kids growing up today not even remembering the world before the internet have no idea how lucky they are. :)
To describe me as "sporty" is probably a stretch. I wasn't very athletic growing up - I was more of a hiker if anything and really more of a reader and writer than that, even.
When I was in my mid-twenties, though, I taught pre-K through 6th grade EFL overseas for a couple of years. I loved my kids, but because I was pretty young, and didn't speak the local language well, and taught the "fun" classes, they would do their gleeful best every day to Wear. Me. Out. And as my host government frowned on small-child-icide, I instead started running 8 kilometers every day after class, up and down the mountain.
Since returning to the states, however, I've been at best an intermittent runner. How I ran injury free for those two years - in bad shoes, on a rocky, unpaved, half-eroded road and knowing nothing about stretching or foam rolling - is a big mystery to me because nowadays I'm always getting sidelined by injury. I guess the obvious answer is that I was younger then, but I don't feel that much older now. It's only been, what, thirteen years? Fourteen? Not that long in terms of world or even personal history, really, but biologically significant nonetheless, apparently.
Other things that get in my way are:
- Lack of time, real or perceived
Boredom has been more or less solved already by my discovery last year of podcasts. Now I can learn interesting stuff even while I'm running!
Frustration, though... that remains a challenge for me. In 2007, I undertook a real training program for the first time with the goal of finally running a sub-30:00 5K. I made some progress in that direction, but it upset me that the progress was so unbelievably slow and it upset me even more when I ended up injured yet again in November, as this scuttled any chance I might have had of running a sub-30:00 by, I don't know, February even.
This past August, though, this article on women runners appeared in the New York Times, a helpful reminder that if I just keep at it, I almost certainly will get faster, even if it takes a long time.
And more recently, my friend Pirate linked in this great blog post to this article. It cites an 8-year study of runners and non-runners conducted by the Stanford Arthritis Center, one of the findings of which was that even though "about 40 per cent of the runners experienced a running-related injury over a one-year time span," over the long haul, "runners made fewer visits to the doctor, spent about 33 per cent less time in the hospital, missed half as many work days, and - as expected - had lower blood pressures and resting heart rates, compared to non-runners."
Combining the two, the following lesson emerges:
Even if it takes awhile and even though injuries will happen, RUN... and you'll end up faster and healthier.
So that's my rather lengthy mantra for 2008.
Which I hereby condense as follows: