Running: everybody’s doing it (and for good reason)

Even though I swore up and down for years that I’d never do it, I’ve recently started jogging on a semi-regular basis.

At first, I didn’t see what all the hype was about, but after a few outings, I’m pretty certain that I experienced what is often referred to as a “runner’s high.” It was amazing.

I’d heard the term before, but always assumed it was some bullshit concept designed to justify the act of jogging and recruit new members to the jogging community. Boy was I ever in for a surprise!

So this week, I’d like to provide a detailed description of the “runner’s high” to hopefully entice all of you into taking up the fun and exciting pass time of running.

My runner’s high began about 15 minutes after I started jogging. It began with intense pain in my legs. It felt like a gang of gerbils had somehow crawled into my legs and were stabbing and slashing them repeatedly from the inside with little gerbil-sized machetes.

Just when the pain in my legs became almost unbearable, it was joined by a searing pain in my lungs. It felt like someone had painstakingly coated the insides of my lungs with some sort of flammable Tabasco sauce and then invented a new more painful kind of fire, with which to ignite the lung sauce.

Next my head began to swim, and I became extremely dizzy; not in the way you get dizzy when you’ve had too much to drink when the world spins around 400 times a minute and you want to die, but rather much, much worse than that. My eyes began to fail and everything started going dark. At the time, I honestly thought I was dying. No such luck.

Then I was stricken with severe and almost debilitating nausea – the kind of nausea that makes you wish you’d had a bigger lunch just so you could have more to throw up, because you know that when the throw up fuel is gone, there’s going to be hell to pay, and in this case, the only currency that hell accepts is violent dry heaving.

Finally the wheezing and coughing began. It felt like I was trying to breathe through a towel soaked in maple syrup and gasoline. For every breath I took in, it felt like I coughed about four breath’s worth out.

And that’s not all that came out. I began coughing up globs of lung butter in every colour of the lung butter rainbow. (These globs of lung butter actually helped me find my way back home like a trail of sticky disgusting breadcrumbs that no bird would touch with a 20-foot pole.)

People had been telling me for years how great it feels to get some exercise, but as with most things in life, I really had to experience it for myself to know how right they’ve really been.

On top of all that, at one point, as I was running past a woman and her small child, I was blessed with my final feel good motivation. The child looked at his mother as I ran by and said, “Mommy, isn’t that man too fat and out of shape to be jogging?” to which the mother immediately responded, “No sweetie, when someone that fat and out of shape runs, it’s not called jogging, it’s just called ‘sad.’”

So I hope I’ve convinced you all of the merits of jogging. See you on the streets, wheezing, coughing and praying for a quick death!

J. Williamez is looking forward to getting (a runner’s) high on Sunday, June 20 at the Manitoba Marathon.

Published in Volume 64, Number 26 of The Uniter (May 27, 2010)

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