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let’s talk about running

April 23, 2010

[Current Weekly Question: How can you tell the difference between pushing yourself to lose weight out of love of self vs. punishment of self?]

Running. My immediate thought is, “yuck!” So, why did I suddenly have the irresistible urge two weeks ago to start running?!

The first thing that comes to mind when I think about running is elementary & middle school P.E.  (P.E., by the way, is synonymous with “torture” for chubby kids.)  And Mrs. Lawson!  Great name… and incidentally the worlds worst P.E. teacher, who would sit on the playground bench in the shade sipping on her diet coke & watching us run, and every time I ran past her she would tell me to run faster.  Very inspiring, Mrs. Lawson.  My ability to enjoy running didn’t stand a chance.

Actually, the story behind my difficulty with running goes back even further.  Once upon a time…..  I was a very active baby in the womb.  I somehow managed to get my cord wrapped around my neck and my left foot tucked so far behind my head that it actually bent my knee the wrong way.  That is how my knee formed, and when I came into the world I was big and healthy with a low, serious cry… and a wacky backwards knee.

It’s really only been within the past year or so that I’ve realized how significant this is!  My big brother was in a wheelchair my whole life, so my weird knee rarely crossed my mind.  But it is significant.  When my mom took me to the doctor as a baby, they told her I may never walk properly.  She stayed home with me, observing the movement of my body, and designed a series of casts to re-set my knee in the proper position.  She’s pretty much my hero for that one.  But, the bone structure is still weird, and the cartilage and ligaments are weak; my knee is “the quality of a retired professional football player’s knee,” as one doctor said when I was a kid.

All of that said, despite it all, I’m trying to figure out how to safely incorporate running into my life.  Why?  Because my body told me so!  Seriously, it feels amazing to run.  Not particularly amazing for my knee, but it’s like my whole body has been waiting to come to life and I didn’t even know it until I started to run. I think running and swimming are two of the purest forms of movement, along with streeetchingggg, which I will write about another time.  Oh, and dance!

So my new prescription for the exercise piece of balancing my body: running, swimming and stretching, with a little circuit training on the side for good measure 🙂

Of course… exercise really is only one little piece, and to be balanced you have to work on repairing each piece while simultaneously putting the whole puzzle together.  It’s tricky, and totally fascinating to work through.

❤ Diana Banana

image courtesy of

3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 24, 2010 8:32 am

    Have you tried Couch-to-5k? I swear by it. I love it so much. It truly did bring me from couch-potato land to being able to RUN a 12k!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! in one year. It blows my mind. The first day I was struggling to run for sixty seconds but it just kept building (slowly). I am so excited for you.

    That sentence “my whole body has been waiting to come to life and I didn’t even know it until I started to run” brought tears to my eyes.

    I am now beginning to tackle swimming (I’ve been phobic a long time) and wish there was a couch-to-pool program.

    • April 26, 2010 6:28 pm

      I’ve read some about the Couch-to-5k program through your blog, but it’s funny: it never actually crossed my mind that I could do it too! How funny. It’s actually a great idea & I’m gonna look into it more…

      How exciting that you are tackling swimming! Swimming is the only form of exercise that has always felt good to me, so may I say, when you start loving it you’re really gonna LOVE it. Best of luck 🙂

  2. February 25, 2011 10:56 pm

    Yes, me too! Because with swimming, i won’t feel like the weight of my body is on my knees and soles…
    Heading out for a swim in a bit with my bro!


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