Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What makes people...?
Do kinda crazy thing? Kind admirable, but kinda crazy.

Last night the KZSU DJ before me casually mentioned that this weekend he was doing the Alcatraz swim. Yup, he's going to jump into San Francisco Bay sans wetsuit and swim either to or from (or, god forbid, both!) Alcatraz. (Can you tell that I can't be bothered to look up the details of this swim?

And my friend Finny, is currently training for a half marathon and ran 11 miles last weekend. Oh yes, and lets not forget Mama D, who has been known to run a full marathon (!).


Now granted I've been sick and can't do much of anything. (Last night I returned to KZSU for the first time in nearly two months and, upon returning home, went straight to bed.) But even when/if I was healthy I would never do anything like this. I am so not physically active. Never have been. I was the archetypical kid picked last for every sport in PE. (Is it still called PE?) I grew up before girls had their own soccer teams and before everyone was encouraged to become weekend warriors. Nobody in my family played sports. (The fact that my father died of a heart attack when I was 19 might indicate that some exercise would have been a nice thing.) So I didn't grow up being encouraged to work up a sweat.

And that's carried into adulthood. I've tried various exercise kicks at various times of my life in order to not be fat. But for me it's all about vanity, not about pushing myself to achieve anything other than a smaller ass. I've never wanted to train for a marathon, compete in the Ironman Triathalon, become an Olympic anything, or even run the Bay to Breakers.

So what is it that pushes some people to push themselves while others have to force themselves to move? Is it the old nature vs. nurture question? Am I a sloth because, as a child, I lived in a family of sloths? Had I been raised by people who went bike riding on weekends and coached soccer would I now be running with Finny? Or is it because I am, by nature, a lazy slob who really, really, really hates to work out and sees nothing pleasurable or enjoyable about it except for the fact that, when I do, I don't get embarrassed running out of breath walking up two flights of stairs?


mama d said...

Oh, I'd never run a marathon. Walk one at the end of an Ironman, yes. But, never run one.

My family wasn't involved with endurance sports at all. I just found a (temporary) niche there and enjoyed the energy. And, the food!

the foreigner said...

I spent 12 fricking hours in labor. Ok. so it wasn't all that bad.. but it's got to count for something right?