Me and Senneca, another comrade in running, at the Buffalo Creek Half-Marathon near Pittsburgh last month. (Photo: Lindsey Glover)
I still don’t consider myself a runner, not in the sense that it follows my name after introductions – “I’m Lou, a runner.” Nah. At this point, routine has mercifully taken hold and rendered my frequent jogs into the same basket as cooking, journaling, or cleaning up my desk. At this point, it’s just something I do, another item on the long list of trivialities that go unmentioned in dinner table conversations on the day’s notable happenings.
Routines rarely stick on contact, even less so with exercise. Because exercising kinda sucks, and the thought of exercise is far, far worse. Never are the excuses as readily available, the faintest soreness of the knee more pronounced, or the day’s schedule as inflexible than immediately after entertaining the thought of a 3-mile run. And this is where a good friend helps, someone who can make you see past the initial hurdles.
I owe my love of running to a tireless college roommate named Pete, who one day decided I was going to begin joining him on his frequent morning runs and lifting sessions. He was deaf to my appeals for more sleep, unsympathetic to whatever excuse I could muster. Above all, he was consistent. Come 7 a.m., he would be at my door, and within ten minutes we were out in the Western New York cold, shaking our muscles awake along the snowy nature trail around campus. His only rule during those morning treks was simple: “Don’t stop.” After 10 years, I’m happy to say I haven’t.
Pre-dawn jog in Tburg.