Years ago I tried jogging. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a whole school year I went to the university gym and ran around the indoor track, and found it to be quite strenuous. It's fair to say that I didn't enjoy it at all. My legs hurt, my lungs hurt, and worst of all, it didn't seem to improve as I continued to do it. I don't know why, but eight months later I wasn't any faster or better or more relaxed. Well, I hate this as much now as the day I began, I said to myself, so I'm quitting.
I haven't run since then. I have always been envious of those who see running as such an enjoyable hobby. They talk about letting their mind relax and the time slipping by. Sonya started to run and train for races, and everyone who jogs just seems so jolly about it. Meanwhile, I got into cycling instead, and loved it! I cycled to work every day for three and a half years and also did a cycling trip in France and Belgium.
We brought our bikes to Hong Kong but if I'm perfectly honest, I'm scared of riding here on the roads. I need to find some off-road trails instead. In the meantime, I haven't been doing much exercise. So, I decided it's time to learn to enjoy running.
I have been out for a half hour jog in the mornings about ten times now, spaced over two months. I enjoy it a lot more now than I did at university. The biggest difference is that running outdoors is so much better than that dark, dingy indoor track at university. When I'm running here I go along a road with a beautiful view out to the shipping lanes. Then I turn along a street with treed hills on each side. I also pass a lot of office buildings and residential blocks. (How can anyone enjoy a treadmill? It's so boring!) The scenery is also one thing I liked about cycling, and it makes jogging so much more bearable.
In addition, the fitness I built up from cycling has made jogging less of a chore. I'm actually not a great runner, but I remember how the more I cycled the easier it got, and I feel confident that my jogging will improve. I can already run for five to eight minutes at a time before I take a walking break, up from three minutes when I started. This gives me a great sense of satisfaction.
So, I wouldn't say that I am a committed runner just yet. But I am learning to like it and I can feel its benefits. We are very fortunate here that the weather will allow me to continue running outdoors until next summer (when it becomes much, much too hot again). By then maybe I'll like it enough that I will tolerate the treadmill.