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George Ferguson Column: Something I thought I'd never be is a runner...Thanks alot coronavirus

From The Fringe....


Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

I've always been a hiker. Now, thanks to the pandemic, I'm a jogger, too.

I have to admit, I am one of those people who has let the coronavirus get them down. It's put me in a funk for a variety of reasons, many of which there's no need to go into.

However, there's something interesting that has happened to me due to the pandemic. It's something I swore I'd never do, and it's someone I swore I just wouldn't become, but was also someone I felt I was also incapable of becoming.

And yet, here I am now. I'm that something. I'm that someone. Thanks to corona, I'm a runner. I'm a jogger.

Yes, several times a week now, since early March, I am logging about four miles with each run.

Now, before I go any further, let me say this, this last few months of working out isn't new. No, I've actually been on a workout regiment, six days a week, every week, for almost six years now. Cardio has always been a part of that regimen, and running is a part of my weekly cardio.

Yet, until COVID-19 hit, all of that was done indoors, on machines, including a treadmill. And if any of you have done both, then you know, running on a treadmill is a completely different type of running than stepping out your door and running four miles on the streets of Havre.

First of all, there's the weather. I have always hated Havre's weather, and, other than a few short summer months, I've always thought Havre has to be one of the worst weather environments for serious runners.

Well, over the last four months, I've discovered I was right. Springtime running in Havre - not fun. There's cold, there's wind, there's ice, there's rain, there's puddles, there's mud, and oh, did I mention the cold? Yup, if you are gonna run in the spring, and presumably the fall in Havre, you're going to deal with all that. And I can't even begin to imagine what running in the dead middle of winter is like. In fact, I don't even know if it's possible.

But, COVID-19, and the gym closures that came with it back in March, forced me to find out, and I admit, I don't love it. Still, I'm doing it.

There's another factor that I don't like about running outside, but it's also one I've been able to solve. In the gym, on a treadmill, you never leave where you are. You start and end in the same place. And the bathroom, lockerroom, water, whatever you need, it's right there.

Running outside, you just don't have the same convenience. And, when you run away from your house, remember, at some point you have to run back. I have always hated that about jogging.

So, I did come up with a solution, at least for me. I created a neighborhood loop, or track if you will. That way, I never stay too far from home. That way, water, or facilities are not too far away. And, if I get too cold, or hurt, or just plain tired, my house isn't too far away. And that system has really worked for me.

Now, I'll say this about running outside - I still don't love it. I didn't like it on the treadmill to begin with, so, no matter what kind of routine I've gotten into over the last few months, I still don't love running.

Having said that, I do have a new appreciation for it. And while I prefer other forms of cardio, like running stairs, working out on stair masters and ellipticals, I have a newfound respect for the sport of distance running. And, I'm, even starting to admire long distance runners.

That's right, in the past, I thought you all were crazy. That's right, I'm talking to you folks who run every day, who train and do marathons or half marathons or even 5Ks. I didn't envy any of you one bit. I didn't envy cross country runners either. I respect all of you, and your passion for running, but I never, for one second, wanted to be you, and that's including the last six years of working out six days a week.

Now though, I am one of you. Now, I would consider doing a road race. Before, I ran to get in shape to walk. That's right, much of my working out is to prepare for hiking in the summer, and hiking is walking. Now however, I run with a purpose.

Yup, I have to admit now. I am what I said I'd never become. I am a runner, and not just the treadmill kind. Now, I'm a runner, I'm a real jogger, and I have miles and miles logged in already to prove it. And while I don't love it, I do get it now. I get why so many people do love it. I get the sense of accomplishment, and the tired rush you feel when you're finished. I get it.

I understand it all now because I'm one of you. I'm a runner. And as crazy as it may sound, I owe that all to the coronavirus, which by the way, I hate way more than I hate running.


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