Remember those days back in junior high basketball practice? Countless hours of running back and forth between foul lines and center court, over and over and over and over again. And over. And over. Get the idea?
As I sit here watching NFL playoff action, it occurs to me – and I know nothing of what these guys do in practice – they must spend hours running up and down that field more times than they can count. Soccer, hockey, baseball, pick your sport. It seems like every other sport really does regard running as punishment. Now I know most of these sports don’t utilize distance running, but probably more interval-style punishment. But I think if you asked Walter Payton or Victor Cruz to go for a nice easy 10-miler, I imagine they’d probably look at you with an expression not unlike this.
I suppose just about everyone, even seasoned runners, view speed work as a necessary evil if they want to see any kind of decrease in pace. It’s been so long since I’ve run, (2 months, 3 days, 21 hours, and 47 minutes – not that I’m counting or anything), that I only have hazy memories of lung-busting, star-seeing, hallucination-creating, visions-of-grandeur-inducing, sprint work. Even though I hated speed work days, it always more of a love-hate relationship.
Whether it’s hills, LSD’s, speed work, or tempo runs, if running is not your sport of choice, it’s all ugly and highly detested. Just ask any typical teenager who decides to get mom and dad off their back about lazing around on the couch all day by taking up something as non-sweat inducing as curling, (no offense Lisa!).
Really, when you get right down to it, 99% of the world’s sports incorporate running to some degree. I mean really, how silly would it be if baseball players had to walk the bases? Oh, wait a minute…..
So the next time you hear another athlete whining about having to run during practice, just smile and say nothing. Let them think their sport is so much more demanding than yours. You know who the tougher bad ass is. And so do we.
Enjoy the ride.
Why do you think some athletes hate running so much? Is it the physical demands or how it can put even the strongest of athletes on a level playing field with an everyday runner? Is it bad that I just can’t stop laughing at the Norwegian National Curling Team’s plaid pants??