There are a lot of lessons I’ve learned throughout my time running. Some skills and attributes I’ve developed were expected, such as sweet quads for roundhouse kicks and/or running up hills, or an iron power of will (brain: “I don’t care if you feel appendicitis-y abdomen, we’ve got 6k to go!”). These things did not come easily but they didn’t surprise me.
This post is not about the expected benefits of running. This post is about the skills I’ve developed that bear no other purpose in real life and were wholly undesired, in the sense that I didn’t even know they were things one could get better at. Here goes, my secondary running skills:
1. The amazing ability to convert miles to kilometers, and vice-versa, on the fly.
Great! Not only have I memorized the popular race distances in terms of miles and kilometers, I am now also able to tell American tourists how many miles it is to the golf course! Or gasp when a film character tells me that the madman was driving 100 miles an hour (that’s 160k, eh!)! These situations arise about once every two years, so… good. Great. That is something I can do now.
2. The possession of a database of distances from my house to most any other place in town.
Hey friends, did you know that I know the exact kilometer count from my house to yours? Were you aware that I run past your house in the wee hours of the morning and wave at you even though I know you’re asleep/ aren’t living there because you’re at university and it’s just your parents? Well you do now! You should also know that it’s 3k from my house to the closest coffee shop, 5.5 to the fire station, 7.5 to the farm with the llamas, 1 to the nearest beach, 3.5 to the playground, and I could go on and on. I hope your Creep Alarms are blasting right now, because there might be a malfunction if not.
4. An awe-inspiring knowledge of rap, hiphop, and 80’s rock lyrics.
All I can say is that I’m pretty fly for a white girl. Ask me to rap a little for ya, and if you’ve gotten enough vodka sodas in me beforehand, I may treat you to Lose Yourself by Eminem in its entirety. You’re welcome. Plus. I’ve got the Eye of the Tiger/ I’m the Best Around/ I ride in a Chariot of Fire. So there’s that.
5. Knowing what decibel level is too loud when yelling at drivers-by for interrupting my pace.
See I want to yell, but I don’t want them to hear me. Aggressive… but not too aggressive.
Of course, there are some skills I wish I would develop but don’t foresee doing so in the near future, including:
- How to use a foam roller on my legs without looking like a pervert.
- How to explain to people why I’m not going out (gotta run), drinking (gotta run), trying new foods (gotta run) without sounding like a mega-dweeb.
- How to stop trying to convince my friends and family to start running so I don’t have to do it by myself all the time.
- How to stop myself from bragging when I hit a new distance/ PR. Although, if I’m honest, the bragging rights are the best part.
- How to drink from the little paper cups at aid stations (I KNOW I’m supposed to pinch one side it’s just hard mid-stride, okay?)
- Finally, and this is a big one, how to be less awesome. It’s getting tiring.