There are things in life I will never enjoy. I am not talking about things I assume I will not enjoy that I have never given a fair shot to such as poetry by Jewell or the “High School Musical” movies. I am speaking of things that time and time again I have tried. I have tried to force myself to enjoy these things, I have tried to convince myself that they are good, but it is just never going to happen.
When I was in college, for example, I had two soccer player roommates. As an American, I have been taught “Soccer bad, sports full of concussions good.” I never was really able to appreciate when they would talk about that one scissor kick that went past the mark for a goal and whether or not that should have been called offside. That is because nearly all of that sentence was pure gibberish to me.
Determined, I would watch soccer with them, trying my best to understand the thrill. When I said that I did not understand it, they would say, “You have to watch an international match. Then you’ll get it.” So I watched the international match. I watch intently, yet all I saw were men kicking the ball down the field, then kicking it back to the other side of the field, then back again.
The only thing that has confused me more than people’s love of soccer is their love of running. I have tried desperately to like running. I know that running is very good for me. This knowledge has caused me to spend time on treadmills, then when that did not seem to be pleasant, outside. I would lace up my shoes and tell myself, “Running is good for me. Those endorphins will kick in soon and I will be having the time of my life.” Those endorphins would never arrive, though, and I would find myself tired, slightly cranky, and wishing I was doing literally anything else in the world besides running.
This is not a thought that I have just had as an adult. As a child, my favorite sport was baseball. Why? Well, it is America’s pastime and there is a great deal of strategy involved, blah blah blah. It also did not hurt that I would spend 95% of the game standing in a stationary position with the other 5% made up of short little runs.
I know, though, that I should learn to enjoy it. Sometimes, I feel like I am really missing out on something.
My wife and I were on our way to dinner today when we saw a gentleman running. He had the full get up with the Under Armour shirt and running pants that look like they would be very comfortable for lounging about on the couch instead of wasting the comfort on some sort of attempt at fitness. He was clearly a very experience runner, his feet pounding the pavement as he headed up what to me would have been a very steep hill.
To go along with the entire get up, though, was a grin. Grin is not the right word. This man was actually beaming as he ran up this hill, his face showing more joy than children experience on Christmas morning. Not only was he forcing himself to be a healthy individual, but he was unbelievably happy while doing it.
In that instant, I hated him. I hated his stupid face so much. I also, though, wished I was him. I want to enjoy running and being healthy as much as that guy does. The only problem is I know that I would rather go home and eat ice cream than run up a stupid hill in my stupid Under Armour. I would not be smiling, but I would be frowning, my face scrunched up as I tried to calculate the likelihood of my calves spontaneously combusting while going up this hill. Then I would silently wish that I was at home watching Netflix.
Being a year older, though, I should be more concerned with my health. I guess I should give it another try. Maybe this time I will love it. Not as much as that guy, but no one loves anything as much as that guy apparently loves to run.
Odds are I will still never love it, but at least I gave it a shot.