Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Are We Crazy?

Currently, the topic of "random inappropriate comments by non-ultrarunners" is making a showing on the Ultra List. Many of them involve people's comments about an ultrarunner's weight, and the validity of such a comment. Because no one is worried about me being too thin, the only comments I get consistently are, "Are you crazy? Addicted to running?, etc." In fact, a friend called last night to "congratulate" me on Ultracentric, and then proceeded to spend much of the conversation bagging on me for my unhealthy addiction. I totally get that ultrarunning is not for everyone - but frankly, that's what makes it so fun! And as far as it being an addiction, maybe so, but maybe not.

When I was five years old, I saw a swim team practice taking place at our local pool. I begged my mom to let me join, but since I was the youngest of four children, she didn't have the time to drive me down into the valley every morning at 7 am. Not to be deterred, and because I really wanted to swim, I went around the pool and found four other mothers willing to pick me up. And I was on the team! I swam competitively for 10 years, training for 4-5 hours a day by the time I was 9 years old. And no one was pushing me. I wanted to do it. And when I wasn't swimming, I was outside practicing my round-off/flip flop combo or my one-and-a-half off the diving board. I loved any, and all, physical activity.

After swimming, I went through a phase where I tried to be "normal." I didn't do any real exercise, just hung out with my friends. But it didn't work for me. I went stir crazy. So in high school, I ran cross country and taught aerobics, and then continued running and aerobics in college. In law school, I would run between classes just to get rid of some of the extra energy. It made me able to sit for long periods of time and totally focus on what the professor was saying, what I was reading, or what I was analyzing. I loved to study, but I loved to move! I still love to move!

So, my point is only that I think some of us are born needing to move a lot. Does that make it an addiction? I don't really know. I watch my twins and see how they both have (and always have had) different physical needs. One needs to move a lot and the other is more static. They were like that in the womb. I think it really is more about temperement and finding what works in your own life. As I said, I know that not everyone wants to run for 24 hours. But there are plenty of things people do in their lives that I don't necessarily want to do, and I don't think that makes them crazy (or at least not much :)


olga said...

Wow, you are/were one dedicated kid! That's totally impressive, really! I always think of those kids with white jealousy (is it a term? we use it back in Russia, as in "good envy, I wish I could"). I wasn't that kid...so I am picking it now:)

Carilyn said...

Not as impressive as you think cuz I left out all the "unproductive" stuff I did! :) I'm saving that for another post (except that I think my mom reads my blog)! You may have started later, but you sure made up for lost time quickly - you rock!

olga said...

Yeah, well, I had that too...lets keep it quiet:)