Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: running

Exercise tropes I disagree with

For years, I would hear people say that running is so great beacuse you get that runner’s high. I hate running, so I dismissed it out of hand. I’m not saying they’re lying ,but that it just never did it for me. Running was the absolute worst, and I only did it when I was forced to (such as in school).

Then, there was all the fluff about how walknig is great because anyone can do it! We all (most of us, bodies willing) do it every day so how hard can it be? Just walk for thirty minutes a day! Which, ok, not terrible advice in itself, but I hated walking as well. I did it as my only form of exercise when I was in the Bay Area for a year to attend grad school, and I walked four miles a day. I hated every step. I did not get any kind of joy in doing it, and it was grim.

It wasn’t even a neutral feeling. I just hated it lots. Once I started Taiji, though, it was–well, I hated that, too. The only exercise I didn’t hate was dancing, so I was happy to put on music and dance around my living room. With Taiji, though, I decided to stick with my second teacher because…I’m not even sure why.

It wasn’t until she pressed a wooden sword in my hand that I felt the click people talk about when it comes to exercise. Here’s the thing. I was deeply depressed for most of my life. I found nothing positive about anything, and if I wasn’t feeling crushed by life, I was numb.

I felt nothing. So maybe it was asking too much from the exercise to give me a boost. But everyone said I would get that boost from exercising. And I kept feeling like I was a failure because I kept resenting the exercise. Hm.

The thing that most people weren’t saying, maybe because it seemed obvious to them, was that you had to find a form of exercise that you enjoyed in order to get that euphoria.

Side note: In the weekend Ask A Manager thread, there’s a question about how to make small talk. The original poster (OP) asked how people got beyond the weather, but still kept it in the small talk realm. First of all, if you live in Minnesota, you never need to move past the talk about weather. But, the questions people brought up were interesting. Food, for example, is not something I want to talk about because I have so many dietary restrictions. It’s boring to talk about what I can eat. Though I will say that my current obsession with Indian food will work in a pinch.

But I don’t want to talk about my favorite food because what I like to eat and what I can eat is very different. If I didn’t have restrictions, I would be eating way more dumplings and mac ‘n cheese than I currently do.

Another is asking if people are from the area. Which, as an Asian American, is very touchy. Talk about your initial microaggression! When I was in college I got asked all the time where I was from. That was inevitably followed up with, “No, where are you really from?”

Continue Reading