Why you should NEVER run outside
I’m trying to do this thing where I establish a work-out routine. Thus far it’s an every other day, half an hour a pop, combo of running and hiking (read: fussing with the incline function of the treadmill) – so obviously I’m gearing up for the 2016 Olympics here.
As a general rule, I avidly avoid the Dodge Fitness Center. It’s the place stereotypes come to life. There’s the guy trying way too hard to be noticed lifting weights with the grunting and heavy breathing of a birthing rhinoceros, and his friend who, like an overzealous mom at her kid’s soccer game, will yell encouragements that sound like insults – “Five more, you shrimpy S.O.B.!”
Then there’s that girl in her Lululemon ensemble, with the yoga pants that leave less than nothing to the imagination, hugging every miniscule cellulite dimple on her seemingly perfect legs while she’s walking on a treadmill, flipping through a magazine with her ponytail bobbing fanatically and in complete disproportion to her actual speed.
Then there’s everyone looking at and seriously judging everyone else. I just can’t. So I work out in my residence hall fitness room and am content.
Then a friend suggested, with no malicious intent (I’m 80% sure) that I should run outside.
Outside? Um, no. No, thank you.
It’s not air conditioned out there, I said to her, plus the treadmill has this cute little fan feature that I’m a pretty big fan of – aha pun intended. Besides, I tell her, I can’t control the incline, and I’m not sure if you know this but hills abound around here. Outdoors, you can also only roughly assess distance and the treadmill is infinitely more uniform than the cracked cobblestones of Riverside Drive or the shoddy pavement of Broadway and Amsterdam.
Then there’s the weather you have to contend with: is it Africa hot? Is the humidity so bad it feels like you’re waterboarding yourself? Is it raining or otherwise precipitating? Or in the other direction, is it as cold as the Antarctic tundra outside? If you see white everywhere, you’re either running through snow or the Upper East Side – and in either case you should stop immediately, because neither is conducive to outdoor running.
And let’s not forget the kicker: if you are truly working out, you do not look good. By the time you’ve finished your work out, your hair will be mussed and out of place. The pit-stains will be there. There will be a spot on your back where you’ve sweated through your shirt. Some visible part of you will be red. You’ll be sweaty and gross, and breathing heavily. And strangers will judge all you butt-ass nasty Cinderellas for the entire duration of your run.
No one will be thinking, “Gee Willikers, check out that young person making healthy lifestyle choices!” Instead they’ll be groaning along the lines of “Ugh, these kids. I just can’t with them. Wait until you have my soul-sucking job, then see if you feel good enough about yourself to run in public.” Or even, simply, “Must you run on Broadway, you inconsiderate turd?”
So bottom line: save yourself and run indoors.
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