“I wish I could do that!”


By Fred Deckert 


“I wish I could do that.” Words I’ve heard many times from someone who thought they were explaining why they couldn’t run or jog. Usually pursuing this statement to it’s root cause is an exercise in frustration for me. This is what I’ve heard more often than I cared to; “I can’t get my breath when I run.” Or “I have a knee problem.” Or, “I just don’t have time.”

Little do these folks realize that practically every runner has one or more of the same problems or a variety of other equally “good” excuses. The difference here is choice. The successful runner chooses to overcome or work around problems. You can bet that most of us can’t find enough oxygen to feel comfortable when we start running. There are several good reasons, first you may have goals that are too high at the beginning of your program and simply need to cut back to a more reasonable pace until the body adapts. Second, you may be seriously out of shape and need to lose some weight concurrently with training. Of course waiting until you get in shape is something of an oxymoron. Naturally there may actually be health conditions you should check with your doctor before attempting any strenuous exercise, but these are fairly rare.

Pain often exists whether or not you choose to exercise. The key is to honestly evaluate if your exercise truly makes it worse or if you can find a way to ameliorate it. A casual inspection of the running world will show you many people running with knee braces of some type – you can bet they aren’t for decorative purposes. Sometimes I suspect those guys of lulling you into complacency when you race against them however.

Time may be the favorite excuse. There’s hardly a person alive that can’t make some case for that ruse. However, there also very few people who can’t spare some time away from the TV set either. When you consider that several presidents of the United States have found time in their schedule for a daily run, it makes your excuses look pretty puny.

So, get off your duff and do it. And please don’t make those excuses to a dedicated runner, he or she may not be as polite as I!