My wife and I have a deal: every time she joins me for a run around the park near where we live, I buy her flowers.
I’m still not entirely sure why I agreed to this, but so far the arrangement hasn’t driven me to destitution. Being a runner who lives with a non-runner has its upsides.
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In the “old country,” everyone over 18 is expected to be unflamboyant about their athletic pursuits.
(Skiing being a notable exception.) Members of our parents’ generation might have belonged to a tennis club or have occasionally gone for a jog, but it is all very understated. In the United States, meanwhile, exhibiting an active lifestyle is encouraged, no matter how old you are: “26.2” bumper stickers, corporate lawyer “dadbros” who shred on weekends, the Lululemon set. Even though it’s a subject I frequently write about, I’m always bashful about bringing up my own running.
In the past five years, we’ve gone running together three times. For one thing, it allows for a little healthy perspective—a reminder that some people, indeed the vast majority of people, really couldn’t care less about whether they manage to get in at least eight miles before dinner.
After all, who returns home from early morning races, your significant other still fast asleep as you furtively climb back into bed like a sweaty philanderer.
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(You’ve had a fling with an uptown 5K—you and 5,000 other freaks.) I wasn’t always this dedicated. I started referring to my “weekly mileage,” like this was a normal thing to do.
I was a decent runner at university, but I adopted a more casual relationship with the sport after an injury ended my competitive career early on. Nora, my wife (girlfriend at the time), was supportive of my increasing fanaticism, although I think it still baffles her that anyone would take running so seriously.