In my last post I talked about loving to run ladders and other sprints at the end of basketball or soccer practice. This may strike some as more than a little strange, saying as the sprints at the end of practice are usually a result of the team or individual’s inability to perform well at practice or a game…aka “punishment.” Now, you may be asking if I am one of those weirdos who enjoys punishment….No, I do not enjoy punishment. I do however, love to run. For me it was a chance to show the coaches that despite my horrendous ball handling skills, or the fact that I kicked “like a girl,” I was still good at something.
SO, while thinking back on that time, the image of a t-shirt for a cross country team that I had once seen, flashed in my brain. It said: “Our sport is your sport’s punishment.” I remember getting a chuckle out of this, and also feeling a little bit proud that I participated in such a grueling sport.
Recently, though as I thought about it a little more, I asked the question, why? Why do physical education teachers and coaches use running as a form of punishment? Don’t they know that they are contributing to a growing epidemic…of running haters? (Not to mention all the other side-effects that come as a result of hating to run?)
Now, I am no psychologist, but it only makes sense to me that if you associate anything (even good things) with something negative, then people are going to start disliking that thing which started out so good and pure.
Take for example an ice cream cone (my favorite). If at the end of the day, you gave someone an ice cream cone. BUT, while they ate that ice cream cone, you yelled at them, and then you proceeded to force feed them ice cream until they couldn’t take it anymore…still all the while, yelling at them…and you did this every day, and even began to use it as a threat, saying, “if you don’t behave, then I’m going to make you eat ice cream,” I am going to bet that you would no longer like ice cream. Some may disagree with this, but logic tells me that when even the best of things are, over an extended period of time, associated with something negative, it wouldn’t be long before you began hating that wich was inherently good. Think about it…
Some may not see running as even comparable to ice cream, but as you have noticed in my earlier posts, running is something that most of us loved do do as children. Our favorite games were tag, hide and seek, kick the can…all of which, have running as the main event! As children, most of us loved running around, just as most of us loved eating things that were sweet. It is natural for our tongue to have a feeling of enjoyment when it tastes something sweet. It is also just as natural for our body to produce endorphins (enjoyment) when we run. Think about it…
I challenge you to change your way of thinking. Switch your mind back to the beginning, where running was that fun, enjoyable experience. Then make a T-shirt that says Running: as good as ice cream!