As part of kicking 2016’s lame ass out the door to make way for my awesome 2017, I decided to learn how to enjoy running.

I really hate running. I always have.

I run one mile and feel like my sockets are barely holding my eyeballs in when I’m done. I feel like I’ve taken six months worth of heartbeats from whatever my heart had left to give. I usually collapse into a messy pile when I’m done, and gasp for even the smallest of breaths while I eagerly await Death to come forth and end my suffering.

But… Some people love running. They don’t just run for exercise, either. They run for fun. They talk about how clear their minds get, and how great their bodies feel, and how therapeutic it is. They talk about six mile runs the way I talk about eating a footlong hoagie. As they speak, I’m usually nodding my head, waiting for a punchline that never comes.

But not in 2017, baby.

This is my year. Tough Mudder in April means I’ve gotta kick my ass into high gear to ungain the pounds I just put on while I finished my new book and wallowed my way through holiday depression.

To help with that, and for only the thirty-second time in my life, I declared that I am going to become… A RUNNER! I’m going to learn how to love running. I’m going to enjoy it. I’m going to finally understand what other people feel when they run.

This time, instead of jumping into it, I decided to actually do the C25K program. After all, how could nine billion people be wrong?

Well, I made it through day 2 of the program. I made it all the way to the end of each workout. Day one it was 22 degrees outside. Today it was 16 degrees. That’s Fahrenheit, folks. But damn it, I was gonna do it, and I did.

Well, guess what. It wasn’t so bad. It was good enough that I came home and decided to make a list of all the things I LOVE about running at near-zero temperatures. Here it is:

  1. I love the way my nose just drips the whole time.
  2. I love the way I can’t feel any of my finger tips, even with gloves on. Okay, I lied. I could feel them. The entire time, I could feel them. They hurt the whole time because it was so cold.
  3. I love the way I was always able to find at least one slush puddle so deep that my entire shoe soaked through with icy water once I unexpectedly sunk into it.
  4. I love the way my sock squished and squashed with wetness, every time I took a step after that.
  5. I love the way I nearly slipped and fell on my ass. Repeatedly. I’m talking double digit number of times.
  6. I love the way my nose felt like it had been bitten clean off my face.
  7. I love the way my throat kept clogging with gunk as it tried to keep my wind pipes warm.
  8. I love the way my body would still sweat, even though that sweat made me even colder.
  9. I love the way the sweat from my face froze into ice chunks in my beard.

Dear friends…

I am cutting that list off at 9 just to drive you OCD people nuts. You’re welcome.

Also…

I lied.

I didn’t love any of the things on that list.

This is my real list of everything I loved.

  1. I loved being done.

Ugh.

I’m going to do it. I’m going to love running just like all the ridiculous running-loving weirdos out there. I just don’t know if the middle of January during a frigid cold blast is the best time to fall in love with something I already loathe with all my heart.

You people who love running really are weirdos, you know.

I’m telling you. Running in any temperature makes no sense.

Dan Pearce