I hate stretching. Always have. Always will. Some runners never stretch – I used to be one of them. Unfortunately, I learned the importance of stretching the hard way… (A story I’ll share in a future blog post). For now, let’s just say – if I somehow manage to cross the finish line in April, it will be as much of a testament to my disciplined stretching routine as my disciplined running routine.
What is it I hate about stretching so much? For one thing, I find it incredibly boring. When I feel like exercising, I want to get outside and get sweaty, not sit around touching my toes and counting to 30. Stretching takes a form of patience that doesn’t come naturally to me.
Worst of all, the benefits and progress of stretching are subtle and intangible. Even though it looms over me that if I don’t stretch, I’m much more likely to get injured – the threat isn’t quite eminent enough to force me into action daily.
For me, the running is the exciting fun part of this journey. Although the long runs can be tough, they are satisfying in a very real way. When I report, “I ran X number of miles today!” I quickly receive congratulations and gain respect. Somehow, reporting that “I stretched my quads, gluts, and IT bands today!” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.
Therefore, in the spirit of the New Year, I resolve to formulate a legitimate stretching routine and add it to my marathon training calendar. One idea I have to try and incorporate stretching into my daily life is to stretch while watching mindless television. With an unhealthy addiction to MTV’s Jersey Shore and new seasons of the Real World Washington D.C. and the Bachelor starting up, this plan should leave me more limber than ever… We shall see.
If you have any other ideas for how I can make stretching less evil, please let me know. Happy New Year!