Those lines: “Gee, I really wish I could start running... but I just don’t have time...”
We’ve all heard it said, and we’ve all chuckled.
But sometimes I hear it said with such sincerity that I struggle to laugh it off – and I marvel that the person saying it actually believes it.
I wonder if they think that we runners run because we’ve got bags of free time on our hands?? As if we’ve got nothing else to do, so hey, let’s take up running!
Over the years I’ve come across so many runners who, in a determined effort to fit in their training, juggle their time to make sure they do their daily – or three times weekly, whatever it may be – trot. And ironically, it’s often runners who have the busiest schedules of all.
I know of mums who refuse to be restricted by wet nappies and Baby’s yodelling by simply popping said Baby into stroller and dashing out for a speedy 5km zip around the neighbourhood.
I’ve met high-powered business people who could say they don’t have the time or the energy to run, but instead prioritise their lunch hours for a session on the treadmill or a city run in the sun.
Then there was the couple who, finding themselves stuck for two days in a foreign airport during a host of airline industry strikes, helped to pass the time by doing twice-daily 8km runs back and forth along the highway to the airport.
And the good friend of mine who has to travel to London on business every month for five days at a time – rather than bemoan the fact that most of the time the temperature in the UK is way too damn cold to run in, and that her busy work schedule wouldn’t allow it anyway, she simply sets her alarm clock astonishingly early each morning while she’s there, pulls on all her winter woollies and heads out for her 10km run through the business heart of London in the pre-dawn darkness.
I once met a marine biologist who was training for his first marathon. He’d built up from zero fitness to marathon level over a period of eight steady months, despite having to spend six of those months on a research vessel based on Dassen Island. How did he manage to train? Some days he ran around the boat, and other times he ran round and round Dassen Island – much to the utter amazement of the penguins!
Time is a relative thing. It’s always in short supply. But it’s how you use it that determines what you get from it.
And if we want something badly enough, we’ll make the time to do it.
So the next time you hear someone telling you how they’d sooo LOVE to start running but they just don’t have the time, know that it’s actually nothing to do with time at all... the truth is simply that they just don’t WANT to start running.
And that’s their loss.