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Exercise: A marathon of emotions

I approach exercise the same way I approach doing laundry or turning in homework for college classes: I don’t HAVE to do them, but I should.

They are evil necessities — unpleasant but good for me. And so, with great reluctance, I have picked up cardio in my daily routine. I’m sure it’ll pay off in the long run.

At least, that’s what I tell myself as I put myself through a world of physical and emotional pain. Honestly, running makes me want to pull out all of my teeth and then chew on them. I’m serious. For your benefit, I have recorded my thoughts as a non-athlete going on a run.

5 minutes before run: I can do this. The first step is always the hardest. I am a smart, strong, independent woman and those positive self-affirmations will somehow help me run three miles…. God help me.

1 minute into run: This isn’t that bad!

3 minutes: This is pretty bad.

5 minutes: People do this for fun. Some people even do this for a living. I’m only going to do this for half an hour.

8 minutes: C’mon lungs, don’t quit on me now. Legs, you’ve been doing this since you were 1, stop complaining. Let’s go endorphins, aren’t you supposed to be making me less miserable right now? Why is my body mutinying against me?!

10 minutes: I’m sorry, that was uncalled for. I should be thankful that I have a fully functioning body in the first place. Here, let’s practice gratitude right now: I’m thankful for having lungs and legs and an endocrine system that works properly. (But really stomach, get it together. You’re acting up like I just burst a spleen. Calm down.)

12 minutes: Maybe it would help if I imagine that I’m being chased. Ok, I’m being chased by…grizzly bears. Serial killers. Serial killing cannibals. That boy from Latin class demanding why I never texted back. Eesh, wasn’t he on the track team? Abort imagination, abort!

14 minutes: This would be so much easier if I was actually running for my life.

15 minutes: Think about happy things like…McDonald’s breakfast combo No. 1 or direct flights that don’t involve LAX or fast Internet connection on campus. Happy thoughts. Look, I’m halfway done!

18 minutes: I am going to die on this hill. I am going to die here and they will find my cold corpse crawling with maggots and OMG it’s Beyoncé! Why aren’t there more Beyoncé songs on my playlist? “FINALLYYY YOU PUT MY LOVE ON TOOOOP — “Ugh, not enough air, can’t breathe. Singing and running at the same time is a bad, bad idea. But with the power of Beyoncé, I so got this.

22 minutes: Beyoncé is over, misery commence. Maybe it’s possible to brainwash myself? Check out how pretty the trees are! Being outside is great! The grass is green, the sky is blue, my face is purple — I hate this so much.

25 minutes: Y’know, this would make a horrible Wave column. Not only do I sound utterly depressing, my inner monologue is totally spastic. Yeah, I should definitely not write about this.

28 minutes: Everything hurts.

30 minutes: DONE! Eh, that wasn’t even that bad. I should consider signing up for a marathon!

Goeun Park graduated from Detroit Lakes High School and attends college in California.