This one goes out to all the people (women, in particular!) who say or who have ever said “Nah, I can’t run,” because the proof is in the pudding, my friends: Yesterday I ran 10km (on a treadmill) in 47 minutes and 50 seconds. This is after approximately three months of pretty solid workouts, not quite every day but nearly, bringing me from Pudgy Smoker to Running Machine. I will openly admit right now that I paused in front of the mirror yesterday in my yoga tank top and was like, “Hmmm… not bad!” This is a big deal for me, since I have a) always hated the way I look, and b)always thought of myself as a non-runner. Even when I was in great shape, in high school, I would always say I “hated running” and avoid it at all costs, feeling gimpy and uncoordinated. Not anymore!! I have realized that — like everything — that was merely a mental block. (And, can I just add here, that there’s nothing like a treadmill on a rolling and pitching ship to improve your balance and coordination, trust me, try it sometime… definitely goes against the manufacturer’s recommended use, I would say). So yeah… I find myself looking forward to going ashore, not for a movie, or shopping, (although I love those things too!) but to go RUNNING!! Who knew. And the better shape I get in, the more I enjoy the speed, the ease, the feeling of power and energy running through my body as I cruise along the trail or street at Mach 0.0003 or so. Well it feels fast, alright!! And although I know I am not going to be setting any records anytime soon, I am pretty psyched, and, well, pretty proud of myself. This is another huge concession, since I am chronically and brutally hard on myself. I am proud though! I replaced smoking with running, which is like the karmic equivalent of replacing serial killing with volunteering at an orphanage. I feel great. Oh yeah — and I am going to run a half-marathon in October! That’s 13.1 miles, and my goal is 1:45 or less. I already forked out for the deluxest, shiniest, running shoes, and I am aware that it’s only a matter of time before I have msyelf in a pair of those dorky running shorts. Bring it! I honestly can’t recall a time when I have felt better about my body, despite the fact that I haven’t lost a single pound. (Although I think I’ve cashed in a few for muscle). For perhaps the first time ever, my self-image is more tied to health and lifestyle than jeans size. Wow.