I recently moved to a new apartment a few weeks ago. Along with charting my new route to work, finding the closest ATM, grocery and liquor store, I also plotted my new running route. I am NOT a runner. I would walk, but I’m impatient.

(Jogging is probably the more appropriate word to describe my actual pace. However, that word makes me think of the 1980s, “jog bras,” and gym teacher wind suits. So I’m sticking with running.)

I am a very self-conscious runner too. I wear a hat pulled down as far as possible so people can’t see my face when I run. Why? Because I turn an embarrassing blotchy red three seconds into any workout. I’m certain that people have reached for their cell phones to call 911 after seeing me run by, worried that I may collapse of exhaustion or cardiac arrest. I don’t like to run in public, either. But I can’t afford a gym membership at present, so unless I want to run up and down the two flights of stairs at my new apartment, I’m on the streets.

 In my old neighborhood, I ran around a lovely country club with lots of other runners. You pass each other and smile, silently saying to one another “way to go runner! Keep up the good work!” Yesterday, the only comment I heard was from a  man saying “girl, you look beautiful.” With my red, sweaty face? I’m sure.

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