Before I began running, I thought a PB was an intense hit of peanut butter and that a power run was a 'pie run' (although I blame a lady with a high-pitched Irish accent for that one). I also thought I'd hate it.
A few months on, and I've realised I was wrong on all of the above; particularly the latter. I mean, I still run like Phoebe from Friends. I still need musical motivation in the form of emo bands that went out of fashion along with corduroy flares and safety pin necklaces (they were never fashionable is what I'm saying). And I am still painfully aware of every single blood-blistery, nipple-rubbing, sweat-drenched stride I take.
But, despite all of that, I have recently realised that running is actually kinda brilliant... especially in the summer months. So if you've never tried it, now is the time to get involved. Here's why:
You see fitties everywhere
It's a basic fact of life that everyone is 63% more attractive in the summer. So imagine 63% more attractive people... RUNNING. Muscles, sweat, inappropriately short shorts that make you question 'what is life?'; sometimes I go round the park twice for these alone.
You get to make obscene summer playlists...
...and no one can judge you when they accidentally come on during a road trip to Alton Towers because, hey, you're a runner: you've earned it! Mine features Britney, Thrice, Pitbull and Idlewild. *Insert cool face emoji*
Running makes you really pro-active
I will never forget the time I went for a 9am Saturday run, came back, jumped in the car and drove straight to Tesco to do a big shop.
You'll get a seat the BBQ
"Sorry granddad, I know you're 87 but my knee is giving me serious jip, so I'll need to commandeer this plastic garden chair and while you're up could you please pass me a pickled egg?"
(Nb. I'm joking. OBVIOUSLY. No way would I eat a pickled egg.)
As a runner you are basically better than everyone else
...and WHAT a wonderful summertime glow you get from this knowledge.
You really will improve your fitness levels
And I have Actual Proof. I do a thing called Park Run (it's a weekly running event across the UK - they say 'it's a run not a race', but I am sorry, you get a time and a position, so what is your rationale for this statement please).
In 12 weeks, I've shaved over four minutes off my 5k time. FOUR MINUTES. Think of what you could do in four minutes! You could flare your nostrils and possibly even unflare them again in that time. Possibly.
You might make new friends
Some you want, and some? Not so much... (I'm looking at you, stretchy man waiting by the tree).
If you don't love a good lunge in the sun then sorry, but you can't sit with us.
And lastly, if you're really lucky, a dog will look you meaningfully in the eyes
Because deep down, that's surely what we all live for.
So, go forth and enjoy running in the lovely summer sun. And when it comes to winter? Yeeeeahhh... I'll be the one eating peanut butter with a spoon.