I cannot resist playing hopscotch whenever a life-sized board presents itself. Heck, even if a board just the right size to use my fingers as legs would be irresistible; I would immediately skip my digits through the pattern with glee. This urge holds steadfast whether I am snail’s pacing it through side streets or bounding down the boardwalk. And as I loped through the hopscotch board I came upon during Sunday’s long run through the Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach’s pier, I remembered something that I think a lot of runners forget:
You don’t always have to take running so seriously. It is just a run.
At times, I have been known to be a whimsical runner. I have leaped like a gazelle over speed-bumps, calling “I’m a gaz-ull!” and I have cheered on other recreational runners who jog by me. I will halt my gait to examine or even collect some interesting piece of rubbish on the sidewalk or in the sand. Yesterday, I ran spied a yellow submarine toy perched on top of a mailbox, obviously not meant to be there. It looked so out of place and yet so comfortbale, I did not dare to distrub it.
There is a lot to see out there on your run. People to peer at, architecture to admire, cars dressed up like chickens to laugh at, squirrels to scare the bejesus out of you because you weren’t expecting them. Once in awhile, it is okay to have a little more fun during your workout. Or even twice in awhile. Breaking up the monotony cannot be hazardous to your well-being; it can only enhance it.
Throw your arms out and pretend to be a pteradactyl as you run down a hill. Sing out loud to your favorite song when it shuffles through your iPod. Run in zig-zags down a sidewalk. Wear your favorite pair of socks, even if they are knee highs with ravens on them. Jog past a garage sale even if it is out of your way. Enjoy yourself.
With my desire to hopscotch rampant, I wondered out loud to Ken what would happen if someone painted a board on the bottom of the pool. How would I play?
“Weightbelts,” he answered. And by gum, that does seem to be the best method.