Aside

Learning my lefts and rights

I’ve always had difficulty telling left from right and, as an extension, east from west (on a map – physically, I have trouble with all directions). Like most directionally challenged individuals, I did learn the basics eventually. Unlike most directionally challenged individuals, I was well into my double digits when I got there. By “basics,” I mean that if I thought about it hard enough and visualized a page or a compass rose as an aid, I would probably get it right most times. I still need to do that sometimes. However, thanks to yoga videos, I’ve gotten much quicker in distinguishing the left side of my own body from the right. I even have a higher success rate at getting it right intuitively. As soon as I have to translate to another person’s body or think quickly, however, my success rate drops significantly… I’m still in awe when people just know which side is which in relation to anything. On the flip side, I get to have small successes like this: After one of my slow jogs, I was approached by two strollers asking for directions. Despite my terrible sense of direction, I was actually familiar with the place they were looking for as I had just jogged past it a few minutes earlier. I didn’t want to lie and knew I couldn’t run away – my jogging is way too slow for that because I’m polite. So, I took a deep breath and, using my hands as an aid (thanks, yoga!), I described the way slowly, but without messing up. compass
That was months ago, and I’m still super proud of myself!
I am genuinely happy with how far I’ve come in the past few years, as an adult on paper who has more trouble telling right from left than the average elementary schooler.
(I could probably improve my directional instincts if I consciously practiced. But presently, my motivation to improve is weaker than my laziness. What do I have a directionally talented duck friend for, anyway?)

Our favorite jogging podcasts

I will start off by admitting that it was very hard to not write ‘jogcasts’ instead of ‘jogging podcasts’ in the title – the duck had some serious convincing to do. With that out of the way, let’s get to the actual post:
Two weeks ago, the duck and I credited the power of our running podcasts for our uncharacteristic endurance in completing our slow jogs.
running podcast duckToday, we want to share a list of our top five fiction podcasts that have kept us engaged distracted enough to not give up in the middle of a jog. Maybe there are one or two among them that you’d like to listen to yourself. Be it to accompany your most dreaded* exercise or your chores, daily commutes, relaxing sessions, or anything in between: Continue reading

Running for ten minutes

The observant reader might have noticed that the title of today’s blog post looks familiar. That’s because last year, I declared that, in a joint effort with the duck, I would attempt to extend my running stamina beyond the approximate ten seconds it was at. Given our unsuccessful history with running, the duck and I are surprised to admit that, about a year later, we’re still pretend-running on a somewhat regular basis. Although our fatalistic 2021 prediction didn’t come true, we are still not 100% convinced that we will not have to outrun zombies sometime in the future (though, running from zombies is not what today’s post is about). For now, we can say that we’ve caught a few buses after 30-second sprints without feeling nauseous, which the duck and I consider a great success.10 minute run duckBut, since we are inherently lazy, getting to those rewarding bus sprints wasn’t always smooth sailing: Continue reading

Running for ten seconds

That’s about the extent of my stamina. When the duck and I lived in Tokyo, our window looked out onto a trail. Sometimes, when – chocolate in hand – we observed the outside world, we saw super motivated joggers run by, some of them twice our combined age: a regular reminder of how unfit we were. “Running for ten seconds” was, in fact, supposed to be the title of a blog post about how we finally took up running so that no runner would ever be able to mock us again – by simply running past our lazy tail feathers. Of course, the titular ten-second run would never happen (not while we were living in Tokyo, anyway) even though, a few weeks before the duck and I set off on our Japan adventure, we visited our inspirational friend who used to go running every morning. She told us that she loved Haruki Murakami’s memoir What I Talk About When I Talk About Running and recommended we read it, too.pre run duck 3+ years later, we finally did. And, weirdly, after a life of feeling sick for hours after having had to run for more than ten seconds, reading about the experiences of someone (granted, one who never shared our specific lack-of-running-stamina-problem) who started running regularly as an adult made the duck and me finally attempt to properly take up the practice ourselves (if only we’d read this earlier):

Continue reading