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):

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This is what the duck and I do best. We love sleeping. I would even go as far as calling us sleep pros. Whenever we go below seven hours a night, however, we feel as if our brains run at half speed the next day; we become clumsy(er than usual), have trouble speaking properly (not that that isn’t a problem sometimes irrespective of how much we slept), vacantly stare into the distance – in short, we turn into sleep zombies. It’s funny, actually, that the German word for ‘drowsy’ literally translates to ‘sleep drunk’, which probably is what the duck and I look like after we haven’t cought enough Zs for a week: Drunk zombies.
These days the duck and I are a bit busier than usual which means that we run the risk of zombifying ourselves every single day.
Whenever we talk to others about how we need our eight+ hours of sleep every night we get all kinds of reactions: Some people congratulate us on keeping healthy, others suggest we write ‘retirement home’ on our mailbox.¹ In Japan the predominant reaction we got was amazement. Considering how the duck and I can barely function with seven hours of sleep, we on the other hand find it amazing zombieduckthat many of our Japanese friends and acquaintances have told us that five hours of sleep per night are normal for them. I guess that explains why the duck and I have encountered so many people in Tokyo who have mastered the art of ending their train sleeping session at just the right stop.
We are not sure if it is possible to train our bodies to work on just five hours of sleep if we don’t have university entrance exams or an average of five hours of working overtime every day to push us… but maybe the duck and I are happier just wondering rather than actually figuring that out for ourselves. We’re keeping our fingers and feathers crossed that we shall never have to experience what sleeping less than five hours every night for a loooong period of time really feels like. If you know, please share!
And if you have any zombie-mode-prevention tips, please send those our way, too!

¹ This is a really ridiculous reaction, though, if you consider that, usually, the older you get, the less sleep you need.