An Ode to Running: Hump Day Haiku

An Ode to Running

Running through the rain
Beating myself at this game
One step at a time

group of young people runs at the beach on beautiful summer sunset
A group of young people runs at the beach at sunset.

In December, I took up jogging, an act I had always failed at miserably. As a kid, I had horrible asthma which left me hospitalized for a week when I was nine-years-old.  My attacks were triggered by physical activity, cold air, and seasonal allergies. Even laughing set me to wheezing.

As I got older, some of my symptoms lessened, and I found myself using my inhaler less and less. Today, I usually use it at night before bed when lying down makes chest tight. However, my endurance has always been lacking. Hiking up hills, I would hack and struggle to get my breath like a pack-a-day smoker. Swimming makes me feel like my lungs are being squeezed by a vice, and the simple act of standing in the shallow end makes me short of breath. So why take up running? Surely this must be a personal hell?

Running is my Great White Whale. I have always envied people who could just get up and run or jog for an extended period of time. In the past, I have tried running, but couldn’t make it around the block, and eventually gave up with my tail between my legs. Then I heard about an app that could train one to run a 5K.


Yes. Train. My whole life, I have been surrounded by naturally athletic people. Training to do something that seemed so innate to humanity had never occurred to me.

My naivety abounds.

So I downloaded the Couch to 5K (C25K) app and started jogging. At first for only 30 seconds with 90-second walk breaks in between. Wash. Rinse. Repeat for 20 minutes. I did this three times a week until I was running for 90 seconds with a 1-minute walk break. Then 5 minutes. Then 10. Truth be told, I balked at the 10-minute mark. I thought, there’s no way I can do it, so I stuck with 8 minutes for several weeks instead, afraid of failing. Then A friend told me not being able to run for 10 minutes wasn’t failing. As long as I got out and tried, I was winning. So I ran.

I still haven’t made it to 5K, but I can jog easily for 30 minutes with no breaks. Some days are harder than others. Somedays, I do need to stop and walk for a bit, but I figure I’m way better off having to walk for a minute than to have never gotten my ass up off the couch.

Photo credit:

jogging by cuegalos via Flickr Creative Commons License


Cynthia Varady

Cynthia Varady

Cynthia Varady is an award-winning freelance writer and co-owner of the book review website, She currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son. Cynthia has her BA in English Literature from Sonoma State University, and her Masters in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University. Occasionally, Cynthia can be found voicing characters in casual video games, including Stella in the Aveyond series. She is presently working on a young adult fantasy novel.

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