Of course, it is not just "mates" that motivate us. It is all of the women in our lives. My oldest daughter will be visiting us soon.
She expects me to run.
I started running when she was a freshman in high school. "Old" Mr Smith was the Cross Country coach and he is a sly and crafty old dog. He looked out over the ninth grade class of Business Economics and he announced, "I am the Cross Country coach and I am looking for 9th grade women to join. Are there any women here who enjoy running and hanging out with a nice group of high school boys and women?"
My daughter's hand shot up.
I am protective of my kids and I did not want her to run alone. Following her in the truck when she ran had issues. Problems occurred on the hills. She did not speed up enough when running down hill plus it was difficult to modulate the speed as she went uphill. And she hated it when I started honking the horn to encourage her to pick up the pace.
Finally, she laid down the law. No more truck. I had to run with her.
Once I got "tuned in" I was surprised to find that it was excellent for stress relief.
The company I worked for eventually applied for Chapter 11. Our fixed costs were like a black hole insatiably sucking up assets. Attempts to get control of those costs were always too little, too late. During those last years of working my work assignment changed 12 times. Each closure of a facility involved another case of musical chairs.
Two of those changes involved longer, daily commutes. In one case it was a split shift (10 hours on first shifts Friday/Saturday, 10 hours on second shift Sunday/Monday) 74 miles one-way. In another case it was at a factory 94 miles one-way and they worked seven days a week. There was no shortage of stress.
And running helped.
Well, much less stress....and I stopped running....and I gained weight.
My daughter saw a recent picture of me in social media. I did not put it there. She was aghast at my beer belly. She did not believe me when I tried to pass it off as the effect that gravity has on men's chests. She promised me a week of boot camp the week she is visiting.
So I started running again. A little bit. It is that men-women-expectation-stepping up thing mentioned in the first paragraph.
Today I ground out 4 miles. I lost a lot of speed. Before I retired I could mindlessly churn out 9:30 minutes-per-miles and I could do it for 9 miles. That is still not very fast but it is faster than I can go now. Today I managed 11:20 minutes-per-mile.
I anticipate picking up speed as I lose weight. Right now I am holding steady for weight but my body composition is changing. I can poke my thigh and tell the difference. I like that.
I pick up my daughter on Friday.
This was my last run before picking her up. I am sore and stiff. I have a couple of recovery days before boot camp starts. I might be able to survive if I can get her talking while we run. Maybe she won't notice I am gasping for breath if she is yacking away.
I just hope she runs with me rather than following me with the truck.