4 Reasons Not To Run (Take a Walk Instead).

Via Erica Leibrandt
on Apr 11, 2014
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Note: Written as a response to 15 Reasons You Should Go for a Run. 

I’ve always hated running.

In grade school, on the dreaded day when we had to run the mile, the only kid who was slower than me had a foot to thigh cast on his leg and used a walker.

I wheezed and gasped, and grabbed at what they called the “stitch” in my side, which was less like a stitch and more like a knitting needle stuck into my obliques.

I was so humiliated that I practiced running– a thing that everyone else seemed to do effortlessly–in secret, staggering around the cricket pitch across the street from my house. My goal was to go ten times around the field. I didn’t even make it once.

Even after I reached adulthood and was working out regularly, I still sucked at running. I’d try it every couple of years or so, just to make sure it was as hideous as I remembered. It always was.

I wondered, how on earth are all these people just jogging around like it’s nothing when after ten steps I need to vomit?

I’d see friends and family sign up for 5Ks, “fun” runs, 10Ks and marathons. My brother even banged out an Ironman. It was so strenuous, he said, that he was peeing black by the time it ended.


I felt deficient because I wasn’t joining everyone in their runner’s high. It didn’t matter that I biked, or lifted weights, or swam, or practiced yoga, or rollerbladed every single day—because I didn’t run, in my mind, I was still that grade school loser.

And then one day I had a capital E epiphany. I can still be a good person and have a full life and be in great shape and never ever run. Ever.


I’m 43 years old: I can choose how and when to move my body, and whatever I choose is fine!

Here are five reasons I choose not to run:

1) I hate it. See above. 

Walking on the other hand, walking I love. I can breath normally and look around and see stuff, because I’m not crouched behind a bush trying not to hurl.

2) It hurts my back.

I’ve always had a bad back; I was diagnosed with scoliosis when I was 12 and wore a full back brace for two years. Later, I herniated two discs and had to have back surgery.

When I run, my spine feels like a broken Slinky. Afterwards, all my muscles seize up and if I don’t take an anti-inflammatory, pain shoots down my legs and my left foot goes numb.

When I walk, my back is fine.

3) It hurts my knees.

I don’t know why. It just does.

Walking doesn’t. It’s not complicated.

4) I look ridiculous.

As a yoga teacher, I strive to be immune to the pitfalls of the ego, but come on!

I don’t know how, when or why I developed my #notsuperfly stride, but it’s been remarked upon more than once so I know I’m not imagining it.

Somehow my heels never really hit the ground, so I bounce up and down on my toes and look more or less exactly like a human pogo stick.

To all my winged foot compatriots I say, run! Run like the devil! Gump up that track like it’s never been Gumped before! Bathe in your endorphins, suck down those gels, let your urine be black!

I will even un-ironically sing you the Chariots of Fire theme song as you fly by, and hold out electrolyte dense beverages in tiny paper cups.

And when you’re gone, I’ll turn around and began to meander the long way home. You’ll make it there before me, even though you took the longer way, but that’s ok by me.

Since you’ll be so early, feel free to get dinner started—I’m certain I’ll be famished. Never underestimate how exhausting singing Chariots of Fire without a modicum of sarcasm can be.


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Editor: Jenna Penielle Lyons

Photo: Courtesy of the editor



About Erica Leibrandt

Erica Leibrandt is a licensed mental health clinician, certified yoga instructor, and mother to six heathens who masquerade as innocent children. If she occasionally finds herself with a fried egg on her plate or dancing until dawn, she asks that you not judge her. Life is short, she knows the chicken that laid the egg, and we can never dance too much. Connect with Erica on FacebookTwitter, and Tumblr.


6 Responses to “4 Reasons Not To Run (Take a Walk Instead).”

  1. SDC says:

    BBRRIILLLLIIAANNTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !Witty and Breezy(!), too. One of the best; sorry if that doesn't feel good.

  2. Linda V. Lewis says:

    Yeah, take the slow, "path less traveled"–it's more contemplative anyway! At 68 when the weather is dreadful,I only run for the bus! On decent days I love to walk, meandering through the park, on my way to do errands! It may be slow, but it's still exercise, and lets you see the purple, yellow and white crocus, and in the summer lets you smell the roses!

  3. K.M. says:

    Thank you thank you thank you!!!!! I have always thought it was just me. I have tried it many times, and I still feel lazy sometimes, when I see all my facebook updates with the runs people are taking and participating in. the worse thing for me is, some of these people never did anything for sport, then they started, doing some miles, then 5K, then 10K and now some are doing marathons… I still can't believe it.
    But this story you wrote, it helps me, it helps me to see that running is just NOT for me and it's all okay. I do yogaclass on saturday and yoga at home everyday and I love it. I go walking with my dog in nature, which I love. And it's okay…
    Hugs for you!

  4. nunh says:

    Funny – I like to walk but, jogging / running has great benefits for me as well. I think if you practice moderate jogging and perfect your technique/ gait – one can eliminate the pains commonly found in the knees and shins. I don't feel I am getting a great cardio workout when I walk so jogging / walking mix works for me.

  5. Susan says:

    Love it. Could have been me who wrote it. I feel exactly the same way about running, and I LOVE to walk.

  6. You are really cool 🙂 I love to run, but my knees give me trouble sometimes, so I like to see that there are other options and that I'm not going to fall off the cool-wagon if I stop running altogether. Thanks for this post. Happy non-running!