The subject of running follows me everywhere these days.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing and I’m certain it’s similar to when you buy a new type of car.  You’d swear you never saw many cars like that around before but once you buy one… they’re everywhere.  It’s got to be like that.

Suddenly, my interests mesh with those who would discuss running and so I’m paying attention when before I might have been ignoring them.

There are many challenges to working in a high school setting and having body issues or dieting issues or even just eating issues.  High school kids are ridiculously thin, they like to eat lots of cookies and brownies, and they run.  Oh yes, they run.  Running is apparently the thing to do… which is awesome, don’t get me wrong.

I have this great kid in my AP Bio class and he runs on the Cross Country team.  He can do 5k in 15 minutes and some change.

When faced with those sort of numbers all I can do is try not to say “holy shit” as that would be highly inappropriate at work.  But I’m in awe of these fast runners, these gazelle-like creatures who, once I start talking about running times, are all too eager to share their times with me.

Oh, so you can run two miles in 14 minutes?  Some days that puts you running twice as fast as me.  (ouch)

Oh, so you can run a 4 minute and 30 second mile if one mile is all you have to run?  That puts you running something ridiculous like 3 times as fast as me.  (freaking ouch)

So while I promise myself not to get all caught up in the speed of things, I certainly do and there certainly is no shortage of people who will talk speed with me.  And can I admit something?  I won’t even tell my students how slow I am.  I just say I’m really slow and leave it at that.  I mean seriously, who can own up to being proud of 12 minute miles when you’re staring at a kid who can run them in 4 minutes and 30 seconds? (Freaking gazelle)

It’s not all bad though.  There are many aspects of running to talk about and speed is just one of them.  Again, my new path in life has opened up doors for me.  I have things to talk about with my students who are athletic.  I know what they’re talking about with they drop the name p90x and I laugh with a knowing smile when they say how sore they are.  I can talk shoes, I can talk fitness clothing, I can talk weight/strength training and all with none of the shame and red face I might have done it with before.

It’s a cool, cool thing.

Talking about running with these gazelles though… I think that might have to go.