The Mile Run

Remember the mile run?

Cast your mind to elementary school gym class … The things that immediately come to my mind are floor hockey, dodgeball, square dancing — and the dreaded mile run. My god, did I hate the mile run.

It’s not because I wasn’t a fit kid. I straight up did not like to run just for the sake of running. Give me a soccer ball and I’d run all damn day, but doing eight laps around the soccer field, sans ball? Forget it. Besides, all the “cool kids” at least partially walked the mile, utilizing the extra time to gossip. So, I often found myself going with the crowd. Turns out, I’m not the only one.

A recent study by the American Heart Association shows that children’s cardiovascular fitness is declining worldwide. One of the findings: today’s kids are 90 seconds slower in the mile run than they were 30 years ago.

Are kids today more unfit, in part, because of a too-cool-for-school attitude?

Thinking back, I remember watching the gazelles of my class easily glide to 6- and 7-minute finishes without batting an eye. Many were teased for “trying too hard.” Some of the kids tried so damn hard but were still slow. They were teased, too.

Man, what a bunch of jerks we were. As I write this, I’m overcome with shame about the way we labeled our classmates.

And now I’m realizing, at age 33, I have never really run a timed mile in my entire life.

How fast could I have been? Why didn’t I try harder? Was I afraid of failing?

I’m suddenly overcome with the desire to run eight laps around a crappy elementary school soccer field as fast as I can. — Mags


4 thoughts on “The Mile Run

  1. Pingback: Bad Angel Rules for Running | 2014 Goals: How’d We Do?

  2. Pingback: 2014 Goals | Bad Angel Rules for Running

  3. Every year, I go on a 1-mile warmup and then run a pre-measured straight line mile as fast as possible. It’s easily the worst workout of the year, the most painful, but often one of the most rewarding. I don’t recommend it if you’re in the middle of training for a target race, but if you’re just keeping general fitness, it’s worthwhile. Just be ready to heave for a good 10 minutes afterward and make sure you don’t end up 2 miles away from home, because running back can be murder if you just ran a mile as fast as your lungs could hold.


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