I've been kind of after Dug for a long time to take up one of my hobbies, out of solidarity. We have different interests and it's nice to share them to an extent.
Dug's favorite pastimes tend to be prohibitively expensive, to require specialized equipment, to be most fun after significant time is spent achieving competency, to be fairly dangerous, and (worst sin of all in my opinion) to involve a schlep. Yet still, I have taken up downhill skiing and I have my own kayak and I have ice skates now, I am signed up to take sailing lessons next month and we are kidding ourselves if we don't see that cross-country skiing is in my not too distant future. I snorkeled and I liked it.
My favorite pastimes are reading and making things. To be fair, Dug does his best with reading and we've discovered a shared affection for James Michener--a Michener being an undertaking that guarantees a successful marriage, because I will finish the book weeks before he does and then patiently await his completion of each chapter so we can talk about it. He could get away with almost anything and my eager anticipation of what he thinks of the Skimmerhorn Massacre or whatever, that would keep me from ever leaving him.
But I want more hobby parity. I've been trying to talk him into learning to knit. He hasn't bitten. And then finally he decided that he would, after all these years, take up one of my activities. And what does he choose? Fucking running, that's what.
I started running last year for reasons which are not really that interesting, right around the time that everyone, all of a sudden, started doing Couch To 5K. Typical story: hadn't run since middle school and was much more likely to have walked then, too. Turns out running's okay, I hate it less than most forms of exercise, in the sense that at some point during a run I actually almost like it and that the more I do it, the earlier that like-point hits and the longer the "runner's high" lasts. But I approach running with the same zeal that I approach most things: I talk about it a lot more than I do it, and any regret I express when circumstances prevent me from doing it is purely bullshit. It is classic Dug to choose the only activity I do (or avoid doing) that does not involve sitting. It is also classic Dug to prefer running outside, when I specifically joined a gym with an indoor track so I wouldn't have to.
But it's hard to blame him when running outdoors means this:
That's our "track". Two blocks in one direction, this lake with its bike and pedestrian trails, and a block the other way, all the Thai food and vintage clothing and all-night buses to downtown a person could ask for. That's not too shabby. And it's not as bad as I thought to run outside, smelling damp grass and lilacs, the sun glittering on the water and all that cliché business. Saying hello to the neighborhood dogs, the whole deal.
So this was day two of running with Dug. Probably day two of many: he likes it, and I can't not do it if he does it. And he just told a dad at the bus stop that we're training for a half marathon, which probably means we are, which means another thing I was really just kind of saying to see how the words felt in my mouth is something I'm actually going to end up doing.
I'm going to make him learn to knit if it kills me.