Healthy You: Lifestyles Editor attempts to run


My heart pounds, lungs burn, and legs ache as I try desperately to keep up with my 15 year-old sister and 52-year old parents on a beautiful Sunday morning on the Ma and Pa Trail in Bel Air, MD.

Being the black sheep of the family, I was never one for physical activity, especially running. Both of my parents run religiously, as well as my sister who is on the women’s JV Cross Country team. They love waking up at ridiculous hours of the morning to go run four or more miles while I’d rather stay snuggled up like a caterpillar in a cocoon in my bed until I make my way down to the kitchen and eat everything in sight.

However, I decided it was time for a change after I agreed to take on the commitment of writing “Healthy You.” That day, I went home, ate two Tasty Cakes, a whole package of Kraft Mac and Cheese, and a large handful of goldfish.

Then I thought to myself, “This isn’t very ‘Healthy You’ of me.”

So then I thought, why not take advantage of my athletic, go-getter family? They’re always trying to get me to go running with them. It can’t be that hard if they can do it, right?


As I started running on the shady, gravel path, I remember why I don’t run again. It’s awful. Not only did I lose my family in the first ten minutes, but I realized that I am completely out of shape.

Then, that got to me thinking about what I ate the night before: pizza, half a bag of Doritos, and five Oreos dipped in Nutella. This of course, made me feel even worse about myself.

So I continued my pathetic, running and walking until I saw my family coming back. They, of course, shook their heads and kind of chuckled at me and my pitiful excuse of a “Sunday morning run.”

Despite the lack of oxygen in my lungs and the burning aching in my legs, I really did enjoy the scenery. The Ma and Pa Trail is really pretty. It’s well shaded so it’s never too hot, and there are all kinds of different things to look at. I saw dozens of different birds, there are bridges that go over pretty streams, and my parents have said they‘ve even encountered deer a couple times.

Even if you’re not a runner, I strongly suggest you take advantage of what’s there. While on my run, I saw plenty of people, young and old, walking, riding bikes, and even riding horses. You don’t need to be a super-athletic marathon runner to enjoy everything nature has to offer.

Despite the grueling early morning run, I actually enjoyed the way it made me feel afterward. Instead of feeling tired like I thought I would, I actually felt like I had more energy throughout the day. Who knows, maybe I’ll start accepting my family’s ways and start running regularly like them…maybe.

Caitlin Wolfarth is a Lifestyles Editor for The Patriot and