Hi, My Name is Jenn, and I Hate Running. #AfLFamily

I have a confession to make: I kind of hate most physical activity. I mean, I love the romantic notion of being a runner out on an early morning jog, but I feel like I’m going to die when I’m out of breath. I want to be someone that lives life on a bike, but somehow little molehills turn into mountains as I cycle my way along. At 19, I thought that doing the Grouse Grind would be such a fun way to spend the day with roommate, but I spent the whole 2 hour climb swearing that never again in this lifetime would I subject myself to that fate.

Hiking the Escarpment in Hamilton

I wasn’t blessed with any athletic skill. I’ve had many people tell me that running is something that your ‘learn to love’- just keep at it, and eventually you’ll be addicted. Well, I’m here to say that they’re wrong. My high school had a gym but no outdoor space (literally – our school property had a parkinglot and 2 small trees), so in the spring and fall our gym class consisted of running 5km on the river trail. I hated every step of every run that we took every day in those months for three years. I. Hate. Running.

I have another confession to make: In case you haven’t noticed it, there’s a new button on the side of our blog, one that reads, “Active for Life Role Model.” That’s right: Yours Truly is now a Role Model with an organization that encourages parents, kids, and families to be active in their day to day lives. 


Sounds a little incongruous, I know. Here’s the deal, though: as much as I loath running, I absolutely love Sunday afternoon hikes on the rail trail & exploring Hamilton’s waterfalls. While I’m not a great commuter cyclist, my absolute favourite way to spend a day with my family is biking the paths around Toronto Island.  When on vacation, whether in Florida or Montreal, I love to park the car and explore on foot or on bike with my husband. I love spending time outside with the kids, and feel best about our time together when we’ve been active together. 

It took me a long time to learn that athletes don’t have the market cornered on being active, and that I don’t have to be a runner or serial cyclist to have a healthy lifestyle. Active for Life is a movement about physical literacy – helping parents lead their children in living a healthy and active life. Just like reading and writing, movement skills need to be taught to children – we read books together on the couch, we learn the alphabet together on the kitchen table, and we head outside together every day to play & move & learn how our bodies work.

Biking in PEI

Over the next year (and hopefully beyond!), I hope to share with you how this average, Netflix-loving mom keeps herself and her family moving inspite of her hatred for all things running.

This isn’t a sponsored post, and I’m not receiving anything in exchange for my posts & support for AFL except for the warm fuzzies that come along with supporting a worthy organization!

The following two tabs change content below.

Jenn vanOosten

I live in Hamilton, Ontario, and love my city. I'm a Netflixer, choral music geek, bookworm, inventor of recipes (I take Artistic Licence on EVERYTHING that I make), wife of one, mother of two, and owner of a neurotic Schnauzer. I respect people who respect others. I love good food that's well done, but my favourite lunch is KD & hotdogs. With ketchup. I'm addicted to Clearance Shopping. I will ALWAYS get the product that I want at the price that I want, eventually.

One comment

  1. We are so thrilled to be part of your journey towards a more active lifestyle with your family! (And don’t worry – you’ll never have to run if you don’t want to.) Thank you for helping us spread the word about physical literacy! -Steph

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>