One fine day three years ago, my friend and I decided to treat ourselves to a full body spa and massage session, charged at an exceedingly low rate, thanks to an online deal.
As we reached the centre, we were greeted politely by the attendant of the establishment, who proceeded to note down our personal details. We were then led to our treatments.
As soon as we completed the session, the attendant sat us down at a table in front of the centre, already loaded with two cups of steaming green tea and some packs of commercially-produced cookies and cakes. She began to entice us with a number of deals offered by the company at low prices.
“……treatments are also good for those who exercise”. She paused briefly, and then asked, “Do you ladies exercise?”
“I do occasionally, but she is a runner,” said my friend, pointing in my direction.
The manager turned to me with an expression of complete horror.
“Ayo! Why are you running? That is the worst exercise you can ever do! Don’t you know how running damages your knees?! Why don’t you hike? I hike every weekend, and I think it is a better workout than running………..”
I remember phasing out of the conversation that day, as I slowly sipped the hot green tea. I started analysing why I ended up getting berated each time I mentioned the R-word. I have been relatively injury-free since I began my foray into running, with no major adverse afflictions. So why, oh why?
But that was a long time ago, when I was younger and was still susceptible to the opinions of others. I now listen to what people say, but I take their words with a pinch of salt, and do my own homework online and with doctors and professional runners before coming to any conclusion.
There are some friendly and well-intentioned opinions that were scrubbed and imprinted into my memory, never to be forgotten, and always brought out as emergency entertainment material:
“Only those endowed with small assets are able to run.”
“Time spent in running is best spent looking for a spouse.”
“Time spent in running is best spent studying and working.”
“Running makes ladies look like boys, muscles and all.”
“Ladies should not run too late, especially after 7pm.”
“Gravity is every woman’s enemy, especially if they run.”
Well. There is just no pleasing some people.