Dharm Makwana: Sun Run helps calm reservations about public exercising

Maybe I’m alone in saying this, but I have to admit that I don’t like exercising in public.

I definitely don’t like advertising that my belly, and my chest, and my love handles, and somehow my lower back all jiggle to a beat when I run.

And it’s not a good beat either. Remember Baha Men’s smash hit, Who Let The Dogs Out? That’s me in motion — Woof! Woof!

Part of being a Vancouver Sun Run 2018 guinea pig means you’re committing to exercise in the community by joining a Sun Run InTraining program.

So, the thought of being inside False Creek Community Centre, surrounded by strangers, trying to find my balance while doing warm-up lunges was a huge reason to stay home in the first few weeks of training — especially Week 1.

Then, I went.

The advantage of joining the Sun Run group, or at least this group that meets Saturday mornings, is that no one is there to judge you or your performance.

The 13-week program is divided into four parts that cover off people at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels of running. Everyone has an access point.

The run leaders are attentive, check in at the first sign of trouble, and genuinely want to help when offering a tip.

The runners, who pack the little gym, are participating, I think, to get help in reaching their own individual goals.

Working in that kind of environment, even if it’s only for an hour or two a week, is rewarding not only because I get support from all these really nice and talented people, but because giving support becomes contagious.

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The result, at least for me, has been the discovery that I can push through the immediate obstacle that’s kept me on the sidelines and work toward a long-term fix.

Dharm Makwana is the audio/visual editor of The Vancouver Sun and The Province. If you want to contact him, send him an email at dmakwana@postmedia.com. The 34th Vancouver Sun Run is scheduled for Sunday, April 22.

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