Have you tried running? It’s exhilarating. Really, I mean it. Running changed my life.

Before running, I’d order pasta without telling everyone I was carbo-loading. But now, I make sure everyone understands that even my food consumption is in service of my new favorite activity. Carbonara just tastes better when you’re lecturing about which glycogen levels best fuel a daily run.

And since getting into running, I’ve bought some truly special specialty gear. I have a full dresser devoted solely to moisture-wicking T-shirts, moisture-wicking leggings, and moisture-wicking socks. Any moisture that tries to come close to me will instantly be wicked. Check out these shoes. They cost two hundred dollars, and the salesperson told me I’ll get shin splints if I don’t replace them every three months. I also bought a special ointment to rub on my nipples.

It’s been so fulfilling to devote myself to becoming good at exercise. The only person I’m trying to beat is me, you know? You don’t know? Don’t worry. I’ll repeat it every opportunity I get so you can never forget it.

Actually, I feel passionately that running is both exercise and a sport. It’s also a way of life. Ask me to explain it sometime. Or don’t. I still will.

Incessantly talking about running is a great conversation starter. I can tell people love to hear about it by how they pull out their phones whenever I bring it up. I usually take that as my opportunity to tell whomever I’m talking to that running is best done with a buddy, and they should text me to get started on a training regimen. Because even though the only person I’m trying to beat is myself, I like beating other people too.

Speaking of racing, we should prepare for a marathon together. Marathons are awesome. Did you know the length of a marathon is based on the legend of Pheidippides, a Greek messenger who ran twenty-six miles and then dropped dead? But don’t let that worry you. They didn’t have moisture-wicking technology in ancient Greece. And I’ll bet Pheidippides wasn’t even committed to a training regimen. Speaking of, I’ll text you the details so we can start gearing up for next season’s race.

Running is the sport of the people. It’s accessible to everyone—you just put on your sneakers and go. Oh, but depending on which marathon we want to run, it could cost thousands of dollars. So start saving.

All the money I’ve spent on running is entirely worth it. Running cured my depression. When you’re running, all your troubles and concerns just melt away. It’s beautiful. You become really present because running wears away the cartilage in your hip, knee, and ankle joints, which causes such intense pain that you lose the ability to focus on anything else.

Running cured my cancer too. Or it would, if I was ever diagnosed with cancer. And if I were, I’d tell everyone at the chemo-treatment center that they should also try running—if they want to live, anyway.

I’d also tell the other patients that one time I ran a 5K to raise money for cancer research. So, my running has actually helped cure cancer when you think about it. You’re welcome, medical community.

Seriously, you’re going to love running. I used to pop a THC gummy now and then, but you haven’t lived until you’ve experienced a runner’s high. It’s totally different. Weed gets you high without you having to do any work. But a runner’s high comes after you’ve been in the most excruciating pain of your entire life.

And that pain? It lasts at least an hour. Maybe two. Potentially longer. Your body literally thinks something is wrong on a chemical level. Your brain isn’t getting enough oxygen, so it feels like you’re in danger, like you’re one stride away from dropping dead. Just like that Pheidippides guy. But you don’t die, at least not most of the time. Instead, you start to feel this unbelievable, intense euphoria. It’s amazing.

Or so I’ve heard. I’ve been running for only a few weeks, so I have yet to experience it.

But that’s the beauty of running. The only person I’m trying to beat is myself. Bet I can get to that next corner before you.