I’m the first to admit the idea of pounding the pavement is not the most appealing form of work out, then I was invited to join Nike for a urban run to launch its new shoes, the Nike Vapormax. It was easier to say no, as I don’t get my cardio fix jogging, but it was a subconscious challenge to myself, to do something different and change the tempo of my somewhat uninspired fitness routine.

I have a complicated relationship with exercise, especially cardio. I know it’s good for me and I feel better when I’m consistent with it, but I also hate it with a fiery passion rivaled only by my violent distaste for Married at First Sight or pineapple on my pizza.

The evolution of the streetsmart Air Max takes it into the fitness spectrum, making it fit for the everyday runner. Sounds like me, very enticing and I convinced myself that I could run 5km through the city. At night, in the rain. OH YES, I DID.

In our brand new shoes, 30 others and I stretched on the damp streets and proceeded to run. In a running club, there are Pacers and a Head Coach, their sole job is to bring energy to each and every session and to make sure we forget the pain lactic acid is inflicting onto our muscles. OUCH. We were told it’s not about hitting our PBs (trainer acronym for Personal Best) , yeah geeesh I totally had one, like when I was running to get first place at Messina when they opened their new store in Surry Hills, but to have fun.

These guys run about 3-5 times per week for fun and are perky as hell, they’re motivating, fun, upbeat and love a chat while running. Have you chatted while running? Apparently to these folks, it’s part of a social calling, you run and have meaningful conversations at the same time. Working out your brain and body at the same time, these Nike Run Clubs (NRC) are all time.

As King Peppy aptly yells out in the movie Trolls, “No Troll Left Behind!!” this rings true for NRC pacers. Unashamedly, I was hanging out with the cool kids at back (*cough) and pacers were ringing me in and keeping me on track. Motivating me every steps of way, constantly encouraging me to push round every bend, every hill and enjoying the welcomed break at every traffic light. I could get used to this.

The highlight was the train ride, it felt like I was tracing scenes from a movie set in Brooklyn, we entered the carriage like an oncoming flash mob. A sweaty flash mob oddly dressed the same. The Vapormax’s did not disappoint, at no point in the run could I blame my shoes for being uncomfortable. It was the least of my problems. The run brought back memories of running track & field in school and my dear old friend, side stitches. We haven’t been acquainted for a long time and now I remember why!

Images from Nike.