Sometimes, when you see a person running you think, “Wow, she looks like she was born to do that,” or “So graceful. He looks like he’s floating.” Runners are often likened to gazelles.

Me? Not so much! Today as I was heaving and panting my way through the backstreets (no main streets!) of my neighborhood, I felt as un-gazelle like as possible. Me? I run like a hippo.

Between asthmatic gasps, I thought: Huh, maybe it’s not so bad to run like a hippo. Sure, they’re large and maybe lumbering. Yet despite spending a majority of their days frolicking in the water, they’re fierce! They’ll kill people who come between them and the water. Plus, they run faster than I’ll ever run, faster than any human – 14 miles an hour.

Gazelles? They run because they’re always getting attacked. They run in herds. That’s not cool at all. A group of hippos, on the other hand, is a bloat. Or a pod. Or a siege. My next running team is going to be called The Hippo Siege. We’ll be badass, just like hippos.

Sure a gazelle is graceful, lithe, and balletic. I will never be any those things. Nobody will ever stop to admire me as I run down the street. (And, seriously, I need put “run” in quotes.) As if they’d seen a fearsome hippo, they’ll avert eye contact and get out of my way. Rock on!

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