Friday, 5 August 2011

Will Run for Chocolate (Maybe)

Help me give a hearty welcome to Jennifer Wilck today.

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I live in a beautiful neighborhood--fairly quiet streets, residential, lots of trees and a big lake. On any given day, if the temperature is anywhere from 40-85 degrees, neighbors are outside walking, riding bikes, walking their dogs and running.

Now, I know exercise is good for you. I've read any number of articles on its benefits, I've seen how it helps lose weight and I've even felt better when I've done it (although I'll never be one of those people who go into withdrawal if they miss it). But no matter what the experts say, no matter what my friends say, I'll never be a runner.

I have nothing personally against runners. One of my friends has been participating in the "Couch to 5K" challenge; another has started running half marathons again. I give kudos to both of them. It's just that the only running I'll be doing is away from someone who is chasing me. I might possibly consider running toward someone dangling chocolate, but it would have to be REALLY good chocolate.

I spend a lot of time at home and while I'm home, I tend to look out my windows (remember the "beautiful neighborhood" comment above?). I see a lot of interesting things out there, much of which I won't print. Among those interesting things that I see are runners.

You know those people who stagger by, sweat dripping off of them, feet barely rising above the ground, looking like they're about to die? If I ran, that would be me. There has to be an easier way to exercise. I know they're trying to be healthy; why else would they run? But really, they don't look like they're healthy--most of them barely look like they're alive. I have a hard enough time going to the local supermarket without makeup, knowing I'll run into at least four people I know who will be dressed way better than I am and who look like they just stepped off the runway (even if they did actually just come from the gym). I certainly have no plans to pant through my neighborhood like an overheated St. Bernard.

Not everyone looks miserable. Some of them look positively amazing. You know, the ones whose bodies are so thin and toned that you wonder what's left to exercise off. Coupled with, of course, the skintight running outfits, which is why you KNOW there's nothing for them to run off. Well, I could never pull those outfits off. Or on, for that matter. And if for some reason, I lost my sanity long enough to consider running, I'd use up all my energy trying to get into those outfits. And, pretending for a moment longer that I'd actually consider running, I would therefore have to run in sweats or a t-shirt. I hate sloppy clothes. Remember those fun house mirrors that change your shape right before your eyes. Well, sloppy clothes are my fun house mirrors. I put clothes like that on and immediately see a 500-pound-version of myself. Not happening.

I think my other problem with running is that for me, it doesn't lead to anything. Unless I'm running toward a specific thing--like chocolate--or away from someone, why do it? My type A, super-anal personality needs the destination, more than the journey. I need a reason, and a darn good one, to run. For me, the running is the method of getting somewhere. And, if that's the case, then frankly, I'd rather drive. And if, as they say, it's the journey, not the destination, then I'd rather move slower, walk, and have the time, and the lung power, to appreciate what's around me.

So, no, I'll never be a Road Runner. I'll never run a marathon, much less finish one. And I'll probably stay on my couch, reading, writing and looking out my window. My non-sloppy clothes stay less sweaty that way!


Lily Livingston is a widow raising her six-year-old daughter, Claire, in New York City. Devastated by her husband's death three years ago, she's in no hurry to fall in love again. Besides, trying to balance her career with motherhood leaves her little time for romance.

With a wheelchair instead of a white horse, and a vow against falling in love again as his armor, Gideon Stone is the last person Lily expects to sweep her off her feet. But when a business agreement forces the two of them together, that is exactly what happens.

As they navigate the minefield that fast represents their relationship, can either of them overcome the obstacles to find true happiness in each other's arms? The answer is yes, but the bumps along the way demonstrate that neither of them can go it alone.

A Heart of Little Faith is available from:


When I was a little girl and couldn't fall asleep, my mother would tell me to make up a story. Pretty soon, my head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Each character had a specific personality, a list of likes and dislikes, and sometimes, even a specific accent or dialect. Even as an adult, I think about the characters and stories at night before I fall asleep, or in the car on my way to or from one of my daughters' numerous activities (hey, anything that will drown out their music is a good thing).

One day, I started writing them down (it was either that or checking into the local mental hospital--the computer was way less scary) and five years later, I've gotten two book contracts from Whiskey Creek Press. A Heart of Little Faith came out in June; Skin Deep is coming out in November.

In the real world, I'm the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men I know. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, reading, traveling and watching TV. In between chauffeuring my daughters to after-school activities that require an Excel spreadsheet to be kept straight, I serve on our Temple Board, train the dog we adopted from a local shelter, and cook dinners that fit the needs of four very different appetites. I also write freelance articles for magazines, newspapers, and edit newsletters.

When all of that gets overwhelming, I retreat to my computer, where I write stories that let me escape from reality. In my made-up world, the heroines are always smart, sassy and independent. The heroes are handsome and strong with just a touch of vulnerability. If I don't like a character, I can delete him or her; if something doesn't work, I can rewrite it. It's very satisfying to be in control of at least one part of my life. My inspiration comes from watching the people around me and fantasizing about how I'd do things differently.

I can be reached at or


Faith said...

I'm not a roadrunner either. My ankles and knees are notorious for dumping me facefirst on the ground, lol.

Abigail-Madison Chase said...

great post....I love work out clothes but I never seem to find the time to do it

Cassie Exline said...

I'm with you, unless I'm running away from someone or toward something mighty important, count me out of the whole running-marathon adventure. Great post. Loved the blurb/excerpt.

Anthology Authors said...

I'm a swimmer, not a runner. LOL If I am being chased by a rabid dog, you might see me run. (g) And if I were to run, it wouldn't be in a tiny, little outfit either. Of course, I swim in a tiny, little outfit, but that doesn't seem to bother me. LOL

Jennifer Wilck said...

Faith, I feel your pain! Abigail, I know, there's only so many things I can squeeze into one day. Cassie, thank you, I appreciate it! Anthology Authors, swimming is great,and once you get into the water, who cares what you're wearing. Thanks everyone for your comments.

Paula Martin said...

I simply don't do running - never have, never will. Now that arthritis has set in, I'm even fairly economical about 'walking'. But then I tell myself that a 10-minute walk for me involves as much energy-usage as a 10-mile run for someone else. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it :-)

Jennifer Wilck said...

Ouch, Paula! You should try swimming, though. Easier on the joints. Wish you had a less painful excuse, though!

Mike Orenduff said...

I agree with you, Jennifer. I ran track in high school, the half mile. I figure between practice and meets, I got enough mileage in to last me a lifetime. That was fifty years ago, so it must still be be working.

Jennifer Wilck said...

Absolutely, Mike! Kind of like breaking a cookie loses calories, etc. :)

Anonymous said...

I ran a little in high school. Not on the track or anything, but back and forth past the field where the football players worked out. That worked out okay.

Jennifer Wilck said...

Mmm, bet the scenery was great, Beth! ;)

Ana Morgan said...

I agree, Jen! I've hated running ever since Junior High, when my breasts developed. It is torture to run more than away from a burning building.
I don't like to exercise for exercise's sake. I routinely heft 60-pound hay bales and grain sacks, and work circles around twenty year old interns. I enjoy my slothful winters, when I do yoga stretches to keep limber. Otherwise, I want to be a sloth.
And eat triple chocolate brownies.

Jennifer Wilck said...

Totally with you, Ana!

Debra St. John said...

I never thought I was a runner, but a couple of years ago I decided I needed to get into shape, and the quickest way to do that seemed to be to hit the treadmill. (I am not an outside runner.) I gradually worked up to running about five days a week and it paid off. I lost weight, sculpted some muscle, and went down a few sizes in clothes.

However, I haven't run in a while. I began to lose interest a bit, and then I've had some health issues recently. But, maybe one day I'll get back to it.

I really love how I feel when I'm done, it's just getting motivated to get going and get through the actual mile that is tricky.

But, hmn, for chocolate? I'd do just about anything!

Jennifer Wilck said...

Hi Debra! We have a treadmill (actually an elliptical, but it's similar) and when we bought it, I swore to my husband I'd use it too. He laughed and bought it anyway, since he was planning to use it rather than go to a gym. Well, needless to say, he was right (shhh, don't tell him I said that). I did try, but found it boring. Instead, I walk 3.5 miles everyday around the lake with the dog. It's not running, but it is exercise. And you're right, regardless of whether you walk or run (shudder), it's the getting started that's the most difficult part.

Jenn said...

I used to absolutely love running. I was a runner. Please pay attention to that past tense. I ran until I was 4 months pregnant with my first--then couldn't do it anymore.

Since then my body has rebelled in various ways. Needless to say five kids--I am no longer a runner, unless you count me chasing my kids when they are misbehaving. Seriously, that SHOULD count--right??

Great post!!

jrlindermuth said...

My grandson, who runs track, stopped by to cut my grass. When he finished he said he was going home for a shower and then going running.
When I asked why he was taking a shower before running Ethan grinned and said he was running with a couple girls.
See, there has to be an incentive--like that chocolate or a couple girls.

Jennifer Wilck said...

Jenn, chasing after 5 kids TOTALLY makes you a runner! You definitely get credit!!! JL, you're right. Great incentive!

Jennifer Wilck said...

Thanks everyone for having me as a guest--I appreciated and enjoyed it!

Robyn M Speed said...

"Can I give you a lift?" THAT'S what I cant to call out to a jogger as I drive by!!

I did go for a 4 kilometer run in June ... only cos I was trying to find my son after the twin earthquakes hit!

I like martial arts better ... developing the skills to HIT someone who ever suggests running as a good idea!!!

Jennifer Wilck said...

Robyn, "skills to hit someone with"--hmm, that's an idea! Thanks for stopping by!