Running For Your Life – “Just Do It”

FASHIONABLE EXERCISE: Jonna Brown takes a break on newly completed Pedestrian Bridge at Tulsa River Parks wearing Nike tank top ($35) and running shorts ($28) from Sports Authority.

“The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass.” Martin Mull, Comedian

Madonna. Katie Holmes. Goldie Hawn and daughter, Kate Hudson, Jonna Brown of J. Brown Realtors in Tulsa/Grand Lake. What do these ladies have in common one might ponder? Running and great gams is the answer.

Recently, I caught up with ‘JB’ whom I have dubbed my (running partner mentor) at River Parks for a tour de force of a few fantastic additions and improvements and for inspiration. We have been pals since we were four years old. Our grandmothers played bridge together. Jonna and I ran the new Pedestrian Bridge together.

Everyone was having fun in the sun – runners, walkers, bicyclists, and fishermen/women. I couldn’t believe the catches of the day. It reminded me of Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. Families were walking away with stringers full of fresh fish destined for a late afternoon Fry Daddy Party. My told me to “f’gid about it.” I was in training, and there weren’t any salmon swimming upstream.

As I huffed and puffed to keep up, I delighted at the sight of a water fountain and seized the moment. “Why why,” I asked, “are we doing this?” I realized by her answer this wasn’t going to be a cakewalk.

“When the endorphins are released it is a natural high,” she explained, “and a great time to problem solve and strategize.” (Note: My problem was the next two miles. My strategy was to fake a pulled Achilles heel…’ tendon. I wasn’t sure if I should limp or drag my leg, so I finally surrendered my sole and became determined to “Just do it.” (A subliminal suggestion no doubt prompted by the Nike logo on JB?s tank top ($35) and running shorts ($28) from Sports Authority.)

There are many places to buy sports clothing in Tulsa according to Ms. Brown including the Academy, Runners World, Tulsa Runner, and LA Boxing in the Shoppes at Regal Plaza. Suits and jackets are not required. Any comfy knit shorts and a tank top will do in the summer.

“Your only must-have investment is a good pair of perfectly fitting running shoes with good arch support,” Brown emphasizes. Her choice is New Balance 602’s, which she gets at Kohl’s.

“With my time constraints, I can’t always keep a golf or tennis date. With running, I can hit the trails any time I find a little ‘me’ time. With golf carts, you’re just not going to burn the calories like you can running; and hey, running is free,” Jonna says.

You can’t argue with success. Ms. Brown has been a runner for 30 years. She is a gourmet chef herself and savors the flavors of fine wine and dining. Running is as natural as breathing for her. She does not eat like a bird nor limit her calories to rabbit food. She does, however, incorporate running into her lifestyle.

In addition to exploring the 20 miles of scenic trails and new additions to River Parks, my pal hits the ground running at LaFortune Park (or LaTorture as I like to call it) and Hunters Park in Tulsa. She takes nature runs at Grand Lake and covets running on the sidewalk parallel to the beach in Ft. Lauderdale. She walks instead of taking cabs when traveling if the destination is within a couple of miles. It makes for guiltless guilty pleasures like goose liver pate or creme Brule.

“In the cold of winter, if stuck in Tulsa, I will walk up and down the stairs in my 24 story high-rise instead of taking the elevator. It’s absolutely brutal.”

So, is it any wonder that such an inspiration would be my old-friend/new-found mentor? While ‘flying solo’ on my fourth day of running at my little park around the corner from my house, I found myself losing momentum and interest, so I called my for a boost.

“It’s not happening, JB. What should I do?”

I’m expecting to hear, Don’t give up. You can do it. No pain no gain.
But noooooooooo.

“Meet me at Rick’s Cafe for a lemon drop martini,” my mentor tells me.
I was back on track and on the track the next day without a modicum of guilt.
That’s the way we roll!

For more information regarding River Parks and River Parks Friends, go to You can also call (918) 596-2001 between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (except for the noon hour.)

Ciao for now!

Updated 07-10-2009

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