As a fitness editor, I'm not sure if I'm allowed to say this, but I hate running. I've given it a fair shot — I even ran three half marathons — but it remains a contentious activity in my life. That's probably why I related entirely to this clip from the Girls season finale. In it, we see Hannah (Lena Dunham) out on a run; she's panting heavily, looks uncomfortable, and stops every 15 seconds. Basically me on every run. Despite the obvious difficulty, Hannah keeps going and doesn't give up, and the look of determination on her face left me with the sense that she's going to make it, literally and figuratively.
The scene also had a transformative power over Dunham, which she shared in an Instagram caption around the time filming took place.
"Not usually one to post a paparazzi shot but this fills me with pride. My whole life I have hated running and run like a wounded baby Pterodactyl. It was embarrassing and honestly I did not trust myself to escape a burning building or even move briskly towards a buffet. Jenni Konner is directing the season finale of Girls and decided that as Hannah evolved so would her run, so she got me a training session with Matt Wilpers from Mile High Run Club. Within an hour I had a different relationship to this formerly torturous activity. I felt strong, swift and proud. I'm not about to embrace that triathlon life but it's a true joy to continue getting more connected to my body and its powers."
The scene itself and Dunham's quote are powerful reminders that workouts can suck and change is hard, but perseverance can pay off in unimaginable ways. It's a nice reminder, and one that I'll take with me on my next run.