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One of the most challenging parts of trying to get fit — big emphasis on trying — is the running that is incorporated into our daily training where I work out.

Not only am I not a runner, but my knees are a mess, the legacy of stone-age orthopedic surgical techniques and some seven procedures over the years on both legs combined.

So, when I run it looks a bit like an aged, wounded giraffe hobbling across the Serengeti hoping to avoid dentists from Minnesota and becoming lion food. I’ve always envied those graceful athletes with the effortless loping stride. I was never one of those and it won’t be coming my way at this stage of life.

Add to that the fat I was carting around and running was not a comfortable fitness option.

The last time my knees were scoped, the surgeon said flatly “never run again.” I hugged him.

But the truth is, that’s easy for him to say. I am, after all, a guy. That doesn’t mean I have an inherent need to run (my inherent needs tilt more toward chicken wings).

But it does mean my ego is hard to contain when everyone else is running. So healthy portions of ego and hubris erode and overcome the obvious good sense needed to warm up at the gym another way.

Laura encouraged me, at the outset of signing up with ATC, to simply not run. And that worked for a little while. Most days a light run of about three to five minutes kicks off our warm up. She suggested I walk and raise my arms, do arm circles, etc., to get my heart rate up. So I did that and it worked ok. kinda-sorta.

After a couple weeks of showing up every day I could feel my core getting stronger so I started to run more. Maybe not the full five minutes or whatever, but some of it. And it was better.

I still hate running, but I can now get through the same warm up everyone else does, albeit slower than almost everyone else and in more pain. If I’m running, it hurts and pain can be a major demotivation.

As I mentioned earlier, many of the folks I train with hate the spin training we do — Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday for half the class — but I love it and a big part of that is that it doesn’t hurt.

No pounding on the knees means less pain. Spinning hard and pushing yourself to the brink of a show-stopping cardiac event replete with firefighters and paramedics comes with it’s own unique challenges.

But for me, joint pain is not one of them.

– – –

The Oakville Blades play their 2015-16 season opener tonight and I will be there to root, root, root for the . . . Georgetown Raiders.

With a son of a friend on the team, it’s what I’ll do even though I am an alumni parent of the Blades (which, with $2, will get you a double-double at Tim’s. I think.)

The Raiders smoked the Blades 8-2 last week. I would be seriously surprised if there’s a similar result tonight on the spacious ice at Sixteen Mile, but I still expect the Raiders to win.

I’ll see you there, right?

– – –

This is university frosh week and while neither of our boys are freshmen, my morning troll through their social media posts — Snapchat being the main playground for such things these days — shows the boys are really not all that homesick.

As a parent, that’s a good-news, bad-news thing. But mostly I’m glad they’re happy and having fun with their friends.

In moderation, please.