I used to think the only reason to run was if you were being chased by a bear.

I'm still not entirely convinced that's not the best reason, especially if you're with someone slower.

But now, more often than not, I drag myself out of bed in the mornings and trudge down the stairs to the treadmill.

For many years I thought the treadmill was an expensive clothes hanger.

Running always brought back bad childhood memories.

The mile run in P.E. always meant finishing near the rear of the class and thinking I was about to have a heart attack.

It's not that I have an aversion to exercise.

For years, I've had memberships at various YMCAs and wellness centers.

Getting motivated to work up a sweat was never the problem. In fact, there was a time when I was hitting the gym twice a day.

Unfortunately, my sweet tooth (maybe I have a whole mouth full of them) always got the best of me. Nothing like capping off a workout with M&M's.

Then, after we bought the paper, I tried getting up at the crack of dawn to make it to the Y before driving over to Humphrey.

That lasted a few weeks until I started to doze off on the drive home and figured I needed the sleep more than getting my blood circulating.

I kept telling myself once we moved to Humphrey, I'd start exercising again.

Once we arrived here in December, I had no excuse.

It also didn't help or helped depending on my point of view any particular day that my daughter, Claire, and son, Alek, are bound and determined to eat healthy and exercise.

Kids today.

Claire has become obsessed with running. I think the real reason she comes home is to get on the treadmill when she can't run outside at college.

For years, Alek stayed in shape for baseball and hasn't stopped.

So there was some weird form of peer pressure at my house.

My kids shamed me into getting healthier, but a funny thing happened to me.

I actually don't hate the treadmill anymore.

Even when I was a regular at the YMCA, I avoided treadmills and tracks, preferring eliptical machines.

Now, with no other choice, my treadmill is getting a workout. I got a pair of headphones to plug into my phone, and most days the workout goes by in short order.

I'm not breaking any records, but I am breaking a sweat.

I guess it just proves that you can learn a thing or two from your kids, and you're never too old to pick up the pace.

I'm not ready for a marathon; I'm not even ready to leave my basement, but it's a start.

Patrick Murphy, of Humphrey, Neb., is a former assistant managing editor of The Telegram.