June 26, 2011 § 1 Comment
I’ve always been much more interested in the book I was reading than going for walks or playing sports—though there was that brief bout of volleyball in late middle school/early high school—but nevertheless, I’m definitely a sit-on-the-couch-book-in-hand kinda girl.
When senior year hit, a friend and I decided to take up running, as a way to lose the freshman fifteen before we gained it. So we met after I got off work and ran around the tennis courts–it was usually late.
Of course, I regretted it after the first night we ran and I came home blue in the face with my aching body hurtling insults in the form of throbbing muscles all through that first night. But I persevered, and we ended up running three nights as week, and occasionally I ran on the weekends (gasp!) with my mother.
The result? On my graduation night, I could run a total 1.5 miles without stopping and was 20 pounds lighter. I felt great!
Of course, 5 years and 50 pounds later, I find myself in the same predicament. College plus birth control plus marriage has not been that great to my rolling form, and I decided to take up running.
Last night, I ran a total of 2 miles. I can hear my mother now, gasping in awe and tearing up at what an athletic runner I’ve become, surely the example she’s set by running whole marathons every morning-at her age!-have sunk in, and I’ve made her a proud mother, albeit still the size of a whale. But let me tell you, however proud she or my huzzband or myself may be, the sound of my pounding heart drowns out any laudable applause or reverberating high fives. Because lemme tell you, cliché or not, “pounding heart” does not even begin to describe my body’s reaction to the 1.5-2 miles I’ve been running.
I run in the gym, because we haven’t found a route through the neighborhood that surrounds the apartment complex, and by the time I get in the gym, it’s already at a sweltering temperature, and as soon as I’ve walked my .4 mile warmup, I’m dripping, and last night was no exception. At the end of my 2.25 miles, I about passed out on the rolling ground, but instead I forced myself to lift my arms above my head and take slow, deep breaths. (I immediately regretted this; however, being that the combination of sweat and nerves had produced a foul odor radiating from my under arms, and I’m positive the girls on either side of me would consequently pass out from the stench. But at least I got my heart rate down!)
And after I started breathing more clearly, and the black spots went away, and I finally cooled down enough that I was sure I’d be able to make it to the elevator—which, by the way, only takes me up one floor, but you try being me and walking up the stairs after that. I’m sure I’d quite literally keel over dead first—I wiped myself off with paper towels and left for the apartment.
I’d barely made it in the door when I collapsed on the floor, grateful that the huzzband had vacuumed not too long ago.
Says the boy to me, “Did you run or go swimming, because water is pooling around you on the carpet.”
And because I have the best huzzband in the world, he ran me a bath and filled it with bubbles and bath salts and even sprayed the room with Glade lilac. Although, now that I think about it, I feel as if this was less for me and more for his own olfactory senses…
I bear crawled to the tub, hoisted myself in, and laid there thinking, “Why is it exactly I choose to run?” And readers, I’ll be the first to tell you, not an answer came to me. Not one reason. Why do I choose to run?
But I think I’ve figured out a, if not the, reason: When I’ve finished, my heart feels like it will stop beating any second. But it doesn’t. That old ticker keeps ticking. And I realize, I’m not proud of myself for running 1.5-2.25-give-or-take-a-few-point miles. Oh no. I’m proud that I met with death, and that I have eluded his ever grasping clutches.
I evaded death.
And that, I feel, deserves a high five, joyous cry, a pat on the back, or a bubble bath. A feat such as that, yeah, I should be proud as I ice my knee and peel off my soaking sports bra.
At the very least, it deserves some floral smelling deodorant.