… she's not coming down 'til it all makes sense again…

The Runner

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ran beside hubs on our matching treadmills today at the gym, until strange issuances didst issue forth from my visage (my nose ran, and sweat poured off my head and into my eyes)… it was weirdly romantic… we were in it together. we didn’t talk much, but we shared a water bottle (he never remembers his), and he offered me his sweat towel when he saw me dabbing with a paper towel (I politely declined…)

and it never would’ve happened, I wouldn’t even be ON a treadmill, but that a SERIES of PEOPLE kept hogging my favorite machine (the stepmill on the end), and the remaining three stepmills were out of commission, broken down… I stalked that machine for a half hour, I worked out nearby, I rowed, I pressed, I curled… watching, waiting, glaring… a lady was using it, she was hunched over leaning on the handles, cheating really, lifting half her weight off the steps, which is totally cheating, it’s lying, really, it’s lying to yourself and to the machine and boy does it make me stew… I wish I had a little tablet and could issue people TICKETS for this sort of thing… gym police. That’s me…Helpful. Vigilant. Jerk. I’m the Barney Fife of Planet Fitness. Or at least of the stepmill area. That is my domain.

So even though I secretly willed her to give up, to fail, to quit…she kept plodding on… her face drooped, her eyes glazed over, she clung desperately to the handles and she just kept climbing those darn stairs… she kept surprising me, I would look up, assuming she’d be gone, and there she was, looking like she wanted to keel over, but still climbing… it was kinda heroic.. but I got tired of the rowing and glaring and the sending of waves of stress and bile and acid to my stomach, and feeling the veins on my neck bulging, Barney Fifing, I call it.. so I went to the locker room, to chill, and well, to pee… which took 3 minutes, and when I returned, don’t you know, THAT lady was gone, and ANOTHER lady had jumped on that machine! And this one was wayyyy worse, she was fit and ferocious, and was gonna be on there for friggin’ EVER…

so sometimes I’m feeling like the LEAST ZEN, most UNGRATEFUL, most narcissistic, most self-absorbed, most LEAST WHATEVER, I’m in a GYM, with my HUSBAND, I have COMFORTABLE SHOES, a WATER BOTTLE with unlimited supply of clean, clear, cold, running water… and the best I can do with all that is complain about not getting my favorite little machine to climb on… I know all this. But I really do like that machine…

So I sighed…and resigned myself to walking on a treadmill beside my man, him jogging, me fuming… He runs and sweats gets in some sort of weird ZONE, and I’m so jealous… so afraid to run.. what if I can’t do it? what if I fall? what if I can only make it about 3 minutes and my lungs burn? what if I look stooped? what do I do with my hands? what if I run like a girl? what if my ankles do that cracky thing? what if I can’t do it? what if I find out the truth about me.. that I SUCK… what if it’s been the truth all along?

I could feel Hubs’ surprise next to me, when I first cranked the speed up, and took my first tentative little baby jogging steps… he didn’t say anything… just ran… there was no turning back for me, I let go of my precious little 2.8 mph… went up to 5.0 and then I HAD to run,  you can’t speedwalk at 5.0…

After 3 minutes I was convinced I was gonna die. Or fall on my face. I was all over the place, stepping on the right side of the treadmill, overcompensating and almost falling off the left, I didn’t know what to do with my hands, they pumped up and down limply, weirdly, non-committally…  I was running like a GIRL, which I am, I’m a girl… so I balled them into fists… but should I put my thumb IN or OUT of the fist… I finally settled on OUT,  because my husband told me a long time ago if you punch someone with your thumb IN, you can break your thumb, that’s why, not that I’m punching anyone on the treadmill, but you just never know, so thumbs OUT… and we run…

I made it my goal to go 5 minutes. I have this little voice in my head that says “You can do ANYTHING for 2 minutes” so that kicked in and got me from the 3 minute-I’mgonnadie mark to 5 minutes. After that I reset to a 10 minute goal. Then 12 minutes. At 12 minutes I looked up, I looked around. I was jogging!!! and I wasn’t dying!! My lungs felt… just fine. They weren’t burning, my heart rate felt good, nothing scary going on, my ankles felt fine, no cracking or spraining… it was my AHA moment, and I may have been grinning like a GOON at the time, and I wanted to yell in a huge way “I’M RUNNING!!!”

Hubs stole a glance over at my read-out, and said with a bemused little smile, “what’re you doin’?” I said “Hon, I’m RUNNING!!! ME!!” It was his turn to say “Don’t over-do it” and it was my turn to be a tiny bit annoyed… So he said it, and I was a tiny bit annoyed. But I remembered how he had overdone it that first couple weeks, and how much he paid for it.. So I settled on a 20 minute goal.. by the time I reached that, my legs were tired. My heart was still fine and my lungs felt like I could’ve run for hours! But I walked some, then ran another 8 minutes, and then did a long cool down. I was high as a kite after that.

So I run. I’m a runner.. I’m a runner who runs. Run is a weird word when you say it a bunch of times… 50 years old, and I find out I can run. Ahhhh, cliche’… never too late, right… never too late…




One thought on “The Runner

  1. You go,girl! I’m so proud of you running that I have decided that I won’t….LOL. I used to go to the gym and enjoyed it….but that was years ago. I’m currently having a problem with my left ankle, leg, back of leg, ohmygodithurts….so I am barely walking these days. Seeing doctor in 2 weeks if I can hold out that long.

And what about Naomi?

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