Monday, March 12, 2012

Born Free

So I went on a run today.  It had been awhile, and I actually thought I had retired from running.  Little twinges in the back, dull pains in the knee on rainy days.  But, there is a growing trend in my town for all the almost 40-somethings to run a half marathon. I have encountered the most unlikely people with 13.1 on the back of their cars - it's getting embarrassing. So, I think, well, if they can do it, I better do it too.  Then I can have a smiling Facebook profile picture with me and three other gorgeous, athletic women, glistening with golden sweat, holding up our medals, proving that we are best friends and are better than you.

I took a few hesitant steps and then something incredible happened ... I entered the zone.  That place where you can run for days because your body is light and lithe and your mind is in complete euphoria.  I ran at a pace that I haven't run in ages.  No cramps, no breathlessness, just me and the pavement and DJ Khaled.  Oh, the glory of it!  I was on fire, with the wind in my hair, the little plastic thingies from my hoodie slapping me in the face, my right shoe not tied quite tight enough ---- but who cares?  I hit my stride and realized that this was the moment that I dedicated myself to sport, to Athletica --- I WOULD run that half marathon --- I WOULD lose 15 pounds and turn into a pure, muscular, sexy beast  ---- I WOULD become the woman I always wanted to be ---- Halleluuuuuu .... oooch ....

Around minute six, I was hit with the reminder that I had very recently eaten quesadillas for lunch.  Go away, I thought, I can run through you!  But no, the quesadillas reminded me that I had loaded sour cream and peanut sauce on their backs, and for this, I would have to pay.  I slowed my pace, but to no avail.  An ache started to crawl in under my rib cage, and I began to accept defeat, that I would never, EVER, be featured on the cover of the AroundTown newspaper insert .... until .... a miracle ....

To me, running and music go hand-in-hand.  You really can't have one without the other.  If you aren't blasting hip-hop in your ears, then you are forced to listen to your own thoughts, and that's when the devil creeps in.  But at this moment, like the soft rustle of angel wings, came "Feel Me Flow" by Naughty by Nature.  It pulled me back into my soul, and for the next 3 minutes I regained the hope that yes, maybe, yes, I could do this. 

I passed another runner and gave him a knowing nod, and then be-bopped my head to the music only I could hear.  I checked my pedometer app, which has never worked, and realized that I had run for 20 minutes.  Excellent, good start, you're about to die so stop, I told myself.  And then, I reached my car, kneeled down to pray (I really do this every time I run - it feels a little Chariots of Fire-ish) and collapsed into my seat, panting and drooling just a bit.

I suppose I will run again this week.  And maybe I'll sign up for that half marathon.  But I'm not going to tell anyone in case I chicken out.  However, if I do do it (not poop it --- that's not what I meant by do do ---  but actually run it), you can be damn sure everyone on Facebook will know about it - after I have spent some time with Photoshop.

Until next time, keep crowin' ........

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