I’ve gotten out of the habit of both running and writing. I’m not trying to make excuses, but work has been intense, I’m pretty sure I have at least 12 kids now, and I’ve been super busy thwarting terrorism, coming up with a solution for world hunger, and staying caught up on Catfish and Teen Mom: OG (Oh, Amber. Get it together, hun.).
I started running again last week because I’m planning to hike the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim again in September, so I need to get my cardio back in shape. Also: Swimsuit season’s imminent approach + The joy I get from eating an entire bag of ranch flavored croutons by myself = Stress nightmares where I have to submit my tax info before a panel of judges while wearing a super unflatteringly cut mismatched bra and underwear set. The judges first look over my financial information disapprovingly and then circle my fat and stretch marks with a red sharpie. Obviously I really needed to start logging some miles both for my physical and mental stability.
My first couple of runs went surprisingly well. I got through my normal, 4-mile route slowly, but without walking. I was able to keep mostly out of my own head and felt really positive when I was done. I was strong! I was confident! I was killing it!
Of course, for every beautiful, empowering run, there are two that make feel like an emo teen on the downslope of a misery binge. Like, I just shaved my eyebrows off and dyed my hair black because beauty isn’t a thing. Only suffering.
This morning I woke up crabby and unmotivated. I made the mistake of stepping on the scale before I left, and despite the fact that I ate salmon and chicken and goddamn mother-fucking salads yesterday, they apparently didn’t cancel out the Magnum bar, Fig Newtons, and wine from the day before. The scale straight up laughed and gave me the middle finger. Suddenly it was obvious my thighs were billowing from of the bottom of my shorts and my belly was oozing out of the waistband at the top.
You’d think this would spur me to run more miles, wouldn’t you? Redouble my efforts! Burn more calories! Sometimes it goes the other way, though.
By less than a mile in I realized I had forgotten to pee before I left. And it was warmish; like at least 75 degrees. And the breeze was blowing. Right. At. Me. AND I wasn’t even wearing my belt that holds my phone, so I had to hold it in my hand. MY HAND HAD TO HOLD MY PHONE WHILE I WAS RUNNING.
That was it. I could not deal. I’d started out giving maybe two fucks and my supply of fucks had diminished at a rate of at least three per mile. It was inevitable. Demand was far greater than my resources. I was simply out of fucks to give.
I stopped running right then. I vowed not to post this “run” on social media. I took a shortcut and walked the rest of the way home. I strolled, even, except when I wanted to get across the street before the light changed, and for a little while when the path sloped downhill and I was bored with how long it was taking to get home; then I jogged. I JOGGED, I tell you. I didn’t “run”. Running is for the proud. It’s for athletes. It’s for people with willpower and goals. I jogged, like the guy 5 steps away from walking into Starbucks behind you, so you hold the door open for him, and he doesn’t want to be a jerk and have you stand there for too long. SO HE JOGS to grab the door. I jogged.
Then I got home and had a spoonful of crunchy peanut butter, a tiny bag of Cheetos, and a piece of sourdough toast.
I hate myself.