I am writing this post because, if you are reading it, I have completely fallen off of the deep end. Send help, send chocolate, and talk some sense into me.
In order to fully explain my current malady, let’s take a few steps back, shall we?
I am a firm believer in “never say never,” mostly because that phrase might as well be my personal mantra, for every sentence that I uttered from college until my late twenties that began with “I would NEVER…” actually happened.
“I would NEVER drive a minivan.”
“I would NEVER cloth diaper.”
“I would NEVER homeschool.”
“I will NEVER live where I grew up.”
“I would NEVER eat mayonnaise.” (Still don’t. I win, right?)
And of course, “I will NEVER run.”
This one in particular holds little weight for various reasons, most importantly, black bears and coyotes. But things got real last summer when a trusted colleague sat me down, looked me square in the eyes and said, “Right now you are at your optimal health, but you are also in your mid-thirties. If you don’t start doing something now, and you gain just a little weight every year until you are my age (mid-forties), it will be so much harder for you to start then.”
So much harder for me to start what? Taking care of myself? Are you going to sit here and tell me I need to cut out the nightly Oreos? And also move my body in such a way that rivals Phoebe from Friends?
So that is where my story begins. I started running. Just like Forrest Gump, one day I woke up and just started running. I told no one. I could not bear the scrutiny I would most certainly receive from friends and family who had heard me scoff at the thought of running for years. The only pair of tennis shoes I own are a pair from Goodwill that I purchased during the Bush administration (notice I said tennis shoes, not running shoes), and I ran in hand me down running wear. I pulled my thick, dark hair into a high ponytail and began to jog. And I made it from our mailbox to our neighbor’s mailbox and I hated it. I turned around and walked back inside.
The next day I got up again, and I made it to the next mailbox, then the next. Dogs barked, deer fled. But my feet hit the pavement and sweat hit my brow, and my ankles bled from shoes with terrible support. But then, something weird happened.
I realized it didn’t matter what I looked like. How smart I was, how talented. It didn’t matter if I was a supermom or perfect wife. There was no one running next to me that was faster or more agile. It was the only moment in months that I had spent completely alone, without kids crying on the outside of the bathroom door or the constant barrage of phone activity. It was just me and an open country road. This is why I hate running. It made me take account for the person that I am when no one is looking.