Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Ass = In Gear

(From my post last week)

What you can expect to read about once I can get my ass in gear:

1. My genetic predisposition toward athletic failure, or "yet again, I try to take a simple run in Prospect Park and realize why I never do this";

Oh, running. My lousy part-time lover. Everyone has that one thing that causes short-term memory loss... the hobby they pick up occasionally only to drop it again, the friend they never see and then, upon seeing him/her, instantly remember why, the food they forget they hate ... running is mine. I ran track in high school because my friend Rachel convinced me it would be a good idea. I chose track because running is the only sport that requires no discernable skill except the ability to remain upright while moving forward. I ran for three years and ... are you waiting for me to say that it changed my life and made me realize everything that I could accomplish? That was what I hoped -- that I would turn into one of those cover-of-Fitness-magazine, happy, glowy, effortlessly toned and well-with-the-world people -- but it was not to be. I hated it. I hated running. Hated the pain and the competition and waiting around for track practice. Once I even faked a fall so that I could sit out for a season. Yes, Athlete of the Year. That's me.

About twice a year I decide to go for a run. I live close to a park, and am too broke to afford a gym. I do like getting outside, and running just seems so ... healthy. Robust. Rejuvenating. I think, why don't I run anymore?

I find out the answer about halfway down the block: because it sucks! I get winded and my hips start to ache and I start thinking about how pasty and jiggly I look. I usually hoof it for about ten minutes before giving up and walking.

Anyway, two weeks ago I had a meltdown on a Saturday morning. I was stressed out and sad. I was not in my right frame of mind, or I never would have considered going on a run. But I did. I mean, I walked sometimes, but I ran more than I have in a long time. It was a gorgeous day and I did the whole 3 miles around Prospect Park. And you know what? I had the cheesy moment I had always hoped for. After ten or fifteen minutes it stopped hurting. I felt energized. The air in my lungs felt bracing. I felt good - no, great. I was happy and glowing for the rest of the day.

Based on that moment of insanity, I've decided to take it up again. It's been slow going -- I run maybe 20 minutes, about three times a week -- but I've run more in the past two weeks than the past two years combined. I still feel pain at first, and I still feel pasty and jiggly a lot of the time. I can't really say that I love running. I mean, I would rather look and feel healthy while watching American Idol and eating Krispy Kremes. But until medical science decides to do something about that, I'm going to try to stick it out with this upright forward motion thing.

2. Why I am the world's worst sick person;

I hate being sick, and I am bad at it. You might not think that there's skill involved, but take this simple quiz:

-Have you ever become so angry at your persistent bronchitis cough that you punched yourself really hard in the chest?
-Have you ever gone to Blockbuster with a 101 degree fever?
-Have you ever attempted to do "Denise Austin's Power Zone" workout while congested and headachy?
-Do you shun chicken soup and OJ in favor of ice cream and cookies?

If you answered 'NO' to any of these questions, then you are a better sick person than I am. I cannot sit still. No matter if I'm coughing, sneezing, vomiting -- I do my laundry. I go to the corner bodega and buy Oreos. I do yoga. If my body refuses to get well I often get so angry that I make it worse. If I am ever expected to recuperate, I need to be strapped to my bed and anesthetized.

3. My date with a feminist recluse in Coney Island; and

Um ... do you really want to hear about this? The title kind of says it all, and I'm tired of writing. She was really involved in the women's movement in the 1960s and 1970s, and she lives in a house with rotting mangoes on the stove.

4. Dr. Schwartzburt, or How I Learned to Pay No Attention to My Doctor and Eat Chocolate and Drink Coffee So As to Prevent a Schizophrenic Episode.

Yeah, the no chocolate thing was a bust. I have, however, switched to decaf. And please refer to the first item on the list for more proof of my saintly habits.


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