Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Running On Empty

196.2 lbs. Such familiar territory. And familiarity breeds contempt.
Overheard in the ladies’ locker room today: “Um, yeah, like, I’ve been eating natural, you know and only natural sugar. I found these really great Skittles.”
On my honor, may Torquemada make me duck walk across the gym if I’m lying.
I cannot take up arms against a sea of troubles. I can’t lift mine. Torquemada (aka the Pushy Peanut) has struck again.
I have earned the right to sit around with my feet in moisturizing socks (and if you don’t have the Bliss gel-lined socks, do this: get a tub of A+D diaper ointment. Yes, I said diaper ointment. Get a pair of socks you don’t care about. Slather your feet with the ointment, apply the socks and let ‘em soak. You could apply the ointment to someone else’s feet, but it wouldn’t moisturize and soften YOUR feet and that’s the point).  And now, I have things to consider.
First of all, I made the mistake of telling Torquemada that, although I don’t actually want to run a marathon, the fact that a sumo wrestler had finished the LA Marathon and that Dick and Rick Hoyt had been participating in the Boston Marathon Wheelchair Division for 25 years (Dad pushes son’s chair), it made me think.  Before anyone thinks I’m dumping on the sumo, those guys are athletes. It takes a lot of strength to push a 400 lb. guy and even more to do it successfully. Their event, though, is not related to the running disciplines and I believe a sumo match is over fairly quickly. As for the Hoyts, I find the idea of running (or walking) 26.2 miles intimidating, let alone pushing an adult in a wheelchair (and the Hoyts have run the route in 2 hours, 40 minutes).  It makes me feel pretty whiny and wimpy.
I have previously mentioned that when I was a kid, I enjoyed running (not competitively, but as a kid). I am now officially afraid of it. The one and only time I have willingly run as an adult was in 1989 at the Manufacturer’s Hanover Corporate Challenge in Boston. I did it because I wanted the T shirt and I still have it, one of the few pieces of evidence that the bank ever existed. Without training for it, I ran 3.5 miles (5K?). And yes, I paid for that.  I was so stiff and sore the next day, I could not sit down at work. Honest. However, I had my badge of honor, the shirt and felt extremely proud until my asshole co-workers just bought the T shirts without ever going near the race course.  But, I freakin’ earned mine.
I can walk 5 miles in 2 hours, give or take. I’ve completed the course for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer several times (one, I was being pushed in a wheelchair by my best friend. I had cracked something in my foot that week). Not a problem, just don’t try to be fashionable and do it in pink Chuck Taylor high tops. Not enough support and your back with threaten to run away from home.
There was a time when if I wanted to get to work, I had to walk 6 miles round trip. The first week, my blisters had blisters, but I persevered and I did this for four months until I moved out of walking range.
Running, though…it’s intimidating. But, like I said, Torquemada wants me to start running on the treadmill. 6 days per week. This envelopes the days of weight training with her and yoga class and oh yeah, I should really be taking Pilates, too. And I should eat a sweet potato every day, but that’s a different post.
She is trying to kill me. I wouldn’t think this would be the best marketing plan to attract clientele, but clearly, one must have a warped mind to become a personal trainer in the first place. God alone knows how those people think.
“I want you to sweat. I want you to work hard. I want you to be dripping sweat. Only one day off per week.”
People in Hell want ice water, there, Pushy Peanut. Why don’t you take them some?
Be careful what you wish for.  For the past few years, I have wanted to get back to working with a personal trainer. I have wanted to start taking yoga and/or Pilates regularly. I have wanted (although I never told anyone) that I wanted to be able to run without barfing up a lung. I have wanted these things, just NOT ALL AT ONCE.
Running. God. With the White Mountains and the Great White Belly flapping in the breeze. Going 5 steps and yakking up something dislodged from the dankest, darkest, most forgotten and neglected corner of my left lung. I have never smoked. Not even one puff. Even when I had to fake smoking for a video I was in (oh, yeah. I’ve done extra work), I couldn’t do it. On the other hand, I spent years of my working life surrounded by heavy smokers before indoor smoking was banned. There’s black lung and I guess if it’s from secondhand smoke, its gray scale lung (I’ve inhaled a fair amount of toner from exploded cartridges, too. Hazards of working in the Cubicle Ant Farm).  As it is, somebody with heinous music (Rebecca Black and “Friday” come to mind, as does anything by an American Idol “winner”) is fodder for at least 3 hours of complaining by the person on the next treadmill. Not wiping down the equipment after one has slimed all over it is just cause for extended bitching. I can just imagine the the comments after I’ve left my spleen, half a lung and my pre-workout oatmeal all over the equipment. Those little handy wipes they stock for cleaning? They’re reminiscent of a Robin Williams routine about changing a diaper: “It’s like using an oven mitt to clean up nuclear waste! No good!”  
I am not Okay Go on a treadmill. There are numerous instances of visual comedy with someone going ZIP off the back of a fast-moving treadmill. I have done this myself. I know we all slow down and stare at accidents. I just don’t want to be the car wreck.
However, I did resolve that I would do ask I was asked by someone TRAINED to pull people into shape. She wants me to run.  Oy vey. This will not end well.

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