Life Lessons: Wear a sports bra to the running store, and never trust your Asian chauffeur.

A sloth among gazelles

Last Friday, I popped into the running store to get fitted for new running shoes, as mine have officially passed that “keep your body safe” point. I strolled in, immediately intimidated by the size zero sprite pulling off her jeans and trying on running tights, and all the tall, lithe runners lounging about. I sat down with a boy who started fitting me, and almost immediately, the entire store filled up with what was apparently some sort of Friday night running club. Shit, I thought, please don’t ask me to run on the treadmill in front of all these people. WITHOUT A SPORTS BRA. “Just gonna do a quick 15 miler,” I heard one of them say to a woman who was shopping for gear, asking what everyone was doing. I lowered my head, to roll my eyes without being noticed.

So, I try on my first pair, and stand up to walk around in them…only I can’t, because the room is jammed full of Kenyan-shaped white people, stretching, being cool, you know. NBD. “Just hop up on the treadmill,” the boy helping me says. So, I comply, knowing there is no alternative. God, my poor chest. Let’s face it, they’re not exactly small. This is going to hurt physically, and socially. The boy asks me where he should set my pace, and I tell him I’m not a particularly fast runner. So, what does he set me at? 4.5. “Really?” I ask, bumping it up. And then, I run. For abooout 6 seconds. My anxiety at having to run in improper attire in front of a group of people who in reality are paying zero attention to what I’m doing gets the best of me, and I slam the treadmill off in seconds. “I’ll take them,” I say. I hop down. Just get me out of here. You guys go do your fifteen miler, I’ll go home and run 3 miles and then set up shop on the couch with a bowl of Mini Eggs. See ya at the finish line.

Dancin’ on the ceiling (or struggling in the trunk of the car).

For whatever reason, I love reading books that frighten/anger/sadden me. Mostly non-fiction, of course. You know, so I can really worry about the “what if’s” in life. Anyway, I’m currently reading a book on domestic human trafficking. Specifically, about American teenaged girls who are commercially sexually exploited, aka pimped out. So, yeah, really uplifting stuff. Sunday afternoon, I took a nap, and I had this dream where I had a new driver, a Chinese woman (yes, I have hired help in my dreams). Anyway, we were driving, and she pulled over, forced me out of the car and into the trunk. I remember thinking in the dream that she was angry, because I kept accidentally calling her “Lupita” instead of her actual name, “Patty.” This was not the case. Turns out, Patty was selling me to someone. I was being pimped by my elderly Asian driver. The car stopped, and the trunk opened. Who is standing there with her?

Lionel Richie. I was sold to the man who danced on the ceiling, and has assured each of us that we are not once, not twice, but three times a lady. Also, what the hell does that even mean? Anyway, I’m not able to remember anything after that point in the dream, but it is my sincere hope that Mr. Richie was kind enough to introduce me to the kind of luxury I believe I am entitled to. Most likely though, he locked me in a basement dungeon somewhere, forcing me to listen to “Hello” on repeat, and do his bidding.
I guess ultimately, I’m wondering what this says about me. I can usually piece together bizarre dreams, and attribute them to seeing someone on television prior to sleeping, etc. This, though? No idea. So, if anyone would like to offer up their (free) misguided attempts at dream interpretation, I will gladly accept.

Humanitarian Disaster (or a 5K, as I call it).

So, Erin and I ran a 5K this weekend at Seneca Park/SP Zoo. It started just like any other, but then things got ugly. Muy feo. People were reacting physically as though they were running a marathon unprepared. I have never witnessed so many ailments when running a 5K. I ran past a woman having an asthma attack before the first mile-marker, and people wretching in the grass. One of my highlights of the race was witnessing the girl running in front of me pee her pants. Id like to thank her for the fact that I will forever associate the Violent Femmes’ “Add It Up” with pants-wetting.
Let me take a moment and explain that while the day ultimately ended up being hot, it really wasn’t at 8:15am, so that couldn’t have been a factor (except for maybe the asthma sufferer). I’m a firm believer in the fact the one should only sign up for races he/she can complete safely and successfully. Now, I know 5Ks draw a wide skill set, mainly because people can choose to walk, if they are uncomfortable. But no one was choosing to walk! The coup de grace for me came as I hung out at the finish line after I was done, and this girl crossed the line, twisted up her face, and then vomited everywhere. Fan-tastic. We all know that I start to panic when the V enters the picture, but luckily it was addressed immediately, and without requiring a respirator on my part.

It kind of amazes me how acutely inactive bodies react to physical activity. And how for many people, that’s not a wake-up call, but rather an excuse to further avoid exercise. I’m truly not busting on anyone for struggling during the race, but I do think people have a responsibility to take care of their bodies. Health is a finite resource. And plus, I don’t want to be downwind from the smell of urine while running ever again.