And when I write that I wanted to run, I don’t mean just a regular old run that anybody’s grandma can do. My run was going to be more like that of a gazelle dashing through the forest, running away from an overly flirtatious lion who doesn’t understand that lions and gazelles aren’t a natural fit—even if they’ve negotiated a solid prenup and the lion is holding a boom box blasting Mariah Carey’s “We Belong Together.”
I’m not exactly sure why, but I’d somehow gotten it into my head that running was something that I could do. I mean, I see people doing it all the time. Even dogs do it. And I clearly remember being able to run that one time back in the nineties. You’d be amazed at what you can do when you have a lion on your tail—literally.
So, before I could register what was happening, my legs began to quicken their pace, and I was off. Picture me gaining momentum, passing trees and people and pigeons, leaving them all in my Michael dust. So, this is what running is like, I thought. What a rush!!!
My worries and cares all slipped away. No longer was I concerned that I was two months behind on my rent with only $5 to my name, which I planned to use at Starbucks on the way home. No longer was I thinking about homework, or my car note, or the fact that my fish were on strike because they felt that I wasn’t providing them with the quality of life they’d grown accustomed to at PetSmart. I wasn’t focused on any of that.
But then my age kicked in.
Suddenly, I realized that each time my feet hit the ground, the impact was reminiscent of that one time I gave birth during my lunch break at work. Making things even worse, my manager at the time demanded that I not only clean up the mess, but that I also stay late to make up lost time after training my newborn on how to use the copier machine so that she could help with some of the slack. Obviously, this isn’t a good memory for me.
And let’s not even talk about my breathing. Although my mouth was open wide enough to catch two butterflies and a bumble bee, air just wasn’t flowing in and out quickly enough. My lungs began to scream for mercy. The feeling was reminiscent of that one time I gave birth to triplets in the middle of a Connecticut Walmart with no Tylenol because I couldn’t find my debit card and the cashiers were demanding that I pay before using the merchandise.
Although I would have sworn that I’d run five miles, in reality I’d only made it the equivalent of three city blocks. Ok, two city blocks—one and a half for sure. Forty-five minutes later, I was still leaning on a tree, trying to catch my breath, and wondering what it is that makes people like running. I mean, I could see if one of the dancing zombies from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video was chasing you and trying to force you to learn the routine. Or, maybe you’d want to run because your mother-in-law was trying to catch up with you to ask if she could move in with you. But besides those two instances, why would anyone voluntarily run?
As I mentioned, it hurts. Kind of like that one time I gave bir—ah, you get the point. And by the time you’re done running just for the heck of it, you’re too tired to run in case something actually happened that would require you to run. Like what if you’re just finishing an hour-long jog when you stumble across a rogue ferret? Then what? Congratulations, you just became ferret kibble? Or, what if Oprah was throwing cash out of the back of a Mercedes because it was one of her favorite things? See, then you’d miss out because you’d be too tired to try to catch the fives, tens, and twenties as they floated to the ground.
Now that I think back on it, maybe it was the fact that I’ve lost a little bit of weight that made me think I was superhuman and could run a couple hundred miles that day. What I learned is, if I am superhuman, my superpower must be my ability to store fat. As I was running, there were things moving around and jiggling that really shouldn’t have been—like my eyebrows and my ears, for example. At one point, one of my cheeks was jiggling so hard that I thought it would pop off and run to the nearest police station to report me for abuse.
It’s times like those that make me wish we could only exercise the portions of our bodies that need to be improved. I mean, just because you’re chin and stomach are storing up fat for the winter harvest, why do your legs and elbow have to suffer too? When you think about it, it’s really not fair. Why can’t you just put your cheeks on a treadmill while the rest of you catches up on old episodes of “Family Guy” on Netflix?
I write all of this to say that I am firmly against running and I think it should be illegal. The next time I get a chance to vote, if the candidate is a runner, I’m automatically voting against that person because he, she, or it clearly has terrible judgment and should probably be put down. Oh, wait, that’s my cue. The photographer is calling my name. I never dreamed I’d serve as the before model for a 350-pound Asian lady who has already lost the weight. Hmm, at least she and I kind of look-alike. Not like last week when I served as the before model for a German Shepherd. Anyway, wish me luck.
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