You know those people who talk about a “runner’s high”?
Those people who get all jazzed about exercising?
People who feel like their whole day is off kilter if they don’t get their heart pumping and move their limbs?
People who have Garmins?
People who laugh about how their toenails are falling off AND YET THEY KEEP RUNNING?
Or even those people who say that they don’t like to get going, but once they’re out there they are glad they did?
I AM NOT ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE.
I, am one of those people that likes to sit.
I like to read.
I like to NOT DO ACTIVE THINGS.
I didn’t grow up playing sports.
I didn’t ride my bike a whole lot.
I didn’t even secretly wish to do those things.
I spent much of my childhood with my nose in a book.
As it should be.
But, at 32 years old, and five pregnancies in 5 years…I gotta do SOMETHING. Plus, I want my kids to live healthy lifestyles when they are older…and there’s this whole “theory” out there that says that kids learn more from watching what you DO than what you SAY. It’s really an annoying theory. And I seeeeerrrrioussssly hope it’s wrong, because the things I say and things I do…somedays…
I’ve tried Jillian Michaels. I cannot. I just can’t. I think the furthest I’ve gotten is 10 days of Shred. The other 20 days couldn’t happen. Just couldn’t.
I’ve tried some random yoga on a big bouncy ball DVD thing. Nope.
I’m boooooored like 16 seconds in.
I really, truly, deeply wish I could enjoy exercising. I wish I could get into a groove and say it’s something fun.
The fact that I 100%, honestly, truly, no contest hate every single millisecond of it is a source of shame. Like there’s something wrong with me. I want to like healthy food. I want to eat whole grain, organic, grass fed, vegan bacon…but really, I just want to eat BACON dipped in cheese with a side of chocolate. And a glass of red wine. While not moving.
And sweating? So gross.
But, like I said, I’m 32 and while I’ve been lucky enough to lose most of my baby weight, it ain’t pretty. You know how your kids get their grubby hands on a balloon and they blow it up real big? And then they let it go and all the air flies out and the thing is flapping and slapping and flipping through your living room, bouncing off the walls, flinging spit particles all over EVERYTHING…the kids squeal with delight hunt it down and then blow it back up? AND THEN THEY DO THIS A TOTAL OF FIVE TIMES?
You know what that balloon looks like after all that commotion?
Exhibit A, my friends. Exhibit A.
My case here is closed.
Girlfriend needs to TONE.
Morning is my love language, and when the kids heard I’d be getting up in the wee hours of the day to go jogging, they begged me to wake them up and let them ride their bikes alongside me.
This is us.
At 5:37 am.
All sleep swollen and looking like hot messes.
Whatever, it’s dark outside.
And so we go.
The Bigs on their bikes, streetlights still on, and my bumbling, huffing and puffing self plodding along behind them.
I’m using the Couch 2 5K app on my phone. Because without someone giving me VERY SPECIFIC DIRECTION, I’m a mess. I go all out, running hard as I can, only to run out of steam like, I don’t know, half way down the block, and then I’m just panting my way around town like a dying giraffe.
Or I do the opposite, and my definition of “pacing myself” really means Don’t Break A Sweat Because Sweating is Nasty.
I have JT crooning in my ear and a very attractive sounding woman tells me when it’s time to “begin walking”…and after a while, she interrupts my boyfriend to coo in my ear that it’s time to “start running”, and so on.
It’s simple. No complicated moves. No proclamations that my “neck isn’t invited to this party”.
I have visions of this woman. All perky and cute. In designer workout gear. Black with pink piping. With matching pink and black running shoes that she bought at an actual running store. She has a perfect ponytail bobbing up and down as she jogs in place without even breaking a sweat. With a cute pink ribbon all tied up in a bow. And she smiles this big, colgate smile at me, encouraging me along.
Like my Guardian Angel of Physical Fitness.
And then this is me.
Hair looking all janky.
Yesterday’s mascara still smudged on my bagged eyes.
All hot and red and sweaty and MISERABLE.
Not even my ponytail is cute. How can I not even have a cute ponytail?! It’s like a whole other level of pathetic when you can’t even pull off a cute ponytail.
Plus, I think I have deformed inner ears. Every pair of ear buds I’ve ever tried hurt me.
Maybe it’s a sign from God to just give up now.
I’m forever looking for signs from God. Specifically, the type that says that running is really unnecessary.
But I chug along, with Pretty Sounding 5K Lady whispering sweet nothings of fitness in my ear, and I lament how out of shape I am. How I have no self-control. No motivation. No will power. How self-discipline is not my gig.
And I think: I’m going to push myself. I’m going to SPRINT. As hard as I can. As fast as I can. I’m gonna just GO. They’ll see. I can push myself. I can go balls to the wall. I’m NOT pathetic!
I pick a random light pole and make that my fake finish line.
And I go. And I start thinking, “Hey, look at me! I’m doing it! I’m running! Like, FAST!”
I’m going, and I’m busting past the kids on their bikes, and they’re like “Hey! Look at Mom! We better catch up with her!”
And I’m running, all fast and such, when I suddenly realize I can’t really feel my legs anymore. Is this Runner’s High? Like I’m floating on water…running on clouds or something. Runner’s High! I think I found it! Woohoo!
It’s like I’m the Stay At Home Mom version of Usain Bolt.
Dude, I am hauling. And I’m kinda feeling cocky and proud of myself for actually doing MORE than Pretty Perky Girl in Pink is even asking of me.
But soon, I feel a tingling…wait, no…that’s jiggling. Oh yeah. Definitely jiggling.
That’s my butt flailing around and my thighs doing acrobatics that they have no business doing.
But I keep hauling and even the jiggling seems to go away until I really, truly cannot feel my legs. In fact, I can’t feel ANYTHING. I THINK MY BONES ARE LIQUEFYING! MY BONES ARE LIQUID. THEY’VE MELTED UNDER THE EXTREME PRESSURE. I’ve gone and done it now.
It’s bad. I’m huffing and puffing and I’m running as hard as the legs I can’t feel can carry me. And I’m seriously convinced that I’m going to just collapse. Either because my lungs explode, my heart shuts down, or my liquefied bones give in. Also, it kinda feels like my eyeballs might fall out of their sockets somehow.
And how did I manage to pick the light pole in SIBERIA?
Why isn’t it getting any closer? It’s like a carrot on a stick.
And I really can’t stand carrots.
I make it, and the kids laugh at me.
Attractive 5K Lady is probably giggling her perfect, schoolgirl giggle at me too.
Whatever. I did it. I’m half dead, but I sprinted. For like a whole half a block.
People often ask why I take my kids.
They motivate me to go again.
And by motivate, I mean they ask me 2,965 times every hour on the hour if I’m going running and when. I wanted to gouge my eyes out on the days I skipped.
So basically, it’s less miserable to go jogging than it is to listen to them harass me about it.
And that’s saying A LOT.
We make it home.
And this girl is tired.
A sleepy, she’s gonna need a nap later, tired.
I’m on day 4 of running.
This is a personal record.
I still hate it.
But taking the kids makes it more enjoyable. I’m not lonely that way, and I like seeing them have fun. I like having them with me as we watch the town wake up.
What starts as dark and silent, slowly lightens and bustles.
Sweaty and wide awake, we sit in the backyard together for just a few more minutes to cool down.
Dad and the Littles are still in bed asleep. Mom has her coffee as a reward, and the kids get hot cocoa. And find a chicken egg.
It’s basically perfect.
Except for that whole running and liquid bones part.