You are currently browsing the daily archive for June 5, 2005.
I’ve always hated running. In middle school, when they made us run the mile for the Presidential Fitness Whatever (I’d like to see the president run a mile while we’re at it), I was the last one to finish. I had a huge stitch in my side and it felt like pure torture. Freshman year of college, I dated a guy who loved to run. I thought it was crazy. I shook my head. I had a dream where I outran him and I laughed in the morning. The summer after junior year, it Bologna with Bee, we would run around the park down the street, in serious humidity. I thought I would collapse every time. Senior year, Laurel convinced me to take a fitness walking/running class with her. At 8 am. I survived. I shocked myself by running as much as I walked.
And now? I did a 5K run last night. With the tiniest of walk breaks. What have I turned into?
First, Maren, Katy, Delicia & I got together, wrote our running nicknames on bright green shirts, and did facials. We had it all worked out to get downtown in plenty of time to pick up our numbers and start the run at 8 pm.
7:50 pm. Maren, who already has a number, drops us a couple blocks away from Lincoln High School, where we start, so she can park. We run. Delicia loses her green polka dot/striped bandana on the way. We sign in, we check our bags & jackets, we pin on our numbers. The run is about to start. But there is no way that I’m starting without a trip to the bathroom. No way.
Katy and I run to the bathrooms behind the bleachers and join the line of women, while Delicia and Maren’s dad wait for her to show up from parking. There are two bathroom doors next to each other. Women are going in one, and men are coming out the other. The men all look sheepish. As the line moves up (what is it with women taking so long to pee? Just get it over with! We’re in a hurry!) we see that the room the women are entering is the same room the men are leaving. That’s right. We’ve co-opted the men’s room. Who knows where the women’s room was, but there was no way any of us were giving up places in line to go look for another bathroom. So the women used the two stalls, and the men used the urinals on the opposite wall. We tried to keep our backs turned, but you could tell it was making all those guys a little nervous. Whatever. We had co-ed bathrooms at my fine alma mater (well, with no urinals. Just stalls). Get over it.
We run from the bathrooms (notice how there’s a lot of running in this story? And we haven’t even started the run yet?) to join the run. The other three are no where in sight. The “start” line is gone. The crowd is gone. A couple stranglers run in front of us. Three people fall in behind us. We’re the end.
A police car, clearing the route for the parade that follows, pulls onto the road behind us. At first it’s just a little annoying. Especially with the huge fucking hill the run starts with (okay, like 2 blocks. But steep!) After a couple more blocks, as we steadily jog along and my heart resumes normal beating after the hill, the car really starts to annoy me.
Finally I can’t take it any more. I can’t hold back.
I stop, turn around, pound my fists on the hood of the car and yell, “Will you fucking get off my heels before you run me over? Or before I having a fucking heart attack and you just turn me into road kill on the parade route?”
Don’t you wish I had? I really wanted to say that. Apparently, running – the aggressive sport that it is – brings up a lot of anger in me.
This is what actually happened. The runners ahead of us dart around a corner and we follow. Never mind that we’re taking a short cut – it’s all worth it to get that cop off our heels. We’re now that the end of the crowd, but not the very end. The rest of the run was relatively uneventful. I never thought I would die. My leg hurt, but I could still run.
However, we did have an opportunity to contemplate the life of Christ, and the suffering he endured as he went to his voluntary passion. There’s a costume competition, you see, since the run is the pre-show entertainment before the Starlight Parade. There was the complete cast of Napoleon Dynamite, a horse, some clowns, etc. And a man dressed as Jesus carrying a cross. A big cross. He ran with it.
Afterwards, we were discussing how he could manage to run with it. “Jesus could barely walk with his cross,” one of us says. “Yeah, but he was beaten ahead of him,” says another. “And I don’t think he had running shoes.” “And the crowd was booing him instead of cheering.”
There you have it. Contemplation of spiritual labors. Some healthy exercise. Colorful shirts. Profanity.