Hi. <guilty smile like someone who said they’d call, never did, then bumped into you in line at the grocery store.>
Yeah, things are good here. Work’s good. Oregon’s good. Weather’s been weird though, huh?! How are you? Have you been watching Scandal??? How bout that snow on the East Coast!?
<other awkward small talk rapid fire>
Alright enough of that bullshit.
I was running the other day – yeah, that’s happening, sort of – and was feeling all janky and clunky and wind-sucking… all around pretty shitty, to be honest. I’m out of shape, an unmentionable amount of pounds heavier than I’d like to be, and delusionally believe my lungs are still acclimating to the small increase in elevation. (just under 4,000′ in Bend from 3-below sea level in Newport.)
The problem wasn’t really how bad I felt though. Feeling bad during exercise is part of it, right? Means you’re working hard!
The problem was, I was embarrassed. With how I looked – everything jiggling, gasping for air, a mix of desperation and anger on my face – and how I felt. I let myself fall stupidly out of shape, and all I wanted was a sign to wear around my neck saying “I used to a pretty o.k. runner! Swear!” so everyone wouldn’t think I was just out for a blobby jog to burn off my Thin Mints.
<Don’t think about Thin Mints… Don’t think about Thin Mints… Don’t think about Thin Mints…>
Sorry I uglied up your prettiness with that face, Shevlin. Rough times.
But then I realized, I wasn’t going to get any less blobby by not running. If my pasty, jiggly thighs weren’t out there plodding around for a few miles, how were they going to get any less jiggly? I needed to be out there. I wanted to be out there!
I don’t want to have to stop for a breather 10 minutes into a run. I don’t want to google “spanx for exercise” and mean it. And I definitely don’t want to skip group lunch runs at work anymore because I’m scared I can’t keep up.
So, I’ll keep stuffing my squish into my spandex and plodding around, knowing that each run gets me closer to my old self. As uncomfortable as it is, it doesn’t have to be embarrassing. If anyone actually cares whether I have a muffin top over my tights or I have to walk up a hill to catch my breath, they can go right on and fuck the hell off. I’m doing this so some day I won’t.
Embarrassing would be continuing to carve out this ass imprint in the couch while shoveling handfuls of chips in my mouth and washing them down with beer, and then whining about being out of shape.
So that’s how I’ve been. Good chatting, we should do it again sometime soon! Promise I’ll actually call this time.