Back in the day, when I plogged religiously, I told myself that if I didn't go every darn day, I would slip into the pattern of excuses. That was true then but not so much today. I started by taking a running course in college during the summer session. First thing in the morning. Every Monday thru Friday. We were on our own on the weekends.
This might have been a mistake but my dorm roommate was my running partner and when one or the other of us felt cranky we had a cattle prod in the bed next to us. Neither of us got away with slacking. We both aced the class. The hardest part about running is putting on the shoes and moving out the door.
What she didn't tell me, and I learned by accident much later, was the fact that I looked like a tomato after about 6 minutes on the road. Once the summer session ended I moved into a trailer with another girl, I pretty much had the routine down pat and headed out the door without a lot of whining.
This college was in the Texas hill country and had remarkable hill work to negotiate. I was making my way up one curvy road as a flock of students was headed down it and the look of shock and fear on their faces stopped me in my ascent. "What!?" I asked.
"Are you alright????", they rushed at me. "Yea...why? What's wrong?" They were backing away from me and I caught a reflection of my face in the wing mirror of a car. No wonder they were alarmed. I looked like I was both sun-burned and frost-bitten at the same time. White around the nostrils, eyes and lips and blotchy red everywhere else. I looked terrifying.
I stopped running in the day time. I eventually stopped altogether.
And I think about those days now. I wonder if I felt this heavy and sloppy back then when I started. I wasn't in great shape at the beginning. I got better quickly, I remember and I have the photos to prove it. But today, I just feel loose in tone and stiff in the joints. There is nothing natural about my muscle mass at the moment.
Two days ago, this happened. I was feeling particularly good as I headed home from a medium-length ralk and had jogged more of it than I walked. I was feeling smug as I 'cooled down' for the last block before the house. I was so close and yet......
Then I felt something latch onto my calf. It was a large dark fly and I swatted it away which made it all-the-more determined to have it's way with me. So I fought back. Which made both of us angry and it called in for re-enforcement. Now I had two deer-flies, dive-bombing and chasing me as I flailed my arms and waved my hands and fought down the rising panic I was feeling. I started to run and as I was already tired I didn't make it very far before I pulled up and found them right back on me legs! So I pulled off one of my shoes, thinking I could swing around with it and knock some sense in it or out of the ballpark, one!
I wondered two things at this point: Is this worth it? and If anyone watching is this, what could they be thinking?
The shoes I wear have those curved thick soles meant for walking, not running and certainly not for running in when you've only got one of them on your foot and the other in your hand flailing over your head as you fight off a bug the size of a raisin.
I'd get about 20 steps and stop. And start again. This happened four or five times before I just made a mad dash for the house.
After I drank a glass of water and calmed down, I went to let the chickens out and darn if one those flies wasn't right there at the door. Great.... They know where I live. I don't know what torqued them off in the first place!
But I can't use that excuse to avoid going out. So I put on the shoes and head out the door. But I take another route. At least for now.