A Cautionary Tale

I don’t want to brag or sound like a health nazi but  good diet and regular exercise are so important, which is why I do everything in my power to make both a priority. With four kids, it isn’t always easy but I find the time.

Okay, that’s not even a little bit true. I COULD make time for exercise but that would interfere with drinking wine and sitting on my ass. Ain’t nobody got time for that shit. It’s not like Facebook is gonna check itself, AMIRITE? Speaking of Facebook, just a little heads up to those of you who DO workout and feel compelled to post every time you workout, how many miles you ran, how many burpees you did and how many ounces of boiled chicken you ate: STAAAAAHHHHP! NO ONE FUCKING CARES! There seems to be some urban legend floating around that a workout won’t be effective unless you post the details of it on Facebook. Well, I’m here to tell  you that the rumor isn’t true but I digress. 253095_10151055539512712_1792688049_n

I won’t say I want to exercise because that would be a blatant lie but even if I did have the urge, I am unable. As it turns out, my aversion to physical exertion is partly due to psychological trauma, resulting from a past near death experience. There was a time that I wanted to exercise and work out. I would hear everyone talking about how wonderful it would make you feel. Runners who would wax poetic about endorphins and the “runners high” and how relaxing and cathartic it felt to run miles upon miles. I decided to give it a try. I got some running shoes and tied them on and I hit the track with excited anticipation of the stress reduction and euphoria everyone told me would result.  After some time at a steady pace, I felt nothing. Okay– I thought maybe I was running too slow. I’m not sure of what the difference between jogging and running is but figured that speed is the determining factor and “running” was the goal, so I sped up a little.  tumblr_m7ovwiOVw21rbpjofo1_500

Not too long after that, I knew something was wrong. I wasn’t feeling happy or relaxed. I wasn’t deriving any enjoyment from this in any way, shape or form. Instead, I was feeling HORRIBLE. My legs were hurting and feeling very weak, as if they would give out any moment. My heart was pounding, my pulse racing and sweat was pouring from my head. I sat down, gasping for air, my mouth dry, holding my heart with one hand and pawing at the overwhelming pain that was radiating from beneath my ribcage with the other. By now, my legs were shaking and I could feel that my face was completely flushed. I knew, then and there, that I was dying. As I struggled to breathe,  I felt my heart trying to escape from my chest. My legs were as sturdy and stable as those of a newborn foal. My life flashed before my eyes. I hoped that my children would know that I loved them. I wasn’t even going to be able to say goodbye. I think my last words to them were, “you know that the rule is that you can’t talk to mommy until the wine glass is empty”.  I gained a bit of solace as death loomed over me at the thought of my husband feeling an eternity of  guilt  for refusing my request to go to the convenience store to get me a Dr. Pepper the day before. All he had to do was get out of bed, put on his clothes and shoes, get the umbrella, find his keys (I told him that they were probably definitely in one of the seven spots I named) and go to the store that is only a few miles away. I even said, “if I die tomorrow, I hope you remember this and feel bad”. He just dismissed it, as usual, and said, “stop saying that all the time”.  Well, this would show him. My biggest regret was that I wouldn’t be able to gloat. Because I would be dead. I managed to grab my phone and type “I told you so” as an unsent text to his phone.  I’ve always hoped those would be my last words to him.

As I continued to feel my body giving out, I moved to the bargaining stage and began swearing that I would go to church every week and I’d never drink or say a curse word again. As I began accepting my fate, I began to feel a little better. My breathing was becoming less labored. My heartbeat seemed to be normalizing. The nausea was subsiding, I wasn’t feeling as dizzy and my vision was returning to normal. I’ve always heard people say that, right before death, you are overtaken by a sudden sense of peace and calm. I closed my eyes and waited for the sweet release of death. I remembered that I had tucked a cigarette into my iPod band to smoke during the cool down and decided to use what precious little time I had left enjoying a few last drags. This is where it gets weird. A couple of minutes and a few drags later and I am feeling completely better. I carefully try to stand again and realize that I have begun regaining strength and mobility in my legs. They were still a little shaky but I realized I was able to stand again. My heartbeat was becoming regular and my body temperature seemed to be regulating as well. I couldn’t believe it! It was a miracle! I composed myself and considered whether or not I could make it back to my house by myself or if I should call 911. I decided to attempt it on my own. If nothing else, I wanted to hug my children one last time. I know everyone says that 30 yards is not a long distance but I’ll bet that they never tried to run that distance, look death in the eyes and spit in his face, before going back home. The round trip was way more than 30 yards. I’m no mathmagician but I’d bet it is close to double. I made it through the door and Number Two and Number Three, the two that greet me as if they haven’t seen me in weeks every time I come home from the store, jump up from the couch and run to hug me as I collapse in the foyer. “Mommy, you’re home”, they squealed as they begin to fight over lap space. All I can think is, I’M ALIVE! I BEAT DEATH! I knew after that workout and a near death experience, it was critical that I hydrate. Thankfully, I had a bottle of Chardonnay because the Cabernet would have done the job but is slightly less refreshing after a workout.

Moral of the story: Running will KILL you. I’m not sure if it was the offers of good behavior in exchange for my life or the cigarette that saved me. Since I completely reneged on the promises without being struck by lightning, I’m thinking it was the cigarette, actually. I mean, I know they say that they are dangerous and blah, blah, blah but those are the same assholes that say that running is healthy and makes you feel so good. Letmetellyousomething, if you think that is, as I have been told, a “normal” response to this whole fun run phenomenon, you are a sick fuck. A masochist. If someone interjects into a conversation that they like to run, walk away. If you see someone post updates about their run, delete and block them. I probably shouldn’t say anymore because they know I’m onto them and I think they’re monitoring my communication but, the world must know, the run lovers are a very persuasive cult. They will stop at nothing to recruit you. They’ll lie and promise you the world. When you almost drop dead from following their suggestions, they’ll tell you to do it again? Do it again? I almost fucking died! What is crazier than that suggestion is the fact that other people follow the advice! Don’t listen. Don’t engage. They’re unrelenting. Before you know it, they’ll have you on a vegan diet and mapping out your marathon training regimen. How do you know if someone has run a marathon? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you. (bahdumching)

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25 thoughts on “A Cautionary Tale

  1. Whenever one of these runningisawesome cult leaders tries to convert me I simply tell them that I DO NOT RUN. When that does not work (because it never does) I try to illustrate my hatred of running by explaining that if an axe murderer was chasing me, I would hide as opposed to running away. When this doesn’t work (they are relentless), I say I have Perpetual Bilateral Shin Splints. This seems to be the only thing they understand and accept as a viable excuse. Of course, now that I have typed all this out, I see that I could save a lot of time in the future and skip the first two steps. Feel free to use my fake malady if this story doesn’t get them to leave you alone.

  2. I post my workouts because a lot of the people on my FB are virtual workout partners, and we encourage each other and kick each other in the ass if we’re slacking.

    Lifting is a large part of my day, arguably as important to me as my kids and wife, and probably more important to me than work.

    Facebook is about my life. Lifting is a huge part of my life.

    If someone else takes my lifting personally, maybe that’s on them, not me. I post what I want. I’m amused by people’s dogs, kids, plants, and breakfast. It’s just my folks, friends, people, in the stream. My lifting’s part of that. I have nothing to hide here.

  3. Excellent post! I, myself, work out religiously, on a daily basis, without ever exercising. How, you may ask? Simple: I am 80 pounds overweight. This means that every time I drop a small object on the floor, and must squat to pick it up, I have just squatted 80 pounds. When I scoop the cat box, it involves multiple 80-pound squats, because if I were to remain hovering over my ankles in the low part of the squat position for the duration, my ankles would explode from the pressure.

    The stairs from street level to our condo are quite steep – enough that I have lost my balance and fallen down them at least three times in the past 10 years. Losing my balance was probably due to the damned SSRI drugs I take, plus vanity – my insistence on wearing high-heeled shoes and boots to flatter my, er, extra curvy figure. I digress…but the high-heeled shoes do add extra spice to my non-exercising workout, by throwing all my weight forward to the balls of my feet. Hell on the knee joints, though.

    So, several times per week, I shop, and carry approximately 100 pounds up those steep stairs from street level, usually in two trips – more if there is laundry detergent or cat litter involved. Or jug wine to make wassail for a holiday party, for that matter.

    Going down the steps with extra weight is gravity assisted, of course, but more treacherous. In ascending order of treacherousness: Taking out the garbage, removing used cat litter, carrying my unladen self in high heels, transporting an 18-gallon bin of refreshments for community chorus rehearsal, and containing a squirming, 18-pound cat who feels he has better things to do with his time than go for a joy ride in the car to visit the veterinary clinic.

    Then, there is the matter of street parking. We are situated one block away from a casual carpool pick-up area. This means that half our street is posted as 4-hour parking, to keep the commuters from hogging all the parking. However, these inconsiderate, jerkface commuters are not stupid. They rush in early, and hog all the street parking that is not 4 hours, leaving the 4-hour spots to us residents who work from home, or at night, so that we are left holding the $80 parking tickets. The alternative? When I return home to find no nearby, unlimited-time parking, I proceed farther on down the road until I find a distant place to park. Now, since we live at the crest of a steep hill, this means – you guessed it, some more trudging with my 80 pounds plus cargo, uphill, with aching legs and searing lungs. So, in a way, I guess I have inconsiderate jerkfaces to thank for embellishing my no-exercise workout.

  4. As a former marathon runner who has converted to couch surfing, I salute you. It was fun when I was a teenager, but something about adult life did me in. Perhaps it was the drinking, but cannot, I waited 21 years for that!

  5. I never got why people post that on facebook either. I love to work out but HATE running. I think it’s boring! But what’s even worse than posting workouts on FB? people posting pics of massive cleavage saying “Look how good I look now that I workout?” Gag me!

  6. hahahahaha! I am sorry to confess that I am one of those people, only I do it with my crossfit workouts. Part of it is that I’m amazed I lived through them, and part of it is that I’ve been on this crazy trip of trying to rehab my health for a while now, so a lot of my friends are actually really encouraging when they see that I’ve worked out. It helps me not give up. But I do try to not do it every day!

  7. Every time I see a post from you I get excited because I know I’m going to laugh and I love a laugh! I knew it wasn’t just me who had this same experience. I mean… You move your arm to your mouth to smoke so that’s exercise right there. I move my fingers to type blogs – physical exertion. We does this. Nobody need run!

  8. from the cult of rabid exercisers /evil laughter/ we are watching you! hee hee! Hey off the Y-M-C-A… /sing along with me/ do the dance I know you want to…. cardio room here I come!

  9. Brilliant. Just brilliant! And I am one of those annoying runners of whom you speak…but this post sums up my husband’s views on exercise perfectly!

  10. Very funny post! I’m not sure why people post their workout routines on Facebook. I don’t post every time I eat a pizza and wash it down with a chocolate shake and pride. Maybe I should, but I’m too busy eating a cheesecake to bother.

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