My friend is trying to talk me into running with her every morning. Evidently,
she is not aware of my strict non-physical fitness policy. I have a hard
and fast rule when
it comes to running: fuggedaboudit! I have sworn off running unless there
is some incentive involved, for example, avoiding molten lava. Even then,
I could probably only work myself up to a brisk skip, and that would be
on a really good day.
It’s not that I am lazy. Shoot no! I simply dread becoming one of those K
Run Snobs. You know, the ones with the Nike shorts and tee shirts with matching
head and wristbands who carry around huge bottles of Evian water in canvas
coolers. They spend all their time looking at their sports watches and
saying, “ Dang! I’ve GOT to get my time down to 5 minutes on the mile.
I am just DRAGGING at 5 minutes 15 seconds!” To which I always respond,
“You are probably starving! Do the words 'I’d like fries with that' mean
anything to you?” That usually stops them cold.
It would be kind of nice to impress my kids by engaging in some exercise regimen though. Something that involves more than just jumping up and down when I step on one of the tens of thousands of Legos all over Corey’s bedroom floor. Running seems a bit of a stretch though. I could probably handle a short walk, say 30 minutes or so, if someone would walk ahead of me luring me with a couple of Hostess cupcakes and bottle of Pepsi (carbo-loading being key to any athlete’s success, of course).
ME (lying on the sidewalk, gasping for air): Danny-- run, skate, hitch a ride, for God's sake! Go get Daddy, and tell him to bring the van.
Danny: Come on, Mom. You're doing good. You don't need help.
ME: Yes (gasp), I do. Please get Dad quick! And tell him to throw in a canister of Grammy's (gasp) oxygen!
Danny: Come on, Mom. You're doing good. You can make it.
ME: Danny, go home. Tell Dad (gasp) and the kids I love them. And (gasp, gasp) Danny, no matter what happens, (gasp) make sure you go to college.
I have no idea how I got home, but somehow I lived to tell the tale.
I often see
walkers using all kinds of gimmicks to keep them on the straight and narrow
path to good health. Headphones hooked up to cassette players, weights
on ankles and wrists, dogs pulling them on leashes. “Who is walking whom?”
I smugly ask myself as I reach for another handful of miniature Snickers.
I did try the headphone thing once, only once. I just about killed
myself by trying to run to The Doobie Brothers’ “China Grove”, which set
the pace just a TAD quicker than I was ready for. When I came to and wiped
the gravel off my face I decided then and there I would not subject myself
to any music with a tempo faster than Mr. Rogers’ “Bathtub Song”.
At one point
I even enlisted the help of my doctor to get started on a healthier course.
He gave me the usual spiel about eating right, daily exercise and then
said that no matter
what, I should accept myself and love myself as I am. This from a man who
spray paints his bald spot to match his hair. Actually, in all fairness,
I don’t know for sure if he really spray paints it. He could be using shoe
polish. Of course, I am not entirely sure I want to take advice from a
man who tells me I am not getting enough fat and cholesterol in my diet.
As much as I would like to use that as a license to set up an account at
Kentucky Fried Chicken, it unnerves me somewhat.
But I digress.
That happens when my blood sugar gets low and there are no honey-roasted
peanuts in reach to boost it back to a healthy level. Maybe I’ll just jog
into the kitchen and see what’s in the pantry. A little bend and stretch
for the soda on the bottom shelf and a reach and pull for the Fiddle Faddle
on the top of the fridge.
Yes, I think I am really starting to get into this exercise thing. Now if I could only get into my running shorts.
By Patricia Eggertsson