So…I’m not one to brag but I used to be a track star. When I ran I was in a zone. That zone propelled me past my competitors on light feet. After the first 300 meters I really hit my stride and glided down the last straightaway. The form and coolness in my clenching muscles didn’t match the way I had aggressively left other runners behind. I leaned, and let my chest snap the bright red ribbon, which danced as it sailed to the ground. A crowd rallied around me and lifted my sweaty body above their shoulders. Two months into my glory I started dating the toughest guy in school, and quit my successful track career. What can I say? It just wasn’t cool to run track anymore.
Ok…so I may be exaggerating just a bit – just a smidge. I was good, well…I was ok. There was no crowd, or red ribbon. I do also remember the gust of air when I got left in the dust. During this one race, I may have been too cool to finish. I walked off the last straightaway despite all the you-can-do-it shouts and pity. I think that was the point when my career was over. The renegade high school boyfriend came later.
In light of my past glory, the recent havoc to my thirty-something body is just crazy. The first thing was that small box of copy paper I picked up without bending my knees. I didn’t realize I had a serious problem until that night when I was on my couch and couldn’t move without causing excruciating pain to my back. I looked at the doctor like she was looney when she told me I had to take three days off from work to recover.
The doctor didn’t shy away from my wide eyes questioning her orders. “Well Ms. Grayson, you can’t walk. If you could walk I would say you could go to work tomorrow. But, that is not the case, now is it?”
If I could, I would have jumped up and clotheslined the smug doctor. Somehow I thought that mild violence would help Smug Doctor see that I am thirty-something, way too young to have back problems.
Days later I put on some high-water sweatpants and sneakers that are only good for prancing around the office on casual Fridays. I stretched out like an Olympic athlete about to win the gold. I was ready to jog for the first time in seven years. I was going to make sure that I never had to pay a visit to Smug Doctor again. I was ready to conquer the running path looking like this:
When I got out there I quickly began to realize that instead, I looked like this:
I made it down one New York City sized block before I slowed to a walk. Oh how the mighty have fallen! A beer gut has replaced my once flat stomach. I used to be a wine drinker. Where did this beer gut come from?
I have since made jogging a regular part of my routine. I’m glad I can include it here as #6.