Peeing Like a Boy: The Painful Story Of How I Learned To Run

me and the assEveryone has their story, here’s mine.

I didn’t run track in high school. I didn’t run cross country either. Until I was thirty-two, the farthest I had ever run was two city blocks, and that was only because the police were chasing me out the back door of a party.

For me, running happened by accident. After my first child was born I became a bit of a cardio junkie in an effort to lose the baby weight. When I became pregnant with my second child, I did the elliptical five days a week up until my due date. When he was born I resumed the elliptical with a passion.>elliptical

For my 32nd birthday my husband bought me an IPod Shuffle. I was so pissed! What the hell was I supposed to do with an IPod? I watched TV when I worked out. I was never one to have headphones on and listen to music…I just didn’t care about music.Ipod shuffle

So one day I showed up at the gym, dropped my kids in the gym’s daycare and headed for the cardio room. The kids were only allowed two hours at the daycare so I had to hurry to get my workout in and shower before my time was up. When I got to the cardio room, all the elliptical machines were being used. I waited and waited and no one got off the machines. UGH! I was upset, this was eating into my two hours!

So I looked at the track. track2
I figured I could go walk the track while I waited. I grabbed my IPod Shuffle and headed out at a brisk pace. The music really pumped me up, so much so, that I actually broke into a bit of a jog. I had never jogged before.

Amazed that I made it around the track one entire time without stopping, I decided I would run around as many times as I could without stopping until I couldn’t run any more. With music blaring in my ear I started running. I ran one lap, then two, then another…I felt like I was dying but at the same time I felt like I was the most awesome person in the gym, cause I was RUNNING!

I finally came to a stop after reaching five whole laps. I was euphoric. I was on top of the world. I looked around to see if anyone else saw just how fricking amazing I was. I mean, they were just walking, but not me…I ran. I toot

I assumed I had run a couple of miles. I mean, it was five laps, maybe a lap is a mile, I didn’t know. I approached a little old lady walker to see if she had any idea how far a mile was on the track. She was really nice, probably honored to be talking to a runner, and explained that eleven and a half laps equal one mile.

WTF! Actually, I didn’t use that acronym, it wasn’t really around at the time but in my head I was saying the real words. How was it possible that I hadn’t even run a single mile!? I didn’t even make it one mile. I was so bummed. And then I decided to set a goal. One mile, non-stop.

I gathered up my will, cued up an especially inspirational song with a great beat and set out to run eleven and a half laps without stopping. I was a little smarter already, after my first five laps I had already learned the lesson of starting off too fast. With a much tamer pace I ran one lap then another keeping a focused look on my face and desire in my heart. As I entered the virgin area of lap six I tried not to let the unknown drag me down. By the time I was on lap eleven I was convincing myself that if I could do a mile, I could be president. I could literally do ANYTHING, if I could just run this mile. presidents-slideshow

The point marking eleven and a half miles was in my sight, I thought I would die before making it there. My legs were on fire and I could hardly breathe. I damn near pushed people out of the way so I wouldn’t need to waste any energy going around them. You could hear my sickly gasps for air all the way in the weight room…I was sure of it.

I did it. I made it eleven and a half laps, came to an abrupt stop nearly tripping an old man behind me, and held my hands up as if cutting the tape on a marathon. I did it. I was the BOMB! I simply could not wait to tell my husband, friends, and family (especially those on Facebook…poor thangs) just how awesome I was. I RAN A MILE!!

My life has been forever changed since that day I ran eleven and a half laps around the track at my local gym. Despite the fact I was unable to descend stairs without sitting on my butt for a full week after running my first mile, despite having to pee standing up like a boy because I could sit without assistance, despite the delayed onset of excruciating pain…I continued to run and still do to this day. It's been over six years. I've run every distance up to the marathon and evolved into a triathlete. Amazing how things can change so dramatically in one silly day.
peeing like a boy

That stupid IPod is to blame. Had it not been for my silly husband buying me a stupid gift that I would NEVER use, I probably never would have run on the track that day. My husband’s gift, gave me a gift that I am forever thankful for.

PS: I no longer run with music, it took me a few years to grow out of the need for music while running. I write books while I run now, the music is distracting:)
triathlon pic<

#running #triathlon #beginner #track #crosscountry #funny #Ipod #Race #elliptical


My New Normal

My New Normal

We have all seen them. You know, the mechanic with permanently stained arms, black grease under his fingernails, grease smears on his face. He is not ashamed of himself, this is his normal.

The same goes for the horse professional. She has a little poop on her boots, a slight scent of ammonia from the stall she cleaned this morning. She has horse hair on her bum and sweaty horse hair on her calves. This is her normal and she is darn proud of it.

With the thermometer edging into the upper 90s and the heat index well over 100, I am afraid I have a new normal.

I overheard a sweet little old lady proclaim, “I am not leaving my air conditioning tomorrow, I won’t even get dressed … it’s going to be over a hundred!”  But I am simply not an inside person. I would go insane even if I could stay home hiding from the heat all day.

Besides, I haven’t the luxury.  I have errands to run and since it takes my car’s air conditioner a good 15 minutes to warm up before it starts cooling us down, I often opt not to even turn it on. So I drive with the windows open, blowing yesterday’s napkin around the interior of my car and last week’s dog hair in my face. I embrace the sensation of the breeze not cooling me but instead preventing the sweat from dripping down my face. Until I come to a stoplight, and the dripping commences.

And I refuse to let the heat and humidity get in the way of my morning run or bike ride despite the lack of actual oxygen in the air due to the moisture content. It isn’t apparent how hot I am until I stop moving and sweat drips from my shorts into a puddle on the ground and it sprays from my arms with every move I make. I know not to sit down, just go straight to the shower. Sitting is just plain messy.

So I find myself with a constant layer of sticky sweat over my body. I don’t even bother to wipe my sweat mustache because I know my arm is just as sweaty and it will only extend the mustache rather than remove it.

I quit trying to cross my legs while I sit on the front porch. When I cross my right leg over my left knee it just slides right off … pointless.  My clothes are always slightly damp and my hair, well, I don’t want to talk about my hair. It just goes up into a knot in back of my head and I try to forget it’s there. My new normal has no room for style.

Am I ashamed? Well, it depends. When I am among the company of my kids or husband the answer is no. They are almost as sweaty as me; especially my son, who it seems inherited my overactive sweat glands. But as I leave the thickness of the outside air and enter the freezing air of a store or restaurant, and the sweat suddenly evaporates, leaving a shiny crystalline layer on my skin and my clothes start to dry and salt forms on my upper lip and I start to shiver visibly … I might feel a little ashamed.

It wouldn’t be so bad, but it seems that the other patrons are from another planet, possibly a planet with outdoor air conditioning. Their hair is all fancy and hanging down, near their face like it doesn’t bother them. They have pants on. They are wearing jewelry and even make-up. … Really? I just feel a little out of sorts, like an intruder … like an alien visitor to their planet.

But this is my new normal. And as usual I don’t fit in. So I am gonna grab that grease monkey from the car shop and lasso that little cowgirl and we’re gonna hold hands. We’re gonna band together and celebrate. Because it may not be your normal, and that’s OK.  But it is our normal.