Skip to main content

Time to just do it

My belly is too big, and I'm sick of it. So I bought running sneakers this weekend. Mind you, I haven't really run since I stopped playing basketball. That was 1995. There was a brief period just before I found out I was pregnant with Sweet Boy that I jogged often. It was a stressful time -- Chris had been in the hospital for almost a month, and I found the only way I could deal with it was to just go outside and run. I've had some stress in the last few months, one could say, so lately I've been feeling that same urge. To just be outside, pounding my angst out on the pavement.

My BFF said to me, when I'd told her I bought running sneakers, "Um, did you forget that you hate to run?" It's true. While I'm running, I really hate it. My knees hurt, I cough like a chain smoker, I am keenly aware of all the flabby parts of my body. I don't know if you could even call it running; what I do is more like lumbering, trodding, ka-thumping. More elephant than gazelle.

But I usually feel good after I run. I feel proud of myself, first of all, just for having attempted it. I can feel muscles working that haven't been called on in years. And I'm certain that endorphin thing is true.

So with my shiny new running sneakers strapped on my feet, I have a plan: I'm going to jog/walk (I believe certain fitness folks call this "interval training") until I get to the point where I can sustain an actual jog for more than a couple of minutes. I think I can do this, with the help of the Couch to 5K podcasts. At this point I'm not really aiming for a 5K, though; my goal right now is just to get to the point where it doesn't hurt anymore...then I'll reach higher.

And you know the beauty of this plan? Unlike other times in my life when I was forced to run by some maniacal little man with a chip on his shoulder and a whistle in his mouth, this time I'm in charge. I can jog for a little while, stop when I need to stop, pick it up again at the end of the next block. And unlike a gym membership that would set me back $50+/month, this will cost me only the new sneaks, and maybe a new sports bra or two.

Oh, and another plus: I'm going out early in the morning, when the world is just waking up, the birds are chirping and the day is fresh. It's a great time to not only pound out some angst, but also to just have some me time. (And because most of the world is still sleeping, no one will witness the lumbering!)


Popular posts from this blog

Boardwalk ghosts

“Imagine this, buddy, in the middle of summer, especially near the Fourth of July. Wall to wall people, just sort of moving in and out of each other. Flashing lights. Loud music. Screams from Morey’s Pier, laughter on the swirly rides. Oh...and the cream, funnel cake, fudge, cheese steaks, pizza, fries...the smells alone would drive you nuts!” 
It’s 5:00 on the evening before his Nana’s funeral, and we’re standing in a windy drizzle on an empty Wildwood boardwalk. My mind has flashed back to the summer of 1991, when I spent a week here with my best friend. Wicked sunburn. Tandem bike adventures. Water slides. Thrill rides. A ground-shaking thunderstorm. Friendship bracelets. College guys taking showers outside. Ice cream and VCR movies every night.

Back in the here-and-now I’m trying to explain to Zippy what this place is like when it’s not October. He’s been to Rehoboth and Ocean City and Old Orchard Beach, but none of those come anywhere close to Wildwood in peak season.…


Zippy and I hiked in the woods the other day, following the icy trails around Evergreen Cemetery. The cold air stung our eyes but the sun shone warm and bright, and it felt great to breathe fresh air. As he skipped and hopped and twirled beside, in front, and around me, I felt peaceful, happy, content. Until I realized the Womens' March is in a few days, I am going, and I don't know what to expect. I've never done anything like this, except for a few years ago at Occupy Philly, which was nothing compared to the numbers they're anticipating this weekend. The Women's March will be a peaceful protest, yes, but 200,000 is an awful lot of people in highly charged city during turbulent times. I felt anxiety creeping into my chest.

"So you know I'm going away this weekend, right? To Washington, D.C. For just two sleeps. Do you know why I'm going?" I asked Zippy.
"Because you don't like Donald Trump and he's going to be the President."

Look up

I walk a lot. Walking is one of the pieces of my Portland lifestyle that I value most, in fact: countless trails, parks, paths, and sidewalks that not only get me where I need to be, but also show me woods and sea and proud old homes and all sorts of loveliness. (I also walk past a lot of not-so-lovely in this town each day, but we'll save that for another post.) Sometimes when I walk through a quiet neighborhood, like the one over here along Clifton Street in Back Cove, I feel envious of single-family homes and yards and kid-friends playing together in the driveway. Other times in these same neighborhoods, I feel grateful for the ample parking and snow removal of our rental home, as well as for landscapers who cut the grass and landlords who come to fix the kitchen lights or replace the dryer when it punks out. When I walk through Evergreen Cemetery, often I feel contemplative, peaceful; its consecrated ground and hundreds of years of history soothes me. Other times I feel sad an…