Long ago I decided running would not be my sport. I tried it. I didn't like it. Bad outfits. Too much sweat. I looked stupid. So running joined my long list of Never-Agains, with the likes of tequila, Jägermeister, Marlboro reds, gyros after midnight, and Alberto VO5.
One by one, as my friends hit the big 4-0, they started to run 5Ks, do tough mudders, and train for mini-triathlons. "Join us" they'd say. Yeah, right, sure wish I could. "It's just that I must get started on the hazelnut gelato in my fridge. Promised myself I'd finish it by tomorrow. I take deadlines seriously."
Actually I had loads of excuses:
"My boobs are way too big for running. You wouldn't understand. You barely have boobs. Is that from running? I don't want these girls to droop to my muffin top prematurely."
"Listen, you gals can run all you like, but I've got grave concerns about leaving my uterus (splat!) in the cul-de-sac. Wouldn't be neighborly. I've gotta take care of these lady parts. At some point they may get some use again."
"I know all about organ prolapse. Don't tell me it can't happen. When I'm 65, I want my butt in a hammock, not my bladder."
"Hey, I'm divorced. If I ran, I don't even know what would fall out of my vagina. It hasn't been used in a while. Who knows what's up there? Don't want an antiques roadshow."
Eventually my friends stopped bugging me, and let me gain 20 pounds of divorce-comfort-food in peace. Now if they asked me, I couldn't even run if I wanted. I don't need an excuse. I could be honest. "Hey girls, would love to run, but I'm just too fat."
But over the last two years, I've watched a good friend lose over 100 pounds through diet and exercise. She ran a lot. Still does. So as I looked over my spring wardrobe and remembered none of it even fit last year, I decided it was time for shopping change. Inspired by my friend, I invited her to lunch (she: salad, me: not). She insisted that running hadn't caused anything embarrassing to fall out of her vagina in public. And since I like to eat, she convinced me to give running another try.
A week later, I was "outfitted." I had the shoes, the tights, the bra, the headband. I was set. And then Thursday passed... and I didn't run. And then Friday... And of course, the weekend is never a good time to start anything new.
Monday was THE day. I put on my gear and I ran. I felt empowered from having the courage to take those steps. Try something new. Risk looking stupid. Risk feeling old. But in all aspects, the run energized me. My bra, with its nine hook and eye closures, was so damn tight, my boobs didn't even bob. My tights, like sausage casings, secured my ass and lady parts. All bodily fluids and organs stayed put. I left no trail of urine. My nipples didn't chafe. I survived. I was safe. I ran. I felt alive.
And then I turned on the radio.
I heard news of the explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. I was stunned at the irony. I began my running journey on the same day many others were forced to end theirs. Deaths. Amputations. Brain injuries. Burns. Who would ever think they'd get blown up and lose a leg going out for a run? Such evil acts can't even be anticipated, because good people don't have the capacity to imagine such horror.
I'll never be a marathon runner, but I thank God I have the mere opportunity to chafe my nipples and leave a trail of urine through my subdivision.