I wasn’t going to show up for my second 5k without a bit more practice. I set out for a jog feeling very fit and healthy because choosing to run already set me in a higher existential sphere. I imagined how I must look to people driving by, wishing they were a svelte athlete in training like me.
It was precisely .5 miles around my block according to my odometer. I figured I would circle three or four times. All I needed was will power, yeah? Set my mind to it! I waved to the old man across the street and kicked up my heels.
I passed only two mailboxes when suddenly the only sound in the whole neighborhood was my abnormally loud breathing. I tried to control it by puffing out my cheeks with each exhale, but it only made my brain feel hot and whooshy like every blood cell in there was trying to escape. In fact, my whole body pounded like it might explode. This doesn’t seem right, I thought because I had seen tons of people run and not once did any of them spontaneously combust.
As I rounded the first corner, I stopped to walk which really hurt my pride and snuffed my enthusiasm for the whole idea. It took the entire half block before I could inhale without sounding like an asthmatic Darth Vader.
I jogged again before I passed the old man across the street. I wanted him to think I ran the whole way, because I am that shallow. I ended up going four times around in the same pattern. Run my street, walk to the opposite street. I hope he was impressed.
When I finally found myself back in my own driveway I was completely spent. No one told me running felt like strapping your lungs in a vice and dragging eight bowling balls behind you. How did people do this? And why????
Later, after a shower and a sandwich I noticed something. I felt sore and tired, but also… great. It was like happy-relaxed-exerted-great.
Maybe I could try again.
2 weeks ago