Body of work: Out and about
It was raining, off and on, for much of the morning. I sat on the couch and caught up on some work and looked at the Internet and told myself that I was just waiting for it to stop raining, that as soon as it did, I would put on my running clothes and strap on my shoes and I would be so out the door any second now. Sure, I could put on my pants right now, and the sports bra and the new long-sleeved shirt I bought with the promise that I would actually be placing it in service on a regular basis, and in that way be ready to burst out into the street and run run run, the very second the sky cleared up and the sun came out and the dozens of weird men in plaid shirts emerged from the bushes to stand on the corner and watch me go by.
Somehow, I didn’t. I sat on the couch, and kept doing some work, and kept looking at the Internet, and tried to pretend that I was morose that the weather was bad and I couldn’t run with an umbrella, now, could I? And that my shoes would be ruined and okay, it really was too much to ask that the first time I go run outside, I’d also have to run in the rain, wasn’t it? I mean, can’t I sort of work my way up to badassery? Start small, build up little victories so that I have got legs to stand on? So to speak? I sat on the couch, wearing my pajamas, and waited for the sky to clear up.
The sky cleared. I waited a little longer, because who knew if it was just a lull? It could cloudburst any second, now, and then I’d be caught in it, and it would be terrible, wouldn’t it, to have to turn around and go home? I’d feel very bad about that. I sat on my couch, and I realized that it was getting later in the morning. And later. And I had planned to run around 8:30. It wasn’t 8:30, any more. There was only an hour and a half of morning left, but by god, I was still going to run in the morning.
I hauled myself up and changed, and spent a couple of minutes dithering in front of the mirror–running pants, made of space age material, cling to your thighs and your ass and your belly and while that is very good, I’m sure, in terms of aerodynamics and drag reduction and many scientific things like that, it’s not swell when you’re picturing yourself running through your neighborhood with your ass jiggling. I am okay with an ass jiggle. Ass jiggles are sexy. The neighbors getting to partake in my jiggly ass? That is uncool. Could I drag myself around the park with my ass bouncing at every step? No one cares about my ass. Or the size of my thighs. But my shoes are white and my clothes are black and okay, I am going to shut up now, and we are leaving.
We left, me and my insecurities, and I pounded them into dust beneath my sneakers. I walked briskly to warm up, and then I took off, and went flying, and it felt so good. A little cold out, and the air fresh and the sky blue and me, exactly free as a bird. About a minute later, it hurt so much to breathe that I kind of wanted to die. I slowed down–it is hard to slow down, when you are running on your own, as opposed to being dictated to by a treadmill–and I breathed steadily and the burn in my lungs let up and it was feeling good, again. I felt it in my hips and my thighs and my butt, a different ache from the treadmill, the feel of my muscles working to support me and propel me forward and keep me upright and from dying.
Only one revolution–it ached, a surprising amount, I didn’t want to hurt myself, pushing too hard, and I was so tired. I walked back around to cool down, a slow measured stride, and I found that I had stopped thinking about what anyone was thinking of my ass in these pants, and I wasn’t worried about my stomach, and I was thinking about making it to body pump, tomorrow, since I wouldn’t be able to go to yoga in the morning, and on Wednesday, when I run again, I’ll make sure to pace myself. When I run again, on Wednesday. A fact. I’m writing it down.