Not your average suburban mom. I’m more your typical, normal, commonplace, everyday, garden-variety suburban mom. With a thesaurus.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

"If you can't be an athlete be an athletic supporter."

Goin' retro - written November 2010, a few weeks into the Couch to 5K training program.

Lesson of the day? No matter how many miles you have just run, it is impossible to feel healthy when you've just burped donut. Or bacon. Especially in succession. 

Another thing I've learned; "sweat stinging the eyes" is not merely a poetic description. Getting sweat in your eye literally hurts. Am I a little disturbed this revelation took 31 years to occur? Maybe. But I am not surprised, given that I hate to sweat.

Sweating has been the primary deterrent for my participation in well, pretty much every activity I don't participate in. Most of the recreational activities I choose rest comfortably (ha-ha) in the "stay nice and dry and sweet smelling while drinking a coke" category. I don't even like to sweat when I exercise because (are you ready for this?) it makes me feel fat.

I know, okay?

I was never that kid. You know, the one who excelled at anything physical. I was never the one picked first (or tenth) in gym class. I was never the kid who had even a hint of natural athletic ability. To this day I am surprised when I actually catch something someone has tossed casually in my direction (although at least I've stopped flinching in anticipation of impact). But I think I always wanted to be that kid.

Enter my sports legacy - the exhaustive version. By exhaustive I mean I'm not leaving anything out. It's not condensed in the interest of time. This is the complete, extended history of all my athletic experience.

Soccer - first grade. I was the only girl on the team but somewhat mollified by our purple shirts. The season is spent kicking dirt in the position known as "defense", not knowing I was allowed to leave the two foot diameter area to, I don't know, PLAY SOCCER.

Tennis Team Tryouts - ninth grade. Because I'm about to start high school. And I'm supposed to be "getting involved". And tennis tryouts are the first opportunity to do so ... but having NEVER PLAYED TENNIS IN MY ENTIRE LIFE, who knew you were supposed to bring a racquet?

Black Friday Shopping - it's a pity I only discovered this sport two years ago. Not only do I enjoy it, I excel at it as well. However, 2009's go of it produced major shin splints. Rookie mistake; it won't happen again. (Black Friday just happens to be the day after my first 5K. So now, mid-run, when I want to quit I think to myself, "Kelly, you are DUAL TRAINING here. It's not just about your 5K time. How fast do you want to get to that $30 Wii?)

Weight and Body - tenth grade. I know this is out of chronological order, but my memories of Weight and Body have been repressed. Purposefully. In the interest of full disclosure I've had to dig deep to unearth these memories. I took Weight and Body as an elective sophomore year. (i.e. I SIGNED UP INDEPENDENTLY for this class. Without coercion.) An elective gym class is full of students (boys) who are predominantly that kid. The pinnacle of W&B was getting weighed and then hooked up to a machine in front of the entire class (yes, the entire class, did I stutter?), at which point you learned the physiological make up of your body. I think every teenage girl should know the comfort of her 26 year old male football coach asking her if she knew she was retaining so much water, she's probably in the midst of her cycle, right? Our grade in W&B was determinded by an improvement in our overall body fat. I lost seven pounds and 1% body fat, only earning a "C" in the class, which meant I had to do extra credit. For an elective gym class. What does one do for extra credit in a class like W&B? Well, as it is taught by the football coach, one probably videotapes all the JV football games and then gets invited to the Football Banquet to receive a letter in "Football Videographing." (Welcome to my life. HOW could I make this up?!?!)

Taking a class called "Your First 5K" is not only a physical challenge, but it tugs at the roots of a dream to finally be that kid. It is a chance to become different than "who I am" - or as Switchfoot puts it - the difference between "how you are and how you should be." (From a song called Dare You to Move. Perfect, right?) The thing is, as much as I hate running, I um, really like running. I'm at the point that I know I can do it. I want to do it. And I might be so slow that elderly power walkers lap me, but that's okay. At our last class Trainer Cathy pulled me aside and said, "It looks like there might be a runner in you."

I felt like I'd been knighted.

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