Friday, May 10, 2013

5/10/13 From the Rhinosaurus in the Very Back

I was taking Sam to school this morning and we paused at the corner to let a jogger pass across the street. The back of her shirt read, "Don't Be Last."

Sam and I were both pissed. Neither of us are runners and no amount of running will ever build our stocky legs into her beautifully slender gazelle gait that allows her to never be "last." Wearing crap like that is demoralizing and stupid. Focus on your own personal best and leave me out of it.

So, yeah, it hit a nerve.

It's the end of week two of boot camp, and I cleanly admit, this is exactly what I signed up for. I'm being pushed to see how much more my body can do, and pushed by relentlessly smiling, cheerful people who don't shout at me, but make me, if I had enough breath in my lungs to do anything more than gasp, want to shout some very ugly things at them. 

Granted, it's a twisted system that allows paid tormentors to do nothing in the way of physical exertion, all the while coming up with new and various ways to push you to your breaking point.  So, in a way,  it makes complete sense that, in that hour, your brain, while more or less completely deprived of oxygen, comes up with wild metaphors and analogies of what's happening to your body in your head, as well as very graphic and imaginative ways you plan to die right in front of them.

But if any of them showed up wearing a "Don't be Last" shirt, we might jump from imaginative fantasy to police involvement. 

Because, you see, in these boot camps, I'm almost always last.

There is usually one other person vying for the last position and we give each other knowing looks and, if we still have the energy, little smiles as we struggle to finish the task while the fit, skinny crazy running people who are just doing this like it's a lovely little walk, are already done and casually swig water and wait for us to get back. (P.S. The people who actually need the water breaks don't get them without putting them even further behind in the next task.)

Usually the fit, skinny, crazy running people are very nice, even if you do get the pity looks as they're lapping you, or the rather painful "good job!" shout out when you finally, gaspingly, get back to the group. You try not to think about punching them, although even entertaining the thought requires more energy than you have left, so they are entirely safe from your internal rage monster.

Yeah, I'm last. But I'm still showing up, and I'm still moving. If that's the best I've got, don't conceitedly wear a shirt that shames me for trying. Screw you. I'll huff and I'll puff, and I'll come in dead last, but I'll finish. 

This is me, at :51, in any of the running/stairs portions of the workouts. I sound exactly like this and now actually visualize myself as this guy during workouts. It's strangely liberating.  

 (And remember, circumstances are never, ever out of your control. . . )


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