That Couch to 5K plan, they
are not kidding around with their whole "5K" thing. Fuckers want you
up, off your ass, and sprinting across the goddamn finish line, or you’ll know
from trouble, is what. They are trying to kill me.
I didn’t decide to do it because I thought it would be easy, that is
true, but maybe that’s a little bit why I decided to do it. It looked kind of
easy! You walk a little, you jog a little, walk walk walk, jog jog jog, 15
minutes and you’re done and all virtuous and worked-out-imified,
cardiovascularly fit, weight-burningly awesome. And then you can go eat a stick
wrapped in bacon with virtually no guilt!
Well, of course you can’t. Because there are children starving in
Africa who don’t have bacon or butter, and you are a
terrible person for eating both so blithely and uncaringly. But also,
have walk, walk, walked and jog, jog, jogged for 20 minutes, you want
those 20 minutes of your life to count. Otherwise, what is the point?
it was so easy it practically wasn’t even exercise, and you could
this with both feet tied behind your head while dunked in a tank of
enjoying a pap smear.
The point that the Couch to 5K people would like to make is that you think
it is easy now, but they are going to grind you down into a paste, and you are
going to suffer, and they will laugh in your face while it happens. They ground
me into a paste, today, and I am only on week four. This is the week where you
are doing less walk, run, walk, run and more run, run, run, run, run, run, run, die. I didn’t die, however! I am still here, and
not typing to you from beyond the grave, ooh, I’m a spooky lady. I did it, and
while those last five minutes of jogging nearly killed me, I killed them in
return, and finished triumphantly to the strains of "I’m Bringing Sexy Back." And
I totally was, the way I draped myself over the treadmill’s control panel and wept
quietly into my towel.
This does not bode especially well for me and my future plans for world
domination. Or world-of-exercise domination. I have had these fantasies all my life, at every size and shape and
level of physical fitness–that I would someday be an Athlete with a Capital A,
a superstar of physical prowess, someone who, just walking down the street,
will make heads turn and people murmur, man,
she is the most nimble and fit human being the world has ever seen! I never
wanted to be a rock star or a movie star or beautiful enough to be a model
(except for when I’m watching America’s
Next Top Model and I want to show those clueless little idiots how Tyra’s
game is done); I wanted to be a
gymnast triathlete ballet dancer who kicks
some serious ass in the boxing ring and fences in her spare time.
I was going to say, "I don’t know where my weird fantasies come from," but it
turns out I totally do, if I stop being embarrassed and just go ahead and admit
that I have spent my whole life being Klutzy McKlutzerson with two left feet
and the absolute inability to walk in a straight line. Really. I have been
laughed at. I have been challenged to pick a crack in the sidewalk and follow
it without drifting off to the left or the right and when I concentrate–mostly
I can make it. Usually I end up in Cleveland.
Every year my mother listened to my begging and signed me up for the
after-school recreation programs I wanted. She put me in gymnastics
class and ballet
class and basketball and I fell off the balance beam and fell over in
first position and hit myself in the face with the basketball. And then
she put me in
guitar, and I only ever learned what I recall now as "squishy A," which
be right at all. But I never learned to actually play the chord,
one hand is doing something as complex as a squishy A, there is no way
hand is going to function. So I dropped out of guitar, and she put me
sewing, and I sewed my hand into the hem of a skirt and that was enough
after-school recreation for me.
I was not built for physical activity. I was built for sitting at home on a
velvet cushion, wearing diaphanous dressing gowns and being fed bon bons by
suitors who fan me with peacock feathers and praise my soft, pillow-like
contours. And yet, I kept running, and I
continue my fantasies–not just running, but running a 5K. And after I run a 5K,
I’m going to run a 10K, and a half-marathon, and maybe a marathon. And in the
meantime, I will also be going to yoga. And not just yoga–Bikram Yoga. I will sweat like a motherfucker,
and you will be amazed by my endurance and fortitude and a little bit grossed
out by how damp I am, and the way I smell a little bit like an old towel.
I am not built for any of this, and I still fall over a lot and trip on
things and occasionally when I sit down, I miss my chair and find myself on the
carpet, and that is very professional of me; but the thing that keeps me going
is that this has nothing at all to do with my size. I was a clumsy ham-handed
bobblehead when I weighed 300 lbs., I am a trip-happy, inelegant
clown at 200 lbs., and when I weigh 130 lbs., I
shall continue to be an ungainly, lumbering tumble-monkey, and that is okay.
I would prefer to dandayamana the hell out of the dhanurasana, instead of
extending my leg and then going timber like a tree, but it feels good anyway.
It feels good, great, amazing that I
am finally letting myself try all the things I’ve wanted to try, without
worrying what the hell I look like in the gym, both fat and clumsy, and how
good I am at it–very not good, I am assuming. I bet I run like a head-wounded
rabbit. I will just have to run like a head-wounded rabbit in my first 5K.