The women in my family sport varying degrees of athleticism. Some of us have been on sports teams from the moment we were allowed to be, some of us abhor effort and sweat. Regardless of our levels of inclination and training, most of us can walk faster than we can run. If you are giggling right now, I know you know what I mean. Sometimes we marvel at this phenomenon. Usually twice a year when one of us gets a wild hair and decides to start a running routine, then decides against it. “It’s so weird. WHY would I run when I can walk just as fast if not faster!?” And “How surprised is my dark alley attacker going to be when I break free and speed walk away from his clutches?!” So we sort of lope. Or amble. Or whatever you call what it is my sister Molly does. Ground is covered, to be sure, although seemingly by the mere determination and force of flapping arms. What I find endearing about it is it is the exact same movement my Mom used to rock while dancing.
In my case, I assume my inability to run stems from the fact that my boobs and my belly arrive at my destination roughly a minute and a half before the rest of me. And my stride is about as long as a piece of licorice. Nevertheless, several years ago a dear friend of mine convinced me that on Thanksgiving morning getting up at the crack of dawn, driving 45 minutes away from my bed and freezing my ass off in the name of something called a “Turkey Trot” was a good idea.
It was a bad, bad idea.
The first mistake I made was assuming that just because I could go from a master spinning class to a body pump class and end with a little boxing in one gym visit made me capable of road running without any additional or running specific training. Not so. Also, the gym is a nice, warm, cozy place. Outside on Thanksgiving morning is not. My asthmatic lungs seized up to bricks after about 10 paces. Long story short, I ended up *behind* a woman pushing a baby stroller who was also running with her son, who was *maybe* 6 years old if he was a day. Adorable, sweet, blonde-headed Zane. Zane was running and eating M&Ms. I didn’t know Zane, had never seen him before. But it was clear we were kindred spirits. He took one look at me and started handing me M&Ms, bless his heart. The M&Ms became to me what the carrot or rabbit are to a race horse. Zane kept feeding me the chocolate, I kept running.
Finally after what was an ETERNITY I reached the finish line and instead of merely crossing it, I leaped across it with a dramatic flourish. One of the race staff said “Now THAT’S a *finish*!!” At that moment I vowed never EVER to do that again.
Until I saw the Dirty Girl Mud Run logo on Facebook. Before I could even get my thoughts together, a friend of mine started organizing a team. I was hesitant to commit because of a recent injury I sustained in boxing class, which ended up being worse than I could even imagine when I wrote this. But I figured in the seven months I have before the event I could get myself to the point where I could at least hobble the course. Plus there is no denying this event has all the ingredients I need for a happy Saturday – mud, women and sweat. Ok, there are other components, like a great cause. And a challenge. And friends and teammates. And something to train for, a goal to achieve.
So I am a proud member the Dirty Burgs team who will be tearing up the mud course on September 8, 2012. Mark your calendars, lace up your sneaks and be sure to buy stock in the company that makes M&Ms. Because I will need lots and LOTS of M&Ms. So many M&Ms.