Tuesday, May 29, 2007

30 Under 30 #10: To Those About to Jog

Before yesterday, I hadn't worn shorts in public in about ten years. For seven of those ten, I didn't even own a pair of shorts. Now I own two: my beach shorts (which Nicole bought for me), and my brand new running shorts.
That's right, running shorts. I run. And, also, I walk.
I've been thinking about taking up running for nearly a year now, and talking about it since early spring. I mean, I'm half a block away from Trout Lake, it's kinda my duty to either take up running or get a dog. And since Gatorade was on sale at Safeway...
The thing was, I didn't have any running clothes.
Oh yeah, Emmet, of course you didn't. You lazy sack of turd. Find another excuse not to do something.
OK, I see your point. But really, it's not just that I didn't have any workout gear, it's that none of my clothes even approached workout wear. And that was always kind of the point. I like clothes. I like wearing 'em, I like to look good in 'em. I like jeans and button-up shirts. Freedom of movement has never really been an issue, because, y'know, even though I act like it is in some of my more melodramatic fits, writing isn't really much of an ACTIVITY.
So I managed to put off starting to run for about 4 months. Oh, I would halfheartedly go to the mall and LOOK at running shoes, only to get distracted by, well, by everything but. Usually I'd end up coming home with one or two nice button-up shirts.
When I'd talk about running, everybody (namely Nicole and Skye) would tell me that they'd run with me. That they wanted to, even. Yeah, okay. Maybe eventually I'll run with other people, but the point of it (not the whole point, but the point of choosing running versus, I dunno, racquetball or hockey) is that it's something I can do alone. Because I spend a lot of time alone. I work nights. I go to work when everybody else in my life gets home.
One of the things that really got me excited to run was watching Six Feet Under. (I'm only three seasons in, so shut up.) Seeing Nate Fisher run made me want to. It seemed like a form of both meditation and self-punishment. So that appealled to my pre-adolescent Catholic education and the Buddhist-hipster-poseurdom of my late teenage.
On Sunday, I went to the mall. I bought a video game and some nice button-up shirts. And then I bought running gear. It took some effort. I walked out of five different stores in frustration. Sweatpants, it seems, only come in Large, XL, and XXL sizes. But finally, I got a great pair of Saucony shoes, a pair of running shorts, sweat socks (seriously, I haven't had sweat socks of my own in a decade) and a three-pack of briefs (see also: sweat socks). I also bought some sweatpants in the elusive Medium size, but when I got home they were way too long. I have short legs.
I was exhausted, and that gave me worry. If I couldn't physically handle a trip to the mall, what made me think I could perform any kind of athletic etc.?
Monday, I got up, put my brand new running outfit on, and admired myself in the mirror. I looked like I knew what I was doing.

MP3: "Let Me Drive Your Car" by White Hassle

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