You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘misnomers’ tag.

When we were dating, Jerry would sometimes throw out physics riddles for me to solve. So it makes sense that Jerry would have assigned me to run a 5k, as he was clearly put on this earth to cause me pain.

Not that he hasn’t been a great coach – Jerry’s been sending me links to possible races & running tips via text message. Having someone who genuinely wants me to succeed is a terrific motivator.

The trouble is, I’m awful. I am not one of those people who run five miles “for fun”. I am not someone who “feels great!” after a jog. I’m someone who runs about eight blocks then stops because her lungs are clawing their way out her throat. I crawl back into my apartment & splay out on the floor, panting & praying to sweet God that my death rattling won’t wake up my sleeping boyfriend – not because I value his sleep, but were anyone to see me in that condition I’d probably have to gouge their eyes out so it would never happen again.

There’s a surprising amount of shopping you can do when looking for the 5k you want to run. Jerry, again, had several suggestions, but I finally settled on the Athletes United For Peace Spring Chase, taking place at the Hearland Cafe on May 24th. I like the AUFP runs because they’re supportive of all skill levels, they’re local, & their mantra of “friendship, respect & trust through athletic activities” is one I can get behind. Also, it is free.

Until May 24th, though, I have quite a way to go. You see…I run in secret. I wait until most people are at work before I even think of lacing up my sneakers. I wrap my face in scarves & wear big, floppy hats & when I finally do take off, I run as far away from civilization as I can. With a Chicago Public High School on one side of my home & a StreetWise Youth Media down the block, escaping the cruel ridicule of teenagers is much more easily said than done. Slowly – very, very slowly – I trudge through alleys & near parks, avoiding the busier streets, tucking my head down whenever I near a dogwalker. I loop around the nearby cathedral & look down at my legs as I go, silently yelling “WHY? WHY DO YOU DO THIS TO ME? DO I NOT LOVE YOU? DO I NOT LAVISH YOU WITH CREAMY MOISTURIZERS & TENDERLY SHAVE YOU DAILY? DO I NOT MASSAGE YOU EVERY NIGHT, PRESSING OUT ACHES IN SCREAMING MUSCLES I DID NOT EVEN KNOW I HAD? REALLY? I MEAN, COME ON. HOW CAN THAT PART OF MY THIGH HURT? WHAT IS THAT? WHAT DOES THAT EVEN DO?” until, stumbling, I make my way to the gate & crawl in the door. Falling into the house I pause, listening for signs of boyfriends, crooks, evil ghosts, anyone who might spot me sucking in air with great, audible force, then walk around with my hands on my head for a “cool down”, trying to understand how anyone, anywhere, could ever call this “fun”.