FEMALE NARRATOR VOICE OVER:
We’ve been together almost four years now. It is kind of a miracle when I think about it. It sure didn’t start well. When I think back to the beginning, I remember how very difficult it was at first – painful even. No therapist in the world would encourage a partnership that was so challenging. But I kept at it, I never saw ending it as an option.
Then we sort of found our groove. I hung in there, step-by-step, day-by-day – until, now I believe you might be the real reason I get up in the morning. I literally think you are saving my life, and I can’t imagine living without you.
For Your Life!
Nike. Just do it.
That is just one example of the television advertisements I write in my head as I take step after step each morning. I envision the scene opens on a misty morning with a brilliant sunrise just starting to pierce though the veil, and the back of a lone (extremely fit and gorgeous without even needing a stitch of make-up) female runner fills the screen and her silhouette gets smaller and smaller as she runs off down the road and into her bright and shiny new day. The vibe of the spot is “quiet power, with a heavy sprinkling of unlimited potential.” The soundtrack is an aria of huffing whispery breath punctuated by the consistent percussive rhythm of footfall on gravel – haunting yet empowering. The actress playing ME is (duh) Michelle Pfeiffer. I mean it IS my running fantasy after all.
As I begin each actual run, I am usually so proud of myself for just getting my bottom squeezed into my running pants, and my top strapped down and immobilized in the most severe boulder holder I can get my hands on. If I have learned anything about running, it is that any moving body parts should be associated with joints and muscles, not baguettes and Brie! Running Rule of Thumb – If it jiggles, Spandex the crap out of it!
Some people may think of running as a solitary exercise. It is certainly something I can do on my own, but I find it far from lonely. I do like group aerobics classes with the mutual grunts and giggles and the gentle pressure to keep trying to accomplish more than 10 of the 100’s & 1000’s without moving to child’s pose, but there is something very restoring about a solo run.
On days when I am feeling it near impossible to self motivate, I use a little trick. I tell myself that I am on a problem-solving mission. At the start of my run I “plug in” a real-life situation or dilemma I am experiencing or a decision that needs to be made. Something I have been putting off because of the complex nature of it. I focus on that item every moment of my run. If my mind starts to wander to the small stitch in my right shoulder or the group of three women that just passed me at top speed while they were holding a full blown CONVERSATION, then I force my mind back to the task at hand. About 10 minutes in to the “run” an amazing thing happens. Clear and concise and actually helpful thoughts begin to rise in my consciousness. Almost as if the jarring jangle of each step is forcing the deeply buried solid answers to bubble slowly to the top of my mushy brain like cheese curds. (Ok, so truthfully, I don’t even know what cheese curds are, but I love the sound of them and it seems like something that would bubble to the top.)
So it’s not really running, it is problem solving on fast forward. Here is a secret that I hardly even believe myself… In fact if I were reading this I would think, “That Chick is making stuff UP!” but it’s TRUE I promise! There are mornings when I get so engrossed in the fantasy or the fact finding that I actually FORGET I am running. I swear. It is like a mindful meditation where my body just keeps moving while my mind cracks it’s knuckles and gets down to business.
Full disclosure here… I’m not really a Runner, per se, I’m more of a Jogger. Or to be more technically accurate, a Slow Jogger – Let’s call me a Slogger. But, I don’t think it really even matters about my form, just that I am out there putting in the time every day, playing creative director for athletic companies, or working out a way to make sure Becket’s Dr. Seuss Book Presentation is done… by him… not by me – Come ON! It is so HARD to not want to build the tower of Clocks and Bricks and Box and Blocks for the Fox in Socks!!! Who’s with me?
I digress. Bottom line? I believe Slogging actually makes my brain work better.
And I’m sure the same is true for Hiking, Biking, Walking, Swimming, Rollerblading, Boot Camping or Curling (Hi Canada!) I have a dear friend who is addicted to Zumba, and anyone who knows her would tell you she is, hands down, the most glowing, giving, hugging, happy person they have ever met. And I’m certain her “getting jiggy with it” three times a week has a LOT to do with her eternally sunshiny disposition.
So as the season changes or responsibilities mount or whenever you are feeling Overwhelmed and Underpowered – Strap on some supportive kicks and hit the trail, or the gym, or the living room floor, or the 52 steps that lead up to your child’s classroom, and let your body breathe a bit while your mind gets busy taking its rightful position at Command Central.
AND ACTION! – FADE IN.
Tami, played by Kate Walsh (cast change) is running on a park path as the flaming orange sun sets slowly over the trees. She passes a group of college age hotties running the opposite direction. As she runs off effortlessly down the path and into the peace of her evening, the group of young men stop and watch her getting smaller and smaller. We see them with big smiles and a few high fives and appreciative head nods before they head off on their way.
Give ‘em a Run for It!
Hey… it COULD happen… it is MY running fantasy after all.