Saturday, November 21, 2009

Gator On The Trails

And Other Delirious Thoughts

Exercise, or the concept of exercising rather, didn’t find me until I was in my mid-twenties.

I played tennis in middle school and I have ridden horses for ages.  I had a brief, very painful semester of drill team before I decided that it required too much of the aforementioned exercise and I took up bar hopping and billiards for cardiovascular fitness.

Looking back at pictures of myself from those days I realize I was never the fatso I convinced myself to be.  Now I rue the day my metabolism woke up and decided to throw itself over a cliff, like one of those demented lemmings...  Or perhaps it went more like Thelma and Louise.  Yes.  I find myself liking that analogy much better.  Lots of loud music and fire.

And… I hear it only gets ‘better.’  Woo Frickin Hoo!  Sign me up for that shit.

After professional school and blowing up like a bit of a whale,  (surviving on Taco Bueno catches up with a Sista)  I have flirted with several exercise programs.  First I found a personal trainer.  Next I fell in love with P90X.  After 4 months of staring at Tony Horton and his bod squad, I decided I needed a change.  Especially since I had started having dialogues with his DVD, most of which included me yelling at TH to “Go Stuff yourself!”  (Insert appropriate F word.)

My downstairs neighbors, I’m certain, give thanks to Jesus daily since I’ve taken a break from P90X.  Rock star hops and jump lunges are just a few of the exercises that can really strain an upstairs/ downstairs neighbor relationship.  Elephants performing ballet probably make less noise.

Hey.  I’m just doing my part to pay it forward.  The tiny Fella that lives above me weighs less than 80 pounds, soaking wet, and yet he manages to make twice as much noise as a herd of wildebeests.  I mean, WTF does he DO up there!?  I SWEAR it sounds like he’s dropping free weights.

So my new exercise infatuation is jogging.  Austin is home to some of the most beautifully fit people in the world, and apparently none of them actually work because the trails at Town Lake are always full.  I have slowly and painfully worked up to jogging a full 2 miles of a 3-mile loop.  (Insert pat on the back here.  My pain tolerance is so low it doesn’t even register on a scale, and this has been kind of painful.  I’m not gonna lie.)

So I’m Cruisin’ the Dunes  (running the trail)  the other day, playing Lets Make a Deal, the only thing that keeps me moving.  Hey, whatever it takes, and for me it’s mind checkers.  “Just make it past that next tree (or bench, or hill).  You can do it!  You’re not WEAK!  YOU’RE NOT WEAK!”  I use this strategy to drown out the screaming from my muscles, “Abort! Abort! We’ve lost a Fricken leg!”

It’s my own personal version of the Little Train That Could.  (BTW: I’m talking in my head, not out loud.  This may seem doubtful, but as far as I can tell it remains internal monologue at this point.)

I have just crested the last hill I fear I can jog without my heart exploding or my spleen bleeding…  And by the amount of pain coming from my side, I fear I’ve just blown past that point.  My pants are on the sag, somewhere just below Crotchville and my beautiful jogging form has regressed to something more similar to a frightening, drooling, red-faced troll.

As I start my ‘I Didn’t Die!’ victory celebration with an air punch, a small Whoop, hop and a jump, an explosion of realization hits me.  I am standing in the proverbial shit storm.  Or sliding rather.  I barely manage to save myself from an ass plant while I partake in a brief but infuriating one-foot slide down the hill.  Who else manages to execute a celebration on top of a cleverly disguised, GD puddle of sludge, resembling a cow patty but smelling far worse?  And who, I ask, would LEAVE that in the MIDDLE of the trail?

I finish my loop mourning the demise of my brand new shoes, shooting dirty looks and the finger at all the dog joggers not carrying poo bags.  Okay, I didn’t shoot the finger but I really wanted to.

Delirious thoughts on the trail:
Shouldn’t all maniacs on mountain bikes be required to use a (non heart attack inducing) bell, when occupying the same trail as the hikers?  I bet it's infinitely more fun to watch the hikers scatter like frightened lambs to a chorus of bike brakes and screams.

People that make eye contact on the trail…  Are they checking you out, like, “Hey Baby?”  Or maybe they glance around just to admire the scenery?  Perhaps they enjoy the camaraderie of sharing internal hemorrhage with fellow exercise enthusiasts?  Why do I get that paranoid felling they’re gawking at my shockingly red face I attribute to an unfortunate Irish heritage?  (Being Irish isn’t unfortunate.  The red face that last for days post exercise is awesome.)

Why do the super skinny bitches jog in tiny bra tops when it’s 60 degrees outside?  And to these same women, I would like to make a suggestion.  For the love of Baby Jesus!  Go sit your skinny ass on the couch and eat some big ‘ol sammiches.

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