This past weekend was the Lions’ Club Spook Hike fundraiser. For $5 you get more than your monies worth with a headless horseman (real horse) and other psychological fears.
My oldest son loves going through the the haunted houses. I was certain that he would have nightmares for months after we went the first time three years ago. Instead, he approached it as though he were attending a broadway play. I find it curious because this child has an extensive imagination and can scare himself right out in broad daylight.
As far as the spook hike goes, he is just like me. The spook hikes don’t bother me either. I like to see the clever ways they startle, distract, and unsettle you or tap into that irrational fear. I like to watch the process but I’m not affected by it.
Then this morning, I realized just how much I am like my son. Recently, I read about a weight loss blogger who was running early in the morning in her reflective gear, etc. It made me want to get out in the wee morning hours despite the lack of daylight. So, I laced up some minimals and went for a run long before day break. The thing is, I have a terrible fear of running in the dark. This was only the second time I had ever ventured out into the scary pre-dawn world. I didn’t even think using my iPod because I wanted full hearing functionality in case footsteps approached from behind or a nondescript white van with no back windows suddenly started its engine. I made it back to the house unscathed but spooked to the core…over nothing at all. I guess my imagination was getting the best of me.
Still, I am not sure if I’ll be brave enough to even run to the garage in the morning.
Almost anything can lurk there..including a double stuff Oreo.
Last weekend was a hilarious gathering of most of the women in my mom’s family for our annual Sisters’ Bash. Mom died 11 years ago from pancreatic cancer, so, my sister and I rely on maintaining this tradition with our family so we can stay close to her. Even if it does mean that I end up being the automatic reference for butt or ass in charades. It was an honor I earned rapping a rendition of Da Note Ta Folla So with my pants hanging low.
Before leaving for Kentucky, my sister recruited me to help entertain my neice over the weekend. It’s a girls’ weekend but Miss A was going to be the only one under 30 attending. Remembering that Miss A signed up to participate in a Girls On The Run event, I figured it was a good time to get some training for it. It seemed like a good idea until my sister emailed back saying Miss A lost interest in training because she’d rather play than run.
Sounds like a job for Run Smiley, doesn’t it?
12 hours after the gluttony of the Sisters’ Bash began, I informed Miss A that it is time to go running and running with me is F-U-N. As it turns out, another cousin’s 10 year old daughter was in attendance at the Bash too. I felt a little pressured when the 10 year old, my sister, and my cousins all asked to come along after I expressed the fun-ness of running. Gulp. This year’s Bash hostess lives out in the boonies of Kentucky. There is no playground, no parking lot barriers, no manicured business landscapes, no skate parks, no… I was going to have to figure out how to Run Smiley without all my usual bag of tricks. I was surrounded by private property and a road.
Alright, I’m being overly dramatic. It is one of those things we do so well at the Bash. It seriously wasn’t that hard to Run Smiley and if had been then I’d be a little disappointed in my abilities.
Two steps out of the frighteningly steep driveway, I tapped Miss A on the shoulder and yelled, “You’re it.” Then took off running. Playing tag is a seriously effective way of completing your speed intervals. You are going to run way faster than you would any other time when you have someone chasing you.
I’m pretty sure I heard Miss A tell my sister that it was fun to run with me.
Finally, I schlepped myself out from the coccoon of warmth at a respectable 5:35 am. The white-fur-dropping-flea-bag might have encouraged my timely exit. As much as that diva drives me crazy, I don’t ignore her when she meows because I’ll pay the price later.
My mind was engrossed in a million responsibilities leaving scarcely a heed to the goings on around or in me. Even walking across a frigid concrete floor enacted minimal reaction. The first sixteen minutes on the treadmill passed like traveling through a small town on a country road when you blink.
The window caught my eye shortly after 6 am.
Yes, I saw it. It was sunlight.
I thought as much about my next moves as I did that first sixteen minutes on the treadmill. I jumped off, closed up the treadmill, slid it into place, put on my Merrell pace gloves and took off outside.
It was the early morning daylight run I had promised myself.
The outdoor setting refused to let me continue in mindless routine. The wild winds whipped through my sweat soaked hair transmitting an icy current across my skull, down my neck, and dissipating into my shoulders. At the same time, I captured frigid breezes inside my lungs. The shocking coldness awakened my nerves from the inside out.
It felt so fantastically good to be running outside in the morning again.
I lucked out when the treadmill at the hotel broke. The front desk clerk offered me a one day pass to a local health club. I needed to burn some calories so I was willing to go the extra mile.
Goodness gracious, this health club was a beauty. It had a row of treadmills for as far as the eye could see. There was not one but three different weights areas, and more, but I didn’t have time to find out exactly what, I just knew. This was the kind of health club I dream of being a member of but have never had access to and wouldn’t be able to afford it anyway. I had a one day pass to gym paradise.
I made use of the indoor track that circled above the basketball court and passed in front of the treadmills and weights. Although I was in paradise, I didn’t know how the management would feel about visitors running in the bare, so I kept my Merrells on. This decision was reaffirmed when I noticed the Crossfit chick in the VFFs. Is it me, or do all Crossfit chicks dress exactly the same?
It took me a few laps around the track to feel comfortable and find my form. Initially, I was counting laps but when I started doing math in my head I figured I’d enjoy myself more if I just lost myself in the music. Before long, I felt like I was a NASCAR driver speeding through the long stretches and pressing the forces of physics through the corners.
I noted that one of the guys running on the treadmill watched me run past on every lap. He had a strange sort of look on his face as though he wondered what bizzaro runs like crazy around a small track with a near hysterical grin on her face. I’m sure he was waiting for me to crack at any minute.
I noted he was watching the bizzaro lady because I, in turn, was watching the hamsters. I didn’t care what they thought of me because all I could wonder is how they could stare into space, running in the same place, at the same speed when I was just one foot away having a blast. Those hamster could have used a dose of Run Smiley.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ll soon assume the form of a hamster myself. Its just that, I mean, it’s not like it was a contest, but I’m pretty sure I won.