I think I’ve mentioned before that I like to run. I’m not really sure why I like it, because it’s painful and my body doesn’t always respond well to it and it requires expensive shoes, but I do enjoy it and as far as sports go, it’s a much better fit for my lifestyle and abilities than baseball or tennis or football, all of which require hand-eye coordination, the ability to focus on more than one thing at a time, and the patience required to perform a repetitive action frequently enough to actually get good at that action. Throw “natural ability” onto that list and you have a fairly exhaustive collection of reasons why I have never been picked first for any team, ever. But running! Anyone can do it! All you have to do is stay upright, and sometimes carry stuff.
Figuring out what to do with your stuff while you go running in the winter is easy, because a) you have pockets, sometimes many of them, or b) you can use the treadmill in the basement, so you don’t need to figure out what to do with your keys or your water bottle, or c) you can just not go running at all, because it’s winter, the weather is much more conducive to drinking hot chocolate and huddling together to keep warm, what are you some kind of crazy person. Figuring out what to do with your stuff while you go running in the summer is much more problematic. At least, it has proven to be problematic for me, since I don’t have a lot of Official Running Gear Used By Serious Runners, like fuel belts and armbands and water bottles that will store your key for you. I just have yoga pants, a t-shirt, running shoes, a water bottle, my iPhone and, when I go for a run at the park, a giant car key I usually have no idea what to do with. I have nowhere on my person that is good to store these items, so I tend to clutch them awkwardly and shuffle them back and forth between my hands and wish fanny packs hadn’t gone out of style 20 years ago.
I went for a run at the park last night, and I had what I thought was a genius idea. (Spoiler alert: it wasn’t.) I tied my car key into the drawstring of my pants and jogged up and down to see if it was secure. (Spoiler alert: it wasn’t.) I then headed out on my run, feeling strong and energetic enough in spite of the humidity to add another running interval onto the end, feeling perhaps disproportionately proud of the fact that I passed the same little old Mennonite lady not once but twice, feeling good enough to run up the two small hills almost at the end of the trail, feeling good enough to run up the one major hill at the very end of the trail … feeling at my waistband as I wheezed my way past the very top of the hill to make sure my key was still there. (Spoiler alert: it wasn’t.)
I wandered back down the trails, feeling exhausted and sweaty and kind of like a big giant idiot, worried that I wouldn’t find my key and I’d have to walk all the way home, then sad as the Mennonite lady then passed ME as I plodded along, and then subsequently worried that the Mennonite lady had picked up my key somewhere and was in the process of stealing my car. Thankfully I didn’t have to redo my entire route, because the key was lying in plain sight at the bottom of the three hills, so I picked them up and headed back in the direction of my car.
However. As I arrived at the base of the very big hill, Eye of the Tiger started playing on my earbuds, and I wasn’t exactly about to take that kind of thing lying down, so I had what I thought was another very good idea: to run up the very big hill for the second time in ten minutes. (Yeah, it really really wasn’t.) I had to sit in the car for five minutes before I felt alert and hydrated enough to drive home without endangering myself and other motorists, thinking as I sat there, there are just SO MANY reasons why I will never be an athlete.