This post is sponsored by Merrell.
This is me running with my friend Amy. Because, and I never thought I’d type this, running is a thing I’m starting to do. Despite my jock-ular appearance here, I’m doing this furtively. I don’t post my distances on the various social networks, I don’t know my personal best, I avert my eyes when someone passes on the park path.
Someday I’ll raise my chin in smug salute to my fellow marathoners. For now, I’m focused on getting my laces double tied and finding a sports bra that takes all the bounce out of my step.
Those of you who’ve been reading for a while might remember my historical disinterest in exercise. It went a little something like this:
Until the last six months or so, I’ve never understood people who like the gym. I mean I thought they were maybe a different species, in that I could never mate with one. When my weight, and later my health, made it necessary for me to get off the couch, I just… didn’t want to. It ran counter to my self image.
In the last year, I’ve been revisiting a lot of assumptions I’ve made about myself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still attracted to myopic men with academic bodies, but lately, I’ve been more open to experiences that conflict with my self image. And athletically, my sense-of-self has always been “picked last at kickball.”
This year, I’d like to be done with that. I’d like to stop thinking of myself as weak, uncoordinated, fundamentally ill-equipped to move through space.
I used to believe athleticism was innate, but now I realize you’re not born sporty any more than you’re born a traveler. It’s an action — you put on your shoes, you get on the plane.
More than anything, I just want to be strong. I want to be able to move furniture by myself, to open the stupid jar. So once in a while I wake up, I put on my sneakers, and I move. And if you ask me to play kickball, I’ll consider it.
But dodgeball? Don’t push me.