Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Dying trying

Those of you within a few miles of Clarendon at about 5pm on Sunday may have heard an odd noise echoing through the streets. The sound can best be described as a cross between a 1967 Chevy backfiring, and an elephant giving birth, repeatedly. The noise was both disturbing and unnatural, and unfortunately it was all coming from me.

This season I’ve teamed up with my pal 50, to launch the 2006/2007 “Get Fit, or Die Trying” tour. It features me, Across the River, desperately and awkwardly trying to get in shape, but probably dying along the way.

I came up with this goal outside of the normal “New Year’s resolution” setting. In May one of my best friends is getting married, and damn it, I want to look good for the wedding.

The scene that you would have witnessed on Sunday evening was a sad one. For some reason I had decided to “go for a run” for like the first time in 10 years. “How hard can it be?” I thought. “I’ve been doing treadmills and free weights for the past month. Surely that will have built up some sort of endurance.” As I took the first step off my front porch and broke into a full on sprint, I instantly became aware of how wrong I was.

The stabbing pain in my lungs built to a crescendo almost immediately. My breathing soon changed from short inhalations to desperate gasps for air. My lungs cried out to the world “I AM IN PAIN, HEAR ME WHEEZE!”

While dogs stopped and howled, and “real” runners blew on by me, I ambled on like a wounded animal. My legs flailed awkwardly, my body bent over slightly because of a stitch in my side, and I gasped for the sweet, sweet air for all it was worth. I imagine to passersby’s I looked like Gollum or something, stumbling along and mumbling in a hoarse voice “My preccciousness, my precioussss, cough, cough, aiiirrrr.”

Needless to say my run did not last long and I’m glad I got back to my house ok. I suspect that the neighbors were already calling the police to notify them that one of the animals had escaped from the National Zoo and had found its way across Memorial Bridge. “I think you can still catch it officer. We saw how slow that thing moved. It couldn’t have gotten far.”


Daniel Mayfield said...

You're not alone. Running is a giant pain in my ass too and I'm training for the Military! That being said, running is probably the best way to shed pounds, improve cardiovascular/pulmonary health and train your body to use energy properly. Like all physical training, you need to do this with some guidance from someone who is more experienced than you. I'm looking for a runnig coach myself if you find one!


The View From Dupont said...

Speaking of a stitch in your side - I was gasping for breath reading this... good luck getting in shape but don't hurt yourself in the process!!

If you ever need a gym buddy, let me know in the new year, k?

Ar-Jew-Tino said...

Too bad you didn't have the One Ring.

mm said...

Haha this was too funny. Good luck getting in shape.

Across The River said...

Dan: I think I need my own personal EMT to follow me around more than I need a running coach.

Dupont: Yes, I seem to have that effect on women.

Ar-jew-tino: Believe me, I would have tossed myself into the fires of Mordor itself to end the pain I felt that day.

mm: Thanks, at least one good thing came out of the ordeal.

Daniel Mayfield said...

EMT I'm not, but if this Navy thing doesn't work out and you want to continue the running thing I'll be glad to do that on weekends and such.

I've been trying to get my (65 year old) parents into shape, I figure you have a much higher chance of keeping up with me.


Patricia said...

Oh man...this made my day. I'm with Dupont on the stitch in my side after reading this.

Good luck! I can't get into running. I get too bored. The only way I can run is if I'm playing soccer because then there's a goal...literally, there's something to do and focus on. Good luck!