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.”