Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Cutting The Tags.

So I’m just here cutting the tags off of my new running belt. I haven’t been running since I got back from my Christmas trip. I got sick in pretty short order and am still fighting it off, though I think the worst of it is over. So – I think – out of a sense of guilt and a feeling of flab, I went and bought a new belt last night. It wasn’t wastefull though, I did need one.

To be clear, a running belt is just that: a belt one wears when running. It usually holds some kind of water bottle and has a pocket or two for your iPod or some energy gels or a small crack pipe (assuming you run to get your crack, and who doesn’t?). This new one holds two little water bottles and has a pocket big enough to hold my phone. So I am basically all set. I just need to feel a little better. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to go out there in the world for a bit.

I’ll be honest and admit that over the past year and a half or so (or since I started doing things outside other than walking to and from my car) I have experienced a deep but quiet joy over owning very specific stuff. I HAVE A RUNNING BELT! I also have TWO different kinds of lightweight camping stoves! And FOUR sleeping bags! Although one of those was given to me, but STILL! I just like having these things that are activity-specific. Owning them makes me want to go out and USE them. That is a pretty new experience for me. I have been writing my whole life, bt there really isn’t any gear for that. The giant dork in me wants to wear my running belt all the time. When I’m not running I’ll loosen it so that it hangs at a big angle like Han Solo’s holster. And then people will come up to me and be all like, “Oh, is that a Nathan Trail Mix 2 Energy Belt?” to which I won’t even say anything. I will just nod slowly, somberly. A calm and no-nonsense acknowledgement. And the person asking me about it will nod quietly too. That nod will mean, “Respect.”

Though for any of that to happen I need to run more than I have been and need to log more miles than I do. There was a time last year when I was logging a lot of miles during the week, but it was also the summer time and the sun was up forever. Lately it is dark before I even leave the office. But hey! I own not one but TWO backpacking headlamps! I should totally be a night runner by now, but alas, I am not. But I will get there.

I have been reading Runner’s World magazine recently. It is stupid expense but I can’t yet bring myself to subscribe to it. I feel like they would somehow KNOW that I don’t measure up to their standards. Anyway, I have been reading it and reading interviews with real runners and reading all of these stats and all of these training plans and all of these special diets and all of the other nearly narcissistic stuff that gets published in such a sycophantic magazine and it all makes me realize how very little I know about this stuff. Basically I put on my shoes (and my belt!) and go run. I have to hope that for a guy like me who just looks like a normal person (albeit an awesome one) maybe that is good enough for now. Although, as I flip through the glossy magazine pages I’m besieged by photos of the long, lean, slender bodies of all of these runners. I’m honestly quite envious. So envious really that it takes me out of my head and I have to step back and go, “Whoa there buddy, why SO envious?”  

I guess I have just always been short and bald (rocking male pattern baldness since 1998-ish!) and while I am fine with that and make it look pretty good, there is a part of me that would like to not be so soft around the middle. So I’m working at it and will continue to. My philosophy though is basically the same as Kevin Spacey’s in “American Beauty” when he goes jogging. He’s asked what part of his body he wants to work on and replies, “I just want to look good naked.”

So yeah, maybe one of these days I will try that protein shake that Runner;s World told me about, but really I would just rather be able to NOT do that. I would like to just be able to go running and find some quiet meditative grace in it (grace or some sort of graceful form is still a distant goal of mine. When I run I basically look like three-legged beagle trying to flee a pack of wolves across a river of cake batter.)

So yeah, I would like to look better and I would like to run better. It seems to me that the only way to accomplish those goals is by actually going out there and running. I guess that is often the answer to these things, isn’t it? That’s the whole idea about “Just Do It” right? I never really knew.

Oh! And also, I would like to be able to wear my running belt out in public and have people mistake me for Han Solo. That’s not too much to ask, right?

And speaking of Han Solo, here is a picture of a bunch of women dressed like Princess Leia. You’re welcome.


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