Tuesday, April 6, 2010

running

One of the most amazing things about the human body is how perfectly it has evolved to fit inside of automobiles. Note how well our backs have formed to fit into the leather cup of the bucket seat. Admire how we grew to just the right length to be able to use the pedals. Marvel at how most individuals are born with right hand dominance, allowing the mastery of the clutch to sublime levels.

Nevertheless, there is a large set of people who refuse to accept this evidence, and continue to use that heathen mode of transportation known as running. Of their misguidedness there can be little doubt, but let us today discuss the elements of running.

The first element of running one must master is the wardrobe. This holds the key to all other aspects of the run.

Men:

It is essential that you find and wear as short of shorts as possible. We love seeing your legs. In fact, one of my favorite experiences in life involves prying my eyes open at the crack of dawn to the sounds of birds chirping, realizing the birds are chirping because I'm seriously late to work, then exiting my home with some haste, still bleary eyed, to be confronted by your wobbly bleached hairy fish stick legs traipsing away in front of me. Words cannot describe the pleasant feelings I hold towards your exhibitionism.

You can only enhance these warm fuzzies by removing your shirt and further displaying your own warm fuzzies. This is not puke-worthy disgusting.

Women:

No amount of torture will ever convince me to speak on the subject of what you should wear in any circumstance, in any time, ever ever ever. Ever. Wear what you will. However, I do wish to state here, emphatically, for the record, to my friend who I happened across while wearing a sports bra1, you just happened to be in my line of sight; I was not intentionally looking in that particular direction, as those of a more crass disposition would suggest. I just wanted to get that out there.

Once you have donned your attire for the run, please do your best to dissuade us from running by contorting your face to appear as though you are passing through the most severe of miseries.2

Even if you neglect this step, please recall that when you are running you look your absolute worst. An individual cannot look uglier than they do while running. This is important to understand, and I would like to plead with any of my time-traveling posterity to impart this morsel of wisdom to the Young Chris Perry, before he goes out planning his running routes such that they pass by the houses of attractive women. This strategy is doomed to failure. Please, spare him.

Once you have a handle on what you are doing, you are permitted to run with a friend. However, under no circumstances are you, while a beginner, allowed to run with a friend.

Let us recall with horror the day I first went running with an individual who was not my mother.3 We cheerfully met up one morning, certain to take on the new world of running. Both of us were decently fit, and more than capable of walking a few feet from the car to the door. We ran. And ran. The muscles began to ache. We became short of breath. Our faces contorted into that look of pain so familiar to those of us who drive by joggers. But we were diligent. We pressed onward. We survived.

After somewhere near a half hour of running, we managed to complete our loop. Joy! Triumph! Elation! Proud at our achievement at such a feat of stretch, we got into the car to drive over our route to see how many dozens of miles we covered.

I shall not discuss the exact bearing on the odometer when we returned from our (pathetically short) drive, but let the record show that the number eight was on its descent from the tenths marker.

So, in the period of a half hour, we managed nine tenths of a mile, which puts our speed somewhere between excited tortoise and my boss after a dozen krispy kremes.4

We looked at each other, and silently swore to never speak of this event again.5

When you begin to run, you have the endurance of a two-legged giraffe. Don't let anyone see you like that. Run by yourself in the dark with a sack over your head. This is the only way to maintain your dignity.6

1. To be clear: she was wearing it. I could not think of a smoother way to construct the sentence. My fear of accidentally writing that I wore a sports bra is why I did not actually major in English, as I once thought to.
2. If you find yourself on the verge of passing out while running, it's probably time to stop, wouldn't you say? That's why I never run, and my coronary triple bypass surgeon thanks me for it.
3. And let us refrain from recalling who was more physically fit between me and my post-eight-children mother.
4. While you consider firing me for publicly referencing that experience, let me just remind you how rarely I refer to you as boss, and ask you to note the tone of kindness and sincerity with which I have used that term of endearment on this occasion.
5. At least, that's what I swore. And let this be a lesson to you: make me swear unsilently, or I shall let it out someday. Sorry. At least I kept you anonymous.
6. I want to congratulate myself for not referencing the individual in my former life who propelled, um, his or herself (keeping with the anonymity bit here) forward by slapping the ground as hard as possible with what, by the sound of it, could only be described as clown shoes. I'm sorry. You probably hate me for bringing that up. I almost made it the full post!

1 comment:

Andrew said...

Chris Perry, you are and always be hilarious.
AA