We all have them. You know what I’m talking about. Those revelatory moments of clarity where you decide you’re going to become a fit, healthy and respectable member of society.
Sometimes you are jolted into them when you see a friend that you haven’t seen in a while and she’s lost all this weight and looks fabulous. She tells you with a nonchalant wave of her hand that she just “started eating right and jogging” and now she looks like a Victoria’s Secret model. Every fibre in your body wants to go home, order a pizza and cry but some part of your brain just snaps and decides that you too will be Victoria Secret worthy dammit!
Or sometimes you just see a movie or a magazine cover with your favourite actress and she just looks like rainbows and glitter and happiness and you want to be like that too. So you throw down that fourth Kit Kat, lace up your sneakers (after dusting the cobwebs off them) and you set out for a run with a newfound feeling of determination. Then 2 days later you’re sitting on your couch shovelling chips into your mouth and laughing at your momentary lapse in judgement.
The clarity hit me while I was on vacation in New York and Las Vegas last week. Sitting by the pool, with all these fit people around me while I ate my chicken wings, made me feel an overwhelming need to instantly drop the food and join a bootcamp. I vowed then and there that as soon as I got home I would be a lean mean jogging machine!
Little did I realise how difficult this feat would be when I was transported back home and I would be required to wake up at 6am in the midst of the freezing clutches of winter.
The fateful morning arrived and as the sound of my alarm jolted me into the harsh reality of the deal I had made with myself, I immediately started to think of reasons not to get up. What if I got hit by a bus while I was jogging? What if wild, feral dogs attacked me in the park? I finally cajoled myself out of bed with a mixture of bargaining, self-loathing and good old fashioned guilt. (If you don’t get out of bed right now James Franco will never love you!) Like the shmuck that I am, it worked and I was lacing up my brand new, bright purple running shoes and heading out the door.
I run with the begrudging resentment only possible when you have no real reason to be angry and no one to direct the anger towards but yourself, because you are the reason you are even in this horrific position. It’s a weird and jarring feeling to harbour whilst trying to run at 6am in the freezing cold. The clouds of vapour formed by my breath lingered around me as I ran and didn’t actually get any warmer, only colder and sweatier, which is an even more jarring feeling.
Whilst running a million thoughts were coursing through my brain at a rate which I could never physically run at but could only ever internally over-analyse at.
I couldn’t help but think: “Do I even like running? I don’t. Why do I even run? Why does anyone even run? Why are we even alive? Oh great, an existential crisis and the sun hasn’t even come up yet. Seriously though, I’ve been running for so long now, it’s probably almost over anyway. Oh wait, no I’ve only been running for 5 minutes, still at least 25 to go… great. You know, I can barely remember what my life was like before I started this run. If I died right now, I wonder how long it would take someone to find my body. I really hope I don’t die whilst jogging. It’s probably my least favourite thing to do so it would categorically be the lamest way to go. Oh while I was planning my death it looks like this run is actually over! YES I AM THE KING OF ALL RUNNERS! I can totally do this again tomorrow… Or the day after, my muscles will need to rest after today… better make it next week just to be sure.”