Tuesday, October 5

Charlie and the Track ABOVE

Tricky Nikki has a way of getting me to do things. I have no idea how she does it, I only know that she is my greatest catalyst when it comes to dieting.

So last night, she and I met at the YMCA while her kids were at their assorted lessons. And it was our intention to walk our hearts out.

Now, the YMCA has a track that is above the gymnasium where they hold lessons for gymnastics. It’s a about 2 stories up in the air, where you can look down at the children, who are jumping and vaulting and parallel baring below us. My niece was one of those children.

Meanwhile, at the ABOVE, there is a small track where 28 laps equals a mile. So it’s tiny. But that isn’t the issue I had with the above track. The above track has netting to keep you from falling over the railing onto the sweet little gymnasts below. You are surrounded by netting, except for a foot at the bottom, where it is still open. And if you walk closest to the open foot part, there is nothing but your good balance and common sense keeping your foot from falling through the gaping hole.

At first, the hole didn’t bother me so much. Perhaps it’s because the tiny metal staircase was holding my attention. The tiny metal staircase that looks like this…

…except without the frilly style railing and quaint background. It’s not nearly that pretty. Just functional. And it’s kinda creepy to climb up it. Which got my heart racing to begin with, and that is the goal of exercise. I was thinking how odd it was that the YMCA, so clean and bright had an Addams Family staircase in such a modern facility. And that’s when we started walking. So I wasn’t thinking about the big hole my foot could potentially fall through.

In fact, what I was really thinking about is knuckle-headed me signed up for a running 5K at the FitBloggin’ 11 conference that I am speaking at. I have 7 months to learn how to run 3 miles without lungs collapsing or my calves spontaneously combusting. (I have nightmares of those exact scenarios, trust me.) And Tricky Nikki has been talking about the fact that she has been jogging on the above track for about a month. (I think she was really frustrated after we tried to jog at the Shamrock Run this past St. Patricks Day… with disaster not far behind.)

So Nik is determined that WE WILL RUN. And I know who I’m dealing with on this. I’m sure she has a 7 month plan lined out on her huge calendar with steps to get my fat butt running. That girl can do anything she sets her mind too.

We started walking round and round the tiny above track, looking down on my sweet niece perfecting her back handspring. We got through the first mile with no problem. And that was when I asked the innocent question.
“So you usually jog up here?” said Charlie.
“Yeah, I have normally run 11 laps by now.” And the look of the triple dog dare was dancing in Tricky Nikki’s eyes.
“I think I could jog a little.”
“OK, we will start when we pass the clock.”

And we did. We jogged and jogged and jogged. 7 laps in total. (Which for me is a miracle.) But the benefit of running with Nik is that neither of us wants to be the first to admit defeat. So we push each other further than we would normally go. It’s a phenomenon we discovered down in the workout room last year.

Once we finished those laps, I realized that I was unprepared to be a runner that night. I had neglected to put on any sort of bladder protection- AKA a poise pad. And my sweat pants were going to become wet pants if I didn’t hurry down the Addams Family staircase and run to the bathroom.

When I returned, there was Nik, jogging her little heart out. And she said “I’m going to go pee now. I ran 5 laps while you were gone.” (Obviously, a veiled triple dog dare…)

Not to be outdone by my skinny counterpart, I decided I was going to jog as much as I could while she was heading to the can. And jog I did. I jogged and felt the fires of lack of oxygen burning my lungs and calves.

It was during this moment that I stepped one step too close to the gaping hole that goes straight down to children flipping and twirling below and my foot narrowly missed the hole. By mere centimeters. For some reason however, my mind didn’t see things happening that way. My mind went ahead and played out the entire event of what would have happened if I had fallen, not accounting for my size 14 hips being too wide to fall through the opening. No, my brain processed my entire body falling through a hole no bigger than a shoe box, and landing on the balance beam below, and terrifying little gymnasts below from ever being properly balanced again.

The realization of how close my right foot came to falling did WONDERS for my aching body, as the endorphins kicked in and I was given a second wind. Which I used to run a total of 5 laps on the most middle portion of the track, away from treacherous holes, and then swiftly walked another 3 before Tricky Nikki returned.  

By the time I left, we had cranked out 4 miles, having proudly jogged a total of ½ mile, and I left Nik upstairs to continue running (and potentially falling) without me.

It’s no wonder all night I dreamt about falling…


mommygogo said...

YAY Charlie! You are now officially a RUNNER! That's exactly how it starts, my friend. So happy for you. Now next time you're there, go at least One. More. Lap. :)

Roxie said...

My knees are shaking so badly now just IMAGINING that hole. I couldn't even have made it up the stairs. whew!

Alyson said...

I triple dog dare you to join me at boot camp in the morning!! If I can do it, you can!! And I am laughing at the Addams Family staircase. I have thought the same thing, except my thoughts go more towards, What if someone has a heart attack up there. How are the EMT's going to get them down that staircase? Such are the thoughts of a YMCA employee.

The WholeFamDamily said...

go go go! good for you! my hubby started last Oct running every OTHER day for only 15 min. then, in April he started running everyday for about 2 miles. and NOW he runs 3 miles, everyday w/o fail and says he feels he can go so much more...
I started last week, I run 2 miles, then walk 1 mile. I hope to eventually get up to running the 3 miles. When i say running, i mean jogging, and that means stopping for about 10-20 sec a couple times to catch my breath. So also someday i'd like to run without having to stop, but it's all about conditioning your body, your body literally just gets used to it. I keep reminding myself of that so i don't give up. little by little, day by day, your body becomes accustomed to it.
We can do it! i've never been a runner/jogger either! and hey you may learn to be super graceful while you're tenderly leaping over the little hole! ;D

Rachel @ CrazyTown said...

Way to go girl, move that tushy!! I've picked back up working out at work with one of my co-workers. We even have a treadmill in the back it's just carving out the time to get my fat butt on it!!

Josie said...

Good for you Charlie!! That's awesome, I've tried running and I kinda like it but I lose interest! I need a running buddy bad! Hey! anyone in the central PA area!?? keep up the great work you'll be running a marathon in no time! : )

Trevor said...

Yeah! In the past, I took up running too in my big weight loss push. Started slow at about 5k, and gradually worked up to 1/2 marathons in the mountains. Great work! Way to go.

If you have a chance, maybe check out my blog too: www.100PoundsGoal.com


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