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…
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…