runningIn order to mark my return to the firehouse after a few weeks off, I thought I’d go whole hog and work out before shift, too. This was a dumb decision. I go to stationary cycling classes (er, spin) regularly, ride to work once in a while, play some ice hockey and even go so far as to attend yoga/pilates classes once or twice a week (don’t laugh too hard till you try it. Burns like acid).  But if I really, truly want to get rid of the junk hanging off the waist, it’s got to be running, a sport I loathe with utter contempt. It’s hard on the knees, I sound like a gagging water buffalo when doing it and it looks as though I might be in the throes of a grand mal seizure when I attempt it. Nonetheless, it is the one tried and true method of getting rid of the Guinness and baconic residue.

So I gave in to my co-worker JoBoo’s demands and joined him in an attempt to “run” three miles before work. THREE MILES. Might as well have been the Battan Death March at that rate. I thought I might share my experiences as they related to what was cranking out of the ipod. The mileage/time sequence may be off, since I could barely jog, much less keep track, but you’ll get the idea.

Mile One-ish
Song: Nuthin’ But A G Thang by Dr. Dre
Turns out this is a good one for me to keep pace to. And by “pace” I mean it’s the kind of slow that you might commit a drive-by shooting to. Which is EXACTLY like the kind of crime I feel like committing within the first fifty feet of the run. Holy S#*t why in the world did I tell JoBoo I’d do this? This is stupid. I am already hurting. I want nothing more than to quit. My lungs agree that this is a good idea and demand I stop immediately. I don’t comply.

Mile 1.2-ish
Song: The Lightning Storm by Flogging Molly
The song title is what I am hoping against hope will happen right over my head at this very moment, thereby electrocuting me and making me forget the pain in my feet and inner chest cavity. As an interesting aside, I think a homeless guy just pushed a shopping cart right by us, we’re going so slow. JoBoo doesn’t look affected in the least by this torture, making my desire to stab him reach a feverish level. I want so badly to kill him, but don’t have the energy to complete the task.

Mile 2-something
Song:  Too Much Sex (Too Little Jesus) by The Drive By Truckers
This song is totally irrelevant to the situation at hand, but I like how lost the protagonist is in the tune (spiritually speaking), because I, too, feel lost. Lost in the sense that I lost a lung somewhere around a half mile ago, and this has forced the first “walking” foray of the trip so far. I vow to only walk 1/2 a block, but in reality I would jump onto the the bumper of a bus right now and hitch a ride back to the firehouse if I could.

Mile 2-and a something-ish
Song: Gold Digger by Kanye West
Since I don’t know if what I am doing technically qualifies as “running”, I assume I am experiencing a “shuffler’s high” right now, since I am having all sorts of mental revelations. It strikes me that this song has ABSOLUTELY no chance of becoming a reality in my life, since I am worth approximately nothing financially; this fact makes me grin like a lopsided baboon as I grunt my way up the street. Also, I almost fall on my face as I try and play Tetris with the brick patterns in the sidewalk, a slightly less funny fact. JoBoo is nowhere to be seen when this happens, and it’s too bad. Perhaps he would have died of an asthma attack laughing at me, which would serve him right.

Mile 3.000001
Song: Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta by The Geto Boys
Why do I love this song in this moment? Perhaps it’s because of these lyrics:
Real gangsta-a$$ ni##as don’t talk much/
All ya hear is the black from the gun blast/
And real gangsta-a$$ ni##as don’t run for s#*t/
cause real gangsta-a$$ ni##as can’t run fast”

I can relate on every level. I can’t talk, because I must save that energy for all of the gasping and dry heaving that is taking place at this juncture. There is no gun blast, but if someone shot me in this moment I would be in their debt for what was left of my eternity. And it is VERY true that I can’t run “for shit” nor “fast” because what I am doing is ridiculous and anything BUT running.

Mile 3.0009
Song: Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm
by the Crash Test Dummies
The only good thing about this song and how it might relate is that I could no longer speak real words, and so the chorus made sense. And then I realized I don’t really like this song at all, and this is another reason I want to fall in front of the city bus that has just passed so close to my staggering corpse.

Mile 3.1
I die just a little bit in front of the firehouse, a casualty of ridiculous fitness. Time? 34 minutes and change. JoBoo laughs as I grasp at his barely sweating form mouthing “oxygen, please, for the love of God, oxygen!!” As soon as I regain consciousness, I vow to kill him.