But it wasn't until I went into the bathroom and saw my reflection in a mirror that I understood exactly why I was getting that look. Thanks to my ever expanding midsection, my shirt had crawled its way halfway up my belly and I didn't even notice. So there I was, huffing and puffing away at the impressive pace of about 4.2 miles per hour, with a big ole stomach sticking out for all the gym to see. No wonder he smirked. But I wish he hadn't because dang it, I'm really trying over here!
|The offending shirt, pulled down for decency|
I seriously think that I've exploded in the last few days (feel free to agree with me). I am now having problems with bending over to tie my shoes and getting off the couch. This all feels like a giant satire, except that it's actually happening to me. I truthfully do not know how much longer I can continue to keep running. It's getting very uncomfortable and honestly, it's not all that fun right now. Turns out, running with a bowling ball bouncing on your bladder kind of sucks, and it makes you a little worried that you might pee yourself. That thankfully hasn't happened yet. But the downhill decline? It happened, and very, very quickly.
I read this article a few weeks ago about the runner encouraging the "fat girl" at his track and how he wanted her to know that he respects her. Now I realize that I am not fat, but I am currently limited by my physical condition and so for the first time in my life, I am sort of able to see both sides of the coin. Sure, it takes a lot of discipline and effort to train and run a marathon, no matter the shape you're in - but it takes 10 times that motivation to try when your body really isn't in the shape to do it and fights against you every step of the way. I've never had to try so hard to run in my life. I've complained about my speed, but that's not the same thing as having a hard time even putting one foot in front of the other.
One of the best things about running in Orlando is that there are so many people of different shapes, sizes, and physical abilities that get out and run. At 4:00 on a Saturday morning, Cady Way Trail fills up with Marathonfest runners that are fat, skinny, tall, short, fast, and slow. As daylight rises, the various groups return to Cady Way, each having gone out and fought some kind of physical battle. It's easier for some than others. Some run it quickly and others labor to complete the route. But we all run the same roads, drink the same Gatorade, and have the same passion. At the end of the day, that's all that should matter.