Carbs & Leotards: When The Apocalypse Hits, I'll Be Running

Hello again to my dear and tolerant readers. It is 2 PM on a Monday afternoon and I’m sitting on my couch recovering from a god-awful run that I take every day. I decided to take this time to dedicate and discuss the effort and struggle that is staying fit, or in the words of my friend Taylor Golat, “snatch.” Yes, my friends, let’s talk about staying snatch and how damn difficult it is. For women and I guess men like myself, fitness is something we strive for. Strive, achieve over time, and then quickly lose once we come into contact with a family vacation, or a craving for something sweet. I live in a family of enablers ladies and gentlemen. There is no possible way to keep a diet when my family decides that we’re in celebration mode, which can last up to two weeks. We’ve always been somewhat extreme. We’re loud, we like to dance in public, we sing even though we know no one really enjoys our voices, and when it comes to meals, we always make enough for about 3 of our families. And when something is made in my family, it’s made with the intention to finish. Let me paint a picture of a typical day on vacation celebration mode. 

Oh it’s just a lovely morning. You head downstairs and tell yourself, “Okay, I’m going to stay strong and willful today. Just a cup of coffee, some eggs, a bit of toast, maybe some fruit. I can do this.” Ha. Yeah. Good joke sweetheart. You enter the kitchen and what do you see? Oh hey pancakes. Hi waffles. Oh full sugar syrup? Haven’t seen you in two days, how was your stay in the fridge? Yeah, good luck avoiding that smorgasbord.  You know if you start cooking your little dainty egg whites and your whole grain toast that the entire family is going to shun you or just speak very sternly in their not-so-inside voices about how “you always want to kill the vibe.” And the pancakes have bananas and chocolate chips in them. How could you let Jack Johnson down? Simple. You can’t. So you decide to “treat yoself “this morning and do better the rest of the day. After all, it is vacation isn’t it? Well that notion of “staying strong” the rest of the day quickly goes out the window when you learn that pizza has been ordered, wine, has been purchased, and a cheese plate is already in the fridge. Good God. Do these people ever take a breath? The answer is no. They don’t. Before you know it, it’s Friday and you’re blown up like a bounce house at a preschool birthday party and the thought of tattooing “Caution, Wide Load” on your back has seriously crossed your mind. But what whateva, in the words of King Curtis, you’re “fat and happy.”

So now here we are, faced with obstacle of forgetting the sugar and the excess alcohol, and getting your lazy ass into a pair of sneakers and out the door. If anyone has ever decided to run in the middle of summer in South Florida, then you know exactly what I’m talking about when I say Hell has a track and it’s located here. Motivation is key. Forget Ryan Reynolds, or Ryan Gosling meeting me at the finish line. No. That only works if you’re on a treadmill in an air-conditioned facility with a water fountain nearby. This kind of environment requires a much, much more creative scenario and a sense of urgency. A big sense of urgency. I’m a big fan of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and I must say, not only has it kept me entertained and on edge Sunday after Sunday, it’s also kept me running this summer. I run from zombies, kids. I run like there are a thousand walkers behind me and I’m the most delicious looking treat they’ve seen in weeks. Can you blame them though? If they got their hands on my butt, they’d eat for weeks. So you could say that I have no choice but to run for my life. But ya know, some days the sun is just way too hot and the humidity is far too high for even that sort of scenario to work. So I dig deep into my subconscious and pull out the big guns, or should I say crossbow. Daryl Dixon is now waiting for me. Greased up deltoids and biceps ready to fire an arrow right through the rotting skull of one of those hungry bastards. All I gotta do is run a little longer and there he’ll be. This of course is complete fantasy. Lord knows I’d be dead in two days if the zombie apocalypse hit, but it sure does keep me running longer. Bringing me to my next point. The sweat is so real. I swear I have never been drenched so quickly in my life. I’m a sweaty lady to begin with. I don’t have to move and my pits are already dripping. That being said, get me running, and my clothes have magically turned 4 shades darker. Don’t get me wrong though, it’s rough and tough out there, but damn does it feel good to get back to your house and feel a wave of cool air hit your face once you open that door. Definitely worth the ratchet, haggard appearance and obvious effort required. Plus the endorphins don’t suck either. I’m all about a high that comes naturally folks, and if it lifts my ass a tad more each time, then I ain’t got a problem. 

Staying snatch is not easy. But it can be done. My biggest issue is patience. I still find myself getting stuck in the mindset that if I run a few miles I’ll immediately have a six-pack, which of course isn’t true. My biggest goal right now is to find joy in the journey. My ballet professor, Paula Nunez, would tell us all the time last semester, “Enjoy the process.” It didn’t occur to me until recently that the most rewarding part of any accomplishment is realizing how far you’ve come. Why wait until the very end to look back on all you’ve done, all the hurdles you’ve jumped? Why not do it every day? That’s my plan for this next semester- to enjoy and celebrate each day that I sweat, laugh, and get through Andrew Carroll’s mid-class plank series. Nothing says snatch more than a ballet professor telling you to “rip your bellybutton.” Not sure I’ve ripped it yet, but I can assure you, Professor Carroll, it’s tearing one plank and fifth position pirouette at a time.