Here's the cold, hard truth:
When I run, I've got no swag, whatsoever.
It's like that pic that gets shared around -- the "What I Think I Look Like When I Run" and the "What I Really Look Like When I Run" photos?
I imagine myself to be...well, not a gazelle, but let's say, a sturdy field horse, admirably plodding along with determination and strength, quietly but surely getting the job done. I'm neither dainty nor delicate, but I do imagine myself to appear at least capable.
(And okay, maybe a little bit badass...)
But, the reality is that I'm an effing mess on the track. I've got NO game and I'm the farthest thing away from cool imaginable. Here's what I'm talking about:
When I catch my shadow running behind me, it's running really slow, man. Like, *really* slow. And what I envision as long, leggy strides are really short, little hops from my squat, little legs (thanks, Dad!). My iPod's usually on full blast, so I forget that when I run, I breathe really hard -- more gasping than panting -- and I'm a mouth-breather, to boot!
In the summer, I sweat A LOT (so much so that I bought a Halo headband to channel the water away from my eyes...and yeah, that pink, '80s-style Loverboy headband isn't helping my swag AT ALL).
In the winter, I'm finding that all that mouth-breathing leads to lots of mucous-y grossness that gathers around my mouth and nose (and oh yeah, it's totally visible, too, if you look at me for more than a second -- which you WILL do, because I'm running so effing slowly)!
Cold weather has also made me value warmth over style, so if you catch me at the track this weekend, you're going to see me in my cool-ass fuschia Nike tech shirt -- but it'll be unpleasantly paired with my teal-striped Target capri pants, with navy blue running shorts worn OVER them (because the capris don't have a pocket and I need a pocket for my mace)!
Pretty effin' hot, huh fellas?
So, yeah, my friends: on the track, it's true - ZERO SWAG.
Less than zero, even.
(Tip of the hat, Elvis Costello, I still love you...)
On the days when I *do* run, hours after I come home and take off the non-matching clothes and wash off all the sweat and the snot, and get in the car and go to work, my swag mysteriously returns...
...when I flex my aching leg muscles walking to the edit suites. As I walk, I'm mentally strutting, thinking about everything I accomplished before 8am...
...when I'm in the grocery store, when my muscles itch to run to the next aisle, even though that's the last thing my mind wants to do. My muscles just want to feel that stretch...
...when someone mentions my weight loss. On the outside, I keep it real, y'all -- but inside, I'm basking in the glory and patting myself on the back...
...and when I'm in the ladies room, you *know* that I'm checking out my own ass - not because it's so small, but because my pants are now SO BIG!
So, what's the takeaway from all this? It's simple:
Running still sucks*, but it's giving me my swag back** -- and that's made it all worthwhile!
*Yes, it sucks. For about an hour, three times a week.
**Between the hours of 7am and 5am only. 5am-7am are strictly NO SWAG zones.
Image belongs to: swagnotes Tumblr or fbcoverlover (not sure who made the original)