Hurdles

Paragraphs have plagued me recently. It starts as usual, a swarm of words invading my brain and begging to be let out. Next follows the connection to my fingers, where they ache, plead, to be released on a keyboard. But when I oblige, there only comes a few sentences, five or seven and everything goes blank. It is finished. Pan the camera away from a beach at the end of a captivating motion picture. The end. Fin. Finito. Until another paragraph comes along to plague me.

I thought of collecting all these snippets into one complete post, but they don’t even fit together. They are pieces of a puzzle, yes, if the puzzles were a hundred and these were the lost pieces of each article, totaling somewhere between twenty and a gazillion. I had to create a folder for them, and in naming the folder, I considered “Insanity” since that is what a normal person would think on reading them in a chronological order, so I let it remain “New Folder” because I have made a mental note to not question my mental state, especially in the month of May.

Any time I tell someone I have started running, I want them to tell me to stop. That it is bad for my health. Nothing grave, something like my fingertips will freeze off from the morning cold and I will have nothing to tap on the keyboard with. At least the paragraphs may stop.

Running is not easy, especially for a homebody who has taken the time to invest in their bedroom. I mean, of course I have been working out, but in the comfort of this room that I am constantly in the process of putting together. Running requires a different kind of strength. The kind that Ragnar Lothbrok or, [for you laymen] Ned Stark would be able to comprehend. It is not for the weak hearted.

The first obstacle doesn’t even start on the day, but on the previous night. You need to set the alarm because you know how much your body loves warmth. How, in the morning cold, it lifts the blanket on the sides to burrito itself with or without your consent. How your hand knows to cover the head but leave enough space around your nose [because only psychopaths and Trump sleep completely covered] and how your mouth curves in delight when you realize it is only 6am and these are COVID times.

These are times when we wake way past when the sun has risen and shamelessly have breakfast at 11am. Times when we lounge in our PJs way into the afternoon, have a snack for lunch and wait for dinner [supper, Dearest Laymen] to plunge our minds in the internet to the wee hours of the night. Running takes away from these COVID times.

Running makes sure you have a bedtime. That you sleep for at least 6 hours which means you need to be in bed by midnight like a toddler in these times. It makes sure you set an alarm for when the small hand has travelled half the way and you need to get up, not to adjust the blanket around your nose but to make your bed [because if you do not, you will go to the bathroom and when you come back, you will hear whispers. They will ask you, nay, beg, plead with you to get back in. The whispers will say “Baby girl, you work so hard…often tired…often busy. You need this. No, you DESERVE this. And then, as in Moana, your blanket will lift (with the power of comfort and warmth) and tap twice like a pot bellied man asking a woman to sit by him. When you hear these whispers, when your body recognizes your unmade bed, you will realize you are only human, and have the rest of this lockdown to put your foot in front of the other, and you will succumb]. Speaking from experience, you WILL make that bed if you are to run on that day.

The next hurdle is getting the body to get the F up. I am not a morning person. I know this, people around me know this and now you, too, are in the loop. Mornings make me sick! If I entered a pyramid and found Aladdin’s lamp, after a crown for my mother’s head and before a backyard for my dogs, I would wish for mornings to be abolished. Incinerated. Done completely with. But since we need to run, I will throw some water on my face, a sports bra on my chest which will also secure my phone [for tracking purposes, I cannot act like my Kisii counterparts without proof that I am not actually mad] and a pair of socks in my shoes because after mornings, the thing that irks me is sweaty feet.

We moved to this place approximately six months ago. It was one of those things that was planned, and maybe the Big guy was in on it because I am not sure if I would survive in towns during these COVID times. We have one immediate neighbor. Well, I lie. He has not moved in yet. No, that is another stretched lie. He has dug his foundation, the site house was complete 2 days ago and for the last 3 days, no fundis have been on site…so, we may be back to having zero close neighbors. It’s bittersweet for someone of my nature. On one hand, the closest people are yonder [which means no unnecessary visits except for one or two passersby and, I hear, hyenas [more on this some other time], on the other hand, I quickly realized I need to see people to be able to write about people [this was in one of the paragraphs].

It makes running easy, however. Even though I pride myself in doing what I want to and not thinking of what people say, I find myself wondering what those in my proximity would think of me. I mean, they can keep their judgement and all that, but, usually, when I pass someone alone or with a friend, I tend to make up conversation in my head. Conversations that I think they may be having, and more often than not, I would put myself in it. An example is this:

Dude 1: When is the Premier League coming back?

Dude 2: Seventeenth Dude

Dude 1: Seventeenth of what, Dude?

Me: (Runs past the two dudes)

Dude 2: Of this freaking mon…hey, if you were to ever work out, would you run, like that chic?

Dude 1: Nah dude, I’m healthy, *flexes nonexistent muscles* Seventeenth of what man

Dude 2: THIS month Dude!

Dude 1: Whoa, Dude…

Dude 2: I know Dude

There is an urban legend, in the name of Runner’s High that I have not yet encountered. It may be true, since all the Keinos and Cherutos in world marathons claim to have touched the hems of it. I haven’t. And I tend to believe that which I see so we shall see. Otherwise, this Runner’s High stands close to Big Foot in my book.

The last hurdle has to be the Johnny Storm effect. You do not realize when it is a spark, which basically validates the saying that there is a spark inside each one of us. It is only felt when it is in full Human Torch glory, with the fire erupting like a volcano in Hawaii that was hurled at insults all its life.

/Oh, that volcano is dormant/

/The last time it had any action was before the time of Eve/

[Question: Did dinosaurs exist before or after Eve was framed? Who walked first, the rex or the hex?] Anyway, back to volcano rebuff

/That volcano has never seen the light of day [gerrit?]/

/If I was to heat anything up, that volcano would be the last place to look for a spark/

Then you feel the burn. You will assume it at first because hey, you are running and a little burn never hurt nobody. One foot after the other, you will say. Onward! The churning will grow to a smoulder that will crease your brows but you will go on. Mark time soldier! By the time it grows to a full bonfire that has you doubled up and panting with your tongue out like the stray dogs you passed a few kilometers back, you will hope you have reached your target for the morning, and you will look up and the finish line will be nowhere in sight.

I contemplated writing this after a run, but all I want afterward is a cold glass and shower and some food, the latter which I suspect defeats the whole purpose. I will see if I can gain any inspiration from tomorrow’s run. It is my bedtime.

***

I didn’t go today. It happens even to the best of us. 

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