It’s -41 outside.
As the saying goes, ‘if it’s -41, thou shalt not run’. Ok, I made that up. But still. Honestly, Canada, why won’t you let me go outside!!!!!
The off season in Canada can be brutal. Not only do Canadians wear layers, we grow layers.
Over the holidays last year, I took a full 3 weeks off running. It had been a rough year and my knee (short leg) had been misbehaving terribly. 3 weeks off seemed a good idea but, inevitably, the
recovery sloth resulted in… well… fat.
I got fat.
My first workout post-holiday-knee-recovery was brutal. After a long first day back at work, I forced myself to gym, despite the -30 degree cold and premature darkness (seriously, it’s like midnight at 5pm here in the winter).
My gym is next to a grocery store and, as I pulled in to my parking spot, I got a craving for ice cream. I sat for a minute, debating. I looked down at my muffin top. Really, what would one more treat hurt? Besides, with it being -30 outside, I could get the ice cream first, put it in the car, and get my workout in without having to go to the store sweaty and gross or risk the ice cream melting. This. Was. Happening.
I ran into the store, expecting it to be empty. It was not. The place was a zoo, and I was walking through it wearing spandex that didn’t fit me anymore.
“Ok, run to the ice cream, then hit the express checkout, and no one will see you,” I told myself.
Ice cream attained, I approached the checkouts.
The lines were enormous.
I felt like a tool standing there, wearing gym clothes that didn’t fit, holding nothing but a pint of Chocolate Peanut Butter Chunk. I could feel people’s judgments burning a hole in my lycra.
Ice cream paid for, I ran back to the car and hid it out of sight (the shame was real), then hit the gym. Inside, I was overcome by a cloud of New Year’s sweat.
All of the treadmills were taken, except one. The Treadmill of Destiny.
I stepped on the Treadmill of Destiny, peering over my shoulder to see if Gazella DeVil was nearby. Thankfully, she wasn’t around.
I hit the power button. Nothing.
Confused, I hit it again. Still nothing.
One last time. Nada.
I looked around, chubby and embarrassed. I wanted to hide in my car and eat my pint while crying to a Céline Dion song.
But, then, I thought otherwise. I’d made it this far. I was a runner. I could do this.
My stomach growled in approval.
At that moment, I saw someone step off a treadmill in front of the window.
Furious, I got on and pounded away at a ridiculous clip for over half an hour. I abused the treadmill so harshly there was an aura of steam on the window in the shape of my (round) body.
When it was over, I slowed to a walk and, for the first time in 40 minutes, looked around. Next to me was a young guy who was clearly a newbie. He was staring at me, completely and utterly terrified.
Suddenly, it hit me.
I was his Gazella.
I stopped, then looked back at him and smiled.
“And now, to kill a pint of ice cream!” I announced, giggling.
He laughed and resumed his workout with a smile on his face.
I went home and happily consumed every calorie I’d just burned.
I like wearing layers.
But I like having them even more.
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