Friday, November 4, 2011

I Hate Myself for Loving Me

I received one of those spam emails this morning, probably sent to thousands of people, but it seemed to speak directly to me. In my struggle to get in halfway decent shape to run this 5K run on Thanksgiving, it seemed to read my every thought.

It went:

“Are you depressed? Do you hate yourself? Do you loathe the freaking ground you walk on?”

I starred at the email for a second after my 5:30 a.m. workout, after I had to drive back home because I forgot my dress shirt in the closet mind you, I thought, “Yes. That’s me. Heck yeah.”

Five o’clock came way too quickly this morning. I sleep with the TV and the two faces I absolutely hate to see when I crack one open are Liz Nichols and Jamie Jackson – the morning crew from WLFI-TV (Channel 18). I wanted to wipe their smug little smiles off their faces this morning because it was the sign that I must pull myself out of bed to head for the TREC.

They seemed to laugh at me, mocked me even, as I stumbled around looking for my new Asics "motion control" running shoes (I'm so impressed with myself. Right.) and my too-big-for-my-butt sweats. They continued to read news copy with glee in the voices as I grabbed lunch and other stuff I should have organized the night before so I can make it to the TREC on time.

But if I truly loved myself, I would have been able to think of a good excuse to stay in bed. I was supposed to run with Adam the Terminator after work on Thursday, but when I got to the TREC, I found out I forgot my shorts. Did I forget or was it a stroke of genius? The Terminator was disappointed but we scheduled workouts for Monday and Thursday afternoons. No forgetting such essentials this morning. Not only did I get out of my place in time, but I was able to blindly get everything in my bag that I needed. How could I?

Everyone seemed happier than me today. What it just because it was Friday, or they knew I felt I HAD to work out today after missing Thursday? They all walked passed me with a gleam in their eyes as I walked over to the mats to stretch.  The all seemed to whisper and grin as I walked to the treadmill like it was the electric chair.

“Fat man walking,” I could hear a guard say. Or was it one of the TREC staff?

See, if I truly loved myself, I would have asked for clemency from the Supreme Court, i.e., my wonderful Washington D.C. lobbyist daughter, on the grounds that 5K runs are prejudicial to old, out-of-shape people. Since I’m about five years away from joining AARP and I’m still technically overweight by Weight Watchers standards, I should qualify. Right? Throw myself on the mercy of the exercise bike.

After my five-minute warm-up, I cursed myself for every second of the next 10 minutes at 5.5 mph.

“Why are you doing this to yourself? You were perfectly happy when you were big and lazy? Where is this workout stuff getting you anyway? Who are you trying to impress? They won’t be impressed anyway.”

So much for cheering myself up. I slowed down the treadmill to catch my breath for five minutes before I went head long again when I did something that only confirmed my depression. First, instead of slowing the treadmill down to 3.5 mph like normal, I only allowed myself to slow it down to 4.0 mph, a quick walk for me. “What am I doing,” I thought. Then, I cut my walk two minutes short before I started again. No explanation. No reason. I just did it.

“Ok, now I really need professional help,” I thought. Maybe Dr. Melfi from “The Sopranos” can give me some of the wise wisdom she use to give to Tony before he went off and whacked another victim for not giving him his share of the take. I told myself I would go five minutes tops for another break. But I went seven minutes.

Now I’m really hurting as I pass the 1.5-mile mark and I told myself take the full five minutes walking this time. You earned it. Love yourself, will ya. I didn’t, but I got closer, going four minutes to before going again. Another seven minutes and I’m really huffing and puffing. After another short walk, I was back at it again and what did I do? I pushed the treadmill up to 6.0 and then 6.5 mph to finish.

If I truly loved myself, I would have walked the rest of the way, going 2.5 mph, asked someone to get me some Gatorade and watched ESPN on the monitor in front of me with ease. But low and behold, I was in front of the TREC television screen with Liz and Jamie again, yucking it up. Oh, won’t they just stop! There are people trying to work here.

I never found out what the rest of that spam email ad stated. Just as well. It’s not easy being or loving me.

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