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Running While Big- Part 3

Runners in training

Running is my ugly baby. I’m an ugly runner. I say this with no judgment or self-loathing–it’s simply a statement of truth. I dream of running like those runners you see up at dawn, leaping like gazelle’s, with bones as light as a birds, barely touching the ground as they effortlessly glide past. I run like Bambi, just getting his legs, with ankles, knees and hips akimbo, feet barely moving in what might appear to a passer by as super-slow motion, a slow, bouncing shuffle in a general forward direction. “Hauling ass”  only works as a descriptor of speed when you don’t have much ass to haul. In my case, hauling ass and dragging ass are basically the same experience.

I sweat ugly, too. The sweat begins along my hairline, then moves to the small of my back (horrible sweat pattern for partnered dancing). My face goes from blush, to red, to magenta, to burgundy in the space of 10 minutes or so, and maintains this rouge for several hours after. It’s as though all of the heat in the engine of my body feels it must escape through the pores of my cheeks and forehead. My face stays so hot after a run that I can’t apply makeup for at least an hour after–my continuing internal combustion creates so much heat that the foundation just melts right off.

My hair, my poor hair–the sweaty hairline, untamable frizz, and the ponytail dent do not lend themselves to a stylish look.

My run may be ugly, but I love it. I easily attain the runners high, the endorphine spike that follows the exertion of running. 20 minutes of intervals and I’m there, feeling no pain. In fact, it is such a high that I have to be careful to stay out of situations where a lowered inhibition could cause trouble.

Running puts me fully in my body. One of my first experiences of being fully in my body was swimming lessons. Another area in which I was a late bloomer, I didn’t have access to a pool until I was 13 years old. Being surrounded by water, engaging all of the muscles of the body at once, was a thing of pleasure for me. Whereas I felt awkward on dry land, I felt lithe and lean in the water.

My next full body engagement came from running. The undulating motion of the entire body moving in rhythm, the sweat forming around my face and my collar bones, the thrust of the ground making contact with the soles of my feet, he endorphine high after–I figured  that’s what sex must be like. [Continued in Part 4]

Missed the beginning? Read Part 1, Part 2.

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