Tuesday, November 29, 2005

And the dreams in which I'm running are the best I've ever had

I keep having these dreams. These dreams, in which I’m running. Far and fast and with great ease, I am running. Sometimes, I’m running away from someone, up stairs and leaping from building to building, and at some point I manage to parse my terror and the urgency involved in getting away and I’m able to realize, hey, man, I am really fit, and this running feels goddamn good. Other times, I’m just running, just flying along, my feet barely touching the ground, simply running for the joy of it.

Which is frankly hilarious, because there isn’t much I find as joyless as running. I have tried it, though never for very long, and never very seriously, but I do not enjoy it at all when I do it. It hurts my knees, it hurts my lungs, it hurts my head and it hurts my pride a little to be flopping about and gasping and just generally falling apart. And yet, the dreams.

I am choosing to take the dreams as evidence that there are things I think I cannot do, but which I actually can. Not only can I do them, I can love them. Which things? Er, I haven’t quite sorted that out yet. But I can tell you that right now, I love getting out of bed early in the morning, and persuading Taco up out of bed (more difficult than you might think, what with him being a nocturnal musician type and all) and getting both of us out the door for what has quickly become the best part of every day…our morning walk. We go to the café near our house first, and get a coffee, and then we pick a neighbourhood and walk it and talk about paint colours, and front porches, and wedding plans and road trips and any number of matters, of great consequence and of no consequence at all. And it is awesome, that part of the day, when everything’s fresh and my legs are moving, and the coffee is strong, and Taco’s holding my hand. That feels in real life how the running feels in the dreams.

What else? I’m making it to the gym fairly regularly, and staying for two classes instead of just one. Ninety minutes worth. Which feels great. Though lately I’m noticing my body, in a not good way. I am having trouble seeing it as just another body on the continuum of bodies. I spent a lot of years never really looking my body in the eye, so to speak, and that worked…well, not that well, really. I mean, it was great for my self esteem, of which I have always had a surfeit. But it wasn’t so great for actually looking after myself, you know? I couldn’t fix what I didn’t notice, and I didn’t notice much where my body was concerned. Now, all I do is notice. And it kind of sucks. I was happier, I think, not noticing my batwing arms. Not noticing that while my torso is kind of neat and tidy, my ass and thighs are massive, like the ass and thighs of some other person all together. Today’s unhappy discovery in the gym’s mirror? Gigantic boobs. I mean, really frigging big. Where did those things come from? How have a I managed to avoid giving myself a black eye when I’m doing jumping jacks? No wonder I don’t enjoy running.

Anyhow. Things aren’t as bleak as all that. It’s just that I’m noticing now what I never noticed before and it is kind of shocking. I’ve been told ad nauseum in the past that I don’t carry myself like a fat person, which is probably because up until last fall, I was really good at pretending I wasn’t one.

However. I am. Less fat than I was, to be sure. And dreaming of running, and spending a fair bit of money and time on working out. But still. I am fat, and it’s like 30 years of denial are finally catching up with me. I guess I’m getting in all my adolescent self-loathing now. Lucky me.

I feel better when I exercise, and I’m exercising plenty, which means I actually feel good most of the time. Except for when I see myself exercising in the mirror. It’s so stupid—I feel so stupid having these defeatist thoughts. Though I guess they’re only defeatist if they actually defeat me, which so far, they haven’t.

Which brings me to the plan for the next month, a month that will be fraught with travel and busy-ness. Here’s the schedule: leave Thursday for three nights in Toronto. Then back to Halifax on Sunday, then back to Toronto the Sunday after that for five nights, then back to Halifax for about 15 hours, then into the car to drive to…yep, Toronto. For Christmas. Not the most perfect schedule ever. But I’ve grown to like hotel workouts, and Taco and I have our walking routine, which we’ll keep up while we’re on vacation. I will avoid, as best I can, the meeting danishes and muffins, which are basically sugared poison to me. I will drink water and I will walk wherever I can. Right now, as closely as I can determine, I weigh 205.4. My goal is to weigh 205.4 on January 2 when I return from all this meeting and merry-making. Just maintain, that’s all I’m aiming for.

And then, in January, bridal bootcamp begins, and I will sweat at the bony hands of Mean and Crazy. And yea, verily, I will rejoice.

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