This is typically the time of year when I take up running. I am right type of person for running as I own a pair of sneakers, belong to a class of bipedal organisms, and say things like, “I can’t do a chin-up because I prefer cardio.” Also, my natural state of movement is akin to a speedwalking 1980’s businesswoman – elbows up, emphatic stride, power skirt and sports socks – so it’s only a hop-step more to turning that into a light jog.
I have a habit of becoming a February runner because I the calendar gives me an unproven surge of hope that I will soon look unbelievable in a bathing suit. By July I have given up on the beach-ish body and moved onto creating good workout habits, which is followed by a Fall that’s both a season and a description of how easily I justify the lack of time for exercise as soon as schedules get busy. Then comes winter, and by mid-January I realize it’s almost my birthday and I’m winded from walking up the stairs to my office and strongly considering buying maternity pants “for the stretch.”
Running has always been a two-part activity for me. Part One is all about preparation: finding the exact right mix of beat-thumping songs, drinking (and absorbing) a big glass of water, and then running about 200 steps before pausing in order to go to the bathroom.
Once I’ve done my Part One business, Part Two can begin in earnest. Part Two starts with finding an entirely different set of beat-thumping songs, making a half-hearted attempt at stretching (so that my muscles aren’t stiff after my Part One “run”), and then actually running.
When we lived in the country, I’d lace up my sneakers and Velcro on my cell phone armband (obviously, I have a cell phone armband) and make a big show about going for a jog. Our old house was surrounded by sections of farmland, and so a typical run for me would consist of jogging up one side of the section and back again – roughly two miles, if you didn’t count our laneway. That road only saw a handful of cars a day, and so those runs were just me and the wind; which was good, because it really tested the strength of Kyle’s love when I returned home all red-faced, jiggly, and sweaty from the equivalent of a warm-up.
As you know, we moved into town in July. One of the reasons I justified the move was so that I could get a membership to a gym/Fit Body Bootcamp/Orange Theory/ the latest hot mom thing and be fit all year round, and not just when the weather was cooperating. You may be thinking, “But I live in the country and I have a gym membership?” As a long-time sufferer from “Every Excuse in the Book”-it is, I struggled making regular use of the gym because of my inability to wake before 6:30 am unless the roof was being ripped off the house or a baby was crying…meaning that, in the country, I needed to work out at lunchtime or at night because I didn’t have an extra 40 minutes to spare in the morning (20-minute drive each way) to get to and from the gym and still get the kids to school and myself to work on time.
I did, one January, make an effort to exercise over my lunch break – but, as noted, I have impressively-active sweat glands which require me to shower after every run. As an extremely lazy person who doesn’t really LOVE getting dressed once a day, needing to do the whole make-up, hairdo-ing twice in a four-hour period didn’t have long-term appeal.
Anyways, as noted, we moved to town in July. By September I still hadn’t gotten that gym membership, and so I told Kyle I needed (“needed”) indoor space so that I could literally (and I don’t use the word “literally” lightly) clear away every possible excuse I could muster and finally work off the thousands of pounds of Hanukkah latkes I’ve been carrying around once and for all. Kyle says yes to everything and so he agreed, and it was a hop, skip, and a jump (or rather, some rubber flooring and the absolute cheapest treadmill available on the Internet) later that I had a windowless bunker in the basement designated as the EXERCISE ROOM.
Now I, and my crappy treadmill (seriously, Fred Flintstone had a higher-quality rig; the first time Kyle saw me using it he asked, “Are treadmills supposed to shake like that?”) run whenever the mood, and a need to shower, strike me. Kyle also hung an old TV in the bunker EXERCISE ROOM, so sometimes I work out when I want to watch an episode of the TV show “Velvet” without anyone judging bothering me. As of this moment, my rate of both exercise and self-congratulations are up 100%. My two-piece bathing suit purchases – and returns – are also up 100%. Baby steps.
I didn’t want to post a picture of me running in the bunker because I have big dreams of putting my Pinterest skills to work and painting a mural in there. So, the photo above is from the first and last time Kyle and I tried hot yoga back in 2006. Notice how one of us is more red-faced than the other. Also, that sweatshirt is normally a lighter grey color when it’s not covered in sweat, and I didn’t even wear it into the yoga room.
This week’s news has Jennifer Lopez, an online suicide support program, and advice from a 105-year-old. Read on.
Jamestown’s Josh Brown has had an almost miraculous recovery after a four-wheeler accident. (KVRR)
The Bengals may not have won the Super Bowl, but they are still winners in Dickinson’s Gladys Weiler’s book. (KFYR TV)
Minot’s Ray Curtis is 105 years old, and credits his longevity to staying mentally and physically busy. (KX Net)
Thompson’s Allison McGauvran is helping take Altru’s TEARS suicide support program online. (Jamestown Sun)
Surrey’s Kelsey Bachmeier is now Kelsey Baeza thanks to a wedding ceremony courtesy of Jennifer Lopez and Maluma music video. (Minot Daily News)
Pick up your pick; a Jamestown coffee shop is hosting bluegrass jam sessions. (Valley City Times-Record)
I don’t know if this is really nice news, but it’s pretty funny. The organizer of the Squirt B International interviewed a few Arizonians in town for the hockey tournament, and this is their take on the weather. (A side note: We flew into Phoenix a few years ago during an unusual cold snap – the temperature at 6pm was 67 degrees. One of the employees at the hotel was wearing a parka, and when we commented on it, he said, “If it gets any colder I think I may freeze to death.”) (Fargo Forum)
I like to draft little stories, known as Flash Fiction amongst writers. I thought I might post a few of them on North Dakota Nice this month because they are starting to pile up. You can read one here entitled “How to Spot a North Dakotan” and another one here entitled “Keepin’ Busy.”