by Kristi York
I’d like to extend an open apology to the residents of my neighbourhood (or anywhere else I may happen to be running).
Since I became a mom, running has been less about training for a specific event, and more of a brief reprieve from my daily parenting routine. While I genuinely love being home with my two boys, there are times when the ongoing cycle of wiping kitchen counters, wiping away spills, wiping runny noses, and wiping up diaper messes leaves me feeling, well, wiped.
Sometimes it’s Mom’s turn for a time-out. While my running schedule is sporadic at best, getting out there always gives me a much-needed mental and physical break. Sometimes, I get so caught up in the euphoria of my alone time that I forget I’m not alone.
I blame my iPod. I purposely save my favourite songs for my runs (which is not hard to do since my car’s CD player never contains anything except kiddie music). “My” songs are reserved for the adrenaline rush of my running escape. And, with these up-tempo tunes pounding in my ears, I get immersed in my own little world, and don’t notice the unsuspecting onlookers that may be treated to my antics.
I lip-sync. I fist-pump. I point authoritatively at no one. I dance with my upper body while my legs keep running. I’ve even broken out in spontaneous Zumba dance moves, which must only add to the absurd spectacle of my anglophone self singing along to Spanish lyrics that I don’t understand at all. During girl-power anthems by sassy female artists like Lady Gaga, Pink, or Katy Perry, you may see an air-punch or two. I’ll even admit, my hand sometimes involuntarily forms itself into a phone during Carly Rae Jepsen’s teen-pop song “Call Me Maybe.”
I try to be conscious that there are others sharing the sidewalk with me, and restrain myself to conform to basic social conventions. However, with Pitbull blasting in my ears, I think my overly loud “GOOD MORNING!” is probably still jarring to the retired couples out for a pleasant morning walk. To compound the problem, this seemed to be the year that every house in our area was due for re-shingling. I shudder to think at how many of my lame dance moves were witnessed by teams of bemused roofers.
I don’t get out much, okay? So any song lyrics that encourage the listener to “put your hands up in the air” or “shake it like you just don’t care” might just have me doing so—as I pass your driveway. Again, I’m sorry, and I’ll try to rein myself in, but I can’t promise anything. Mainly, I just want to thank you for your continued support, and for waiting until you’re safely in your garage to start laughing.
Kristi York is the copy editor of Running Room Magazine and a freelance writer. More of her published work can be found on Twitter @KristiYork19.