by Josh Lorenzo
No offense, but I’m probably not going out for a run with you. My overall disdain for human beings supersedes my need for social interaction. Besides, it’s impossible to run and converse at the same time anyway. Something about the limitations of human physiology. I read it somewhere, probably on a Snapple bottle top. Snapple bottle tops have a lot of useful information.
Trust me, you don’t even want to run with me. Sure, I may look like I’m in good shape. My athleticism is pretty on point and I have what many in the field would call a runner’s body: tall, thin, sarcastic. Funny thing though; looks can be deceiving. To put it simply, I’m a terrible runner.
Fun fact: my form is horrendous. I look like a flailing ostrich when I run. I verbally accost myself somewhere around the .75-mile marker. I manufacture a lot of saliva when I run. It’s very gross. I manufacture a lot of whining when I run too. You’ll bear the brunt of that, my striding friend. “Are we there yet?” I’ll say over and over again until you try pushing me into the nearby woods, effectively ending our run, and probably our friendship.
Also, I sweat a lot. Sometimes the sweat gets into my eyes and the stinging causes me to thrash around as if a thousand bees are trying to steal my wallet. You may accidentally get punched in the face.
From a built environment perspective, two full-sized human beings cannot share a sidewalk and I refuse to run with children or short people. Have you ever seen a 6’2” man running alongside another adult only half that size? It’s weird, man. Weird.
There’s a commonly known psychological condition in the running world called “Calf muscle jealousy.” I suffer from it. If your calf muscles are larger than mine and we are out there running together, I will not be responsible for the vitriol I throw your way. I am, after all, a victim of my own limitations.
There is no bone in my body that is afraid of quitting. People say quitters never win. When you aren’t used to winning though, who cares?! Rest assured, I have never met a hill I’ve been afraid to halt my run because of.
You know why I even began running in the first place? Because my bike was in the back of the shed and it would’ve required at least ten minutes of rearranging stuff just to get to it. I simply didn’t have that level of commitment and I thought running would be less burdensome. I was wrong, but my bike is still back there, in the depths of my shed. I should probably clean out my shed one day.
If, for some spectacular reason, I do take you up on your ridiculous offer to run together, do not let me pick the route. I have something in my subconscious that forces me to plan my runs near my favorite bar. It’s my civic responsibility to support a local business and no amount of physical activity will get in the way of that. I like beer, a lot more than I like running with you.
So, if you are still interested in running with me and your calf muscles are much smaller, you aren’t extremely short, you don’t mind my spitting, sweating, whining and cursing, and are okay with stopping less than halfway through for a few beers, let me know.
Josh Lorenzo is a part-time humour writer, featured in various places, such as McSweeney’s and The Washington Post. He writes a regular satirical column, “Don’t Feed the Animals” at Political Animal Magazine. He also has a blog at www.theauthorofsarcasm.com. He lives is in suburban Maryland with his wife and two children.