Friday, August 29, 2008

Lost and Found Runners

I had to take the whole day off today. No exercising for me, thank you. I really overdid it yesterday, but not on purpose. It’s my broken internal GPS again.

When I first started dating Kent, he noticed that I always asked him for directions if I was driving. Even if I’d been there before. One million times before. When I’d turn into a gas station, for instance, I would not know which way to turn back onto the road to continue my route.

When Kent first discovered my “disability”, he thought it was cute. I warned him that in a few years the “cute” would wear way down and turn into “embarrassing” and then finally “ridiculous.” But he does still think it’s cute. His favorite trick is when we’re walking toward a parking lot to find the car, he’ll lag back a little just to see me get that dumb look on my face and scan the parking lot in hopes of remembering where I’d parked the car. I’ll stop talking to him a few steps before we get to the parking lot so I can start trying to retrace some path. Then I’ll just start walking in some direction that I chose randomly. Then he laughs and takes me by the hand like I’m a toddler who needs to leave the playground.

I think my lack of direction is an adorable personal attribute and I don’t think I’d change it if I could, except in one circumstance: Running. Yesterday I went running at noon, it was about 100 degrees and I was determined to train in high stress weather so that I could get tough. But then I got lost in the park. It’s a big park and there are lots of trails, but I’ve been coming to this park for five years! At every single Y in the road, I had no idea which way to go so I just ran. I still don’t know if I went the right way or the wrong way. I just know that I eventually ended back at my car an hour later. I almost had heat stroke and my quadriceps cramped up. I was bright pink for hours.

I wanted to look cool while I was running (walking) and I was really hoping none of the other runners noticed that I was going back and forth a few times before I’d move along. So I’d wave real friendly-like to everyone so that I’d look confident. I have thus completed a very important study: I’ve concluded that women like me have a sharp stick up their ass. After my hour long waving study, I found that old people, immigrants, young kids, and dogs all smile and wave back. Some even talk. There was a young couple out for a walk. The boyfriend was playing his guitar and singing to her while she walked by his side. I stopped and took my earplugs out and asked her if her Ipod ran on batteries or solar. She looked confused until I pointed at her boyfriend. She laughed. Then I asked her why she didn’t get an armband like mine to strap him to. Then she could jog with him, like I jog with mine. She laughed and smiled and thought I was witty. Until I saw them later and I was lost, and walking, and ran out of jokes.

But women my own age act like they can’t see me. Like they are so into their run that they cannot even manage to move their hand up and crack a smile on their uptight grill. But that doesn’t stop me, I just shout “Hi” until they’re forced to acknowledge me. I do it to be mean, even though it looks like I’m doing it to be nice. That’s a fun kind of mean to be; the nice kind.


  1. Ah, the nice kind of mean. I'm familiar with that. It reminds me of a time that two grown women squirted people with water sprayers at an amusement park...


  2. I have the same getting-lost disability as you. I call it direxlexia. My husband does not think it is cute. At all.


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