Running with Pom Poms

June 1, 2009

in How to be a Housewife

My friend Maggy is an amazing person. Not only does she share my passion for Orange Balls, Paula Dean’s cooking, and anything else so sinfully good it has to take a month off of your life to maintain the balance of nature, but she also regularly runs. In fact, she ran a 5k this Spring. In the middle of law school.

Which got me thinking about the last time I ran.

I don’t run.

At all. I’ve been known to walk 2 miles to class rather than run 2 yards to catch the bus. I mean, really, when was the last time you saw a large chested woman running? Not only is there the danger of poking out an eye, but the traffic accidents caused by drivers eagerly watching for it (or a “wardrobe malfunction”) to happen would be catastrophic. Really, it’s for the good of humanity (and my eyes) that I don’t run.

So the last time I actually ran must have been in 5th grade (fortunately for society, I was a late bloomer). That was the year I tried for the Presidential Medal of Physical Fitness. What ten year old doesn’t covet a certificate signed by President Bill Clinton before he was impeached? I was a whiz at sit-ups (why did I ever lose that skill??), did the chin hang (girly pull ups), and even managed to cramp my way to the minimum requirement for the sit-and-reach. Running the mile? Failed it. Twice.

My pride (disguised as my mother and the P.E. teacher), would not let me quit. Apparently, they did not make a Vice Presidential Medal of Physical somewhat Fitness. Which, in retrospect, was probably a smart move. After all – what else is P.E. bu training for that day when society fails and we are left to fend for ourselves in the wild? Losers quickly become dinner.

So they arranged a third run for me and the two other kids who couldn’t quit yet either. In a ridiculously supportive gesture, my mother actually came out with my two younger siblings and pom poms. Yes, those kind of pom poms – the ones cheerleaders use to distract the fans from how badly the football team is losing to the genetic freaks from across town. She even made my father put the Air Force on hold and come down to school to show support/rush me to the hospital if this didn’t turn out well.

Like most painful events, the details have been mercifully blurred. But I do remember quite a bit of actual running being performed. And then some pitiful limping. And then my mother waiving those oversized pom poms and cheering while my father, in full fatigues and combat boots, stepped up to run beside me in the sweltering heat the last couple of laps. When I finally crossed the finish line there was no marching band, but I managed to make it in time. Just. The P.E. teacher may have taken pity on me and fudged it a bit.

Running now? There is no cheering squad. All they hand you is a T-shirt. That came with your entry fee. And cost as much as a much cuter one from Banana Republic.

So I? Do not run. Unless you have pom poms.

{ 1 comment }

luhguhguh March 26, 2010 at 8:18 pm

Some races have cheerleaders with actual poms poms to cheer you on! Plus you get a medal for finishing! :)

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