I’m so jealous of the people I see out running at all times of the day. Many of the runners I talk to speak of how much they love it and how cathartic it is for them. I very recently decided I really wanted to be one of these people so I took up the sport myself three days a week, but I’m having some issues. For example, every Monday I walk from Cambridge to the North End of Boston for an improv class. I wouldn’t say that I am moving particularly slow but I’m certainly not in a brightly colored waterproof track suit swinging my arms for momentum either. I walk at a steady and easy pace and usually by the time I reach the the bridge that is the halfway mark on my route I’m sweating like an overworked landscaper on the worst day in Central America.
No really it’s fine… I love showing up to class with pit stains, it was the first impression I was hoping to give off.
I’m going off track here now because I get all riled up when talking about sweating. If I may get personal and over share a bit, I will admit that I use clinical strength deodorant and I have been known to visit a bathroom multiple times just to dab at my pits with scratchy brown paper towels. There is no way to make any of this cute as a girl. While I appreciate Dove and Secret’s attempts to brand an ever increasing number of scents in the clinical category, cucumber melon still seems to be the only one I can find in stock. I’m sorry but who the hell came up with cucumber melon as a scent for my armpits? I smell like a salad bar. That stupid scent became popular when I was in middle school and I remember all the girls I thought were cool had cucumber melon scented soaps and body mists; now it is like the scent equivalent of the Comic Sans Font; overused and incredibly tacky (when you see a professional sending emails in Comic Sans you know they probably have their original AOL account from 1992, type one letter at a time with their nose an inch from the keyboard and spent twenty minutes going through every font option until they found one that made them feel “fun” or “hip”). Cucumber melon is something I am forced into if I want the heavy hitters antiperspirant but I resent it and I think it’s discrimination. Clammy girls want and deserve to smell like flowers sometimes too you know.
When discussing this moisture malfunction with my mother she said she was pretty sure that a tolerance to heat could be built up. Makes perfect sense right? People who move to parts of the world with extreme climates are usually used to it and their bodies adapt. I briefly thought of just trying to spend more time outside of my central air enjoying the warm weather and then realized, in that moment, as I was thinking this, that I had a sweatstache, extreme pit stains and I was even panting a little. Cute right?
Forget it. If this is how I am outside in the summer when I’m just strolling, imagine if I chose to actually exert myself in this oppressive season? I wouldn’t be one of those hot sporty chicks with a ponytail swinging behind her as she holds her head high and confidently glides forward. That girl just barely glistens with enough sweat to be taken seriously by fellow runners but not so much that she couldn’t dab it off and run straight to a trendy social event. I run at 6am just to get temperatures below 70 and I come home with my ponytail drooping as if it’s giving up on life, my face dripping like my pores have suddenly burst into tears of agony and a complexion so red I could easily bust through a wall screaming “oh yeahhhh” and people could buy that I was the High C fruit punch mascot.
I don’t run into many people that early (one other rare benefit to running at such an obscene hour), but the people I do pass on the path I always smile at as if to say, “we are both running and probably both hate it, thus we are connected”. I’m just trying to become a part of the inner runners circle, but I’m noticing that during my warm up walk and the first few minutes of the run people smile back; as time goes on I get less and less eye contact and even the occasional look of pity and disgust. Then as I get back to my apartment building and I reach for the door handle I catch my reflection in the glass pane and realize I look like a furby. Awesome. Glad I chose to start this f!@#$%* sport, it’s the best.
Maybe next I’ll try stunt pogo; it’s a real thing… I actually looked up a list of extreme sports and this was the one that seemed as frustrating and useless as running. Stupid.