It was a normal Saturday. We met up, we chatted, we went out for brunch at our favourite restaurant. We even ordered our favourite things. And then, my partner of nearly four years dropped the bomb on me.
“Uh…” she began. “I don’t know how to tell you this…”
My heart sank.
“I signed us both up for the Sun Run.”
I figured it was going to be bad news, but I had no idea it would be that bad.
“Are you kidding?!” I lamented. “I think you’re trying to kill me.”
She spent the next half hour telling me how much fun we were going to have getting ready for that fateful April 23 morning. I was full-on sobbing into an English muffin by that point, but I still remember the gist of what she said: “We’ll go running every day before work, we’re gonna make healthy breakfast smoothies, we can get gym memberships, we’ll go shopping for lycra – this is our new life!”
I really thought she knew me better than that. If people came with users’ manuals then mine would explicitly state, right on page one, that I hate strenuous exercise with the burning rage of a thousand suns. On more than one occasion, I’ve gotten shin splints just from walking halfway down the driveway to check the mail. Even if I hired Usain Bolt as my personal trainer, there’s no way I’d be getting through the Sun Run with a time any faster than seven hours.
After listening to me spout off a laundry list of excuses, she reached over, wrapped her arms around my doughy midsection, gave me a little kiss on the cheek and whispered, “You’ll be so happy you did this when it’s over.”
She also informed me that I was going to be picking up the tab for brunch that day, because she’d already paid for my registration.
The following Monday, I visited a lawyer’s office to get started on a will – though I won’t lie, I did inquire about restraining orders as well. Since then, I’ve been living pretty much in hiding, trying to avoid the mixture of spandex and smoothies that was promised weeks ago.
In hindsight, I should have known this was coming. There was a noticeable absence of chocolate in my Christmas stocking this year, though there was a box of brand new running shoes under the tree. How foolish was I not to see that actually putting them on and using them would be the logical next step.
I know exactly why she did it, though. For as long as we’ve been together, I’ve been letting my health take a back seat to just about everything else I do. Rather than wait until it completely caught up with me, she decided to push me to do something I wouldn’t have willingly done for myself. I’m told it’s because she likes me and wants me to be around for a long time – which, I’ll admit, goes fully against my longstanding convictions that the Sun Run will destroy me.
In any case, she’s refused to let it go. Not only has she compiled me a Pinterest board full of ‘tips for slow runners’ and motivational quotes, but she texts me almost hourly with reasons why I should be getting more excited about the Sun Run’s exercise, scenery and people-watching potential.
That last one scares the most. I may not be physically fit, but my intellectual fortitude is enough to know that if I’m watching people, then surely, they’re watching me. What if Global News is there? What if they happen to bear permanent witness to me and my glorious ‘dad bod’, foomping down the street wearing little more than a fanny pack?
To her credit, she’s promised that when that day comes she’ll be foomping right along with me; and at first I thought that was pretty sweet, but then I remembered that this will be her second Sun Run and that her competitive nature is inevitably going to make her want to beat last year’s time. No matter how much she claims she’s committed to this whole ‘together forever’ thing, I know she’s probably going to leave me in the dust on the quest for a new personal best.
At least she didn’t leave me over brunch.
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