in which I discover that I am not, in fact, usain bolt

The other night I went running.

I know that for some people, running is a regular task, not worthy of commentary. They just run and then do that whole bounding into brunch thing, all glowy and endorphin-y, and say “great run, dude, up at sunrise and just really cleared my head, hey, yeah, I’d love a wheatgrass juice, thanks.”


Let’s be clear. My body ain’t exactly built for speed.

Of course, it’s not really built for endurance either. It’s built for…cheese, a little tapas, maybe a dry rosé.

But the other night, I was out at the soccer fields football pitch with the boys; it was a beautiful evening; I was wearing my sneakers. There were two empty pitches off where no one could see me as I trotted around and I figured that running on grass would perhaps cushion my increasingly rickety knees.

I stretched, I tied and re-tied my sneakers, I adjusted my walkman ipod to the music I like for exercise: loud.  Loud drowns out the slow thud of my feet and my equally thudding breath.

Off I went around the fields, The Black Keys filling in my ears, trying not to notice the slight floop floop of my tummy as I jogged along.

Okay, I think, I’m runningMy mind should be clearing, I should be feeling my creative juices bubbling up.That’s what’s supposed to happen when you run so any minute now I should be getting an idea – HEY! I could write about running. Yeah. That would be great –  maybe I should stop and write this idea down?

I do not stop. My inner gym teacher keeps yelling at me to move, dammit!  Inner gym teacher looks a bit like Sue Sylvester and a bit like Mrs. Friel, from 9th grade, who seemed to think it her mission on earth to make pre-adolescent girls cry.

I whine to myself in time with the music:  I’m huuunnnngggrrry….I’m thirrrrsssstttyyyy….I’m tirrreeed. I offer bribes to myself – ice cream, cookies, cheese – if I do just two more laps, which I figure would bring me to almost twenty minutes of non-stop running trotting jogging ambling quickly.  I do not believe my own bribes and call myself a liar.

The gym teacher screams at me again to move. I kick The Keys a little louder. Okay this running thing isn’t so bad. Let’s get a little more speed going here, yeah, that’s right, a little faster.

I am flying. I am Usain fucking Bolt here, I am burning up that field, it seems I am built for speed.

Whoosh. See that blur? Yeah. That was me.

In my mind, anyway.

Okay, maybe I was more Usain Bolt’s great-great grandmother than Usain himself, but still. I did it. Twenty minutes of non-stop “running.”

And you know what? I think I want to do it again.


**when I wasn’t pretending to be Usain Bolt (or his elderly relatives), I wrote about the expat workers in Abu Dhabi for the World Mom’s Blog, over here; and published a sort of op-ed about the relative failure of Abu Dhabi’s recycling program (as near as I can tell, the city/country doesn’t have one), over here.




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3 Responses to in which I discover that I am not, in fact, usain bolt

  1. Matty May 7, 2012 at 10:33 am #

    Who was chasing you?

    • deborah quinn May 7, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

      HA! indeed. luckily no one WAS chasing me or I would’ve been totally shit outta luck. My valuables would’ve plucked from my sweaty fingers like over-ripe plums.

  2. Varda (SquashedMom) May 7, 2012 at 7:26 pm #

    Awesome, babe! So when you come to NY I’m going to have to trot to keep up with you now? Can we do the “cheese, tapas, dry rosé” thing instead? Oh, wait, we’re getting together for breakfast. Better make that a mimosa 😉
    Varda (SquashedMom) recently posted..Tomorrow!My Profile

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