A few days ago, I did something I never thought I would do. I went for a run.
It was one of the worst experiences of my life. Legs aching, trying to suck in air while feeling like I had been stabbed in the chest. I’m pretty sure I even got cramp in my big toe. It was awful, and I was only running around my block. What’s more, the sympathetic looks I got from people were alarming. I was in pain, and I looked it. Imagine a walrus on land. I was moving, although it would have been a stretch to call it running.
The worst part was the other runners. “Keep it up!” “the trick is, do not stop,” and “good for you!” were all encouragements passed out by the public as I hobbled and wheezed passed. One sadistic, middle-aged runner gave me a “looking good” while she sprinted by. I looked so bad that complete strangers thought they needed to offer their help. They thought they were helping, but it was humiliating. Downright cruel.
I’m fat, not stupid. I know that I need to ‘keep it up’ and I know that running is ‘good for me’. You don’t need to say a thing. Your encouragement does not come across well. I’m angry that I have to go for a run, don’t make me angry with you, too.
I seriously hate runners. They make me sick, in their tight fluorescent outfits and sculpted bodies. It’s freezing outside, take the day off! And they all look like they are enjoying themselves, which is the worst part. It just looks so easy for them. Every time I see one, I consider throwing my McDonalds milkshake out the window at them as I drive past.
I have never been much of an athlete. The highlight of my sporting career is still an undefeated season of under 7s T-ball. Since then, it has only gotten worse: Being forced to be the goalie while playing football, getting picked later and later for teams, and finally, losing an arm-wrestling match against my mother in my teens.
I wasn’t always the fat kid though. I used to be in all right shape. But a combination of energy drinks; fast food; and a general hate for vegetables, sweating, and pain has led me down this path of flubbery. But I was okay with it. Some of the greatest people in history have been a little chunky: Winston Churchill, Meatloaf, Jonah Hill, Jack Black, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Biggie Smalls, and Zach Galifianakis are (or were) all amazing people while living (or dying) on the plus side of life. If it was good enough for them, it’s good enough for me. And when the back hair started coming in, I gave up all hope of looking good without a shirt on. I let myself go.
That was until recently, when reality hit me whilst I was at the airport. I thought it would be funny to jump on the scales usually reserved for luggage. However, the result was definitely not funny. I took a moment to calculate that if I sold everything I owned, I still could not afford the excess baggage costs. Suddenly, I had some realizations. I get puffed going up the escalator, I need help getting up from the floor, and I can no longer fit curly fries around my fingers. I have a problem; I am too fat.
So with these realizations at hand, and a bit of pressure from my wife, I have started exercising and eating better (not healthy eating, just less unhealthy eating).
So tomorrow I will hit the pavement again, this time I might even try to keep my dignity while doing so.
And if you see a chubster going for a run, don’t say a fucking thing.