One thing I am not is “PC”. I often say inappropriate things at just the wrong time. I call it an “unfiltered pipeline from my brain to my mouth for me to express my spur-of-the-moment thoughts and feelings.” Others call it “being an asshole.” To-may-toes, to-mah-toes.
A few years ago, some of you may recall a TV public service announcement against domestic violence making the rounds where an off-screen couple were heard arguing before the angry hubby started smacking his wife around. Or choosing an odd time to violently fluff his pillow. The action occurred off screen so you couldn’t be certain. Either way, the woman started crying and complaining that ‘it hurts’ (which leads me to believe he wasn’t fluffing pillows after all!) The hubby – in a Jim Carreyesque-over-the-top sarcastic tone – then started mocking her by repeating “Ow, it hurts, it hurts.”
Is it wrong that I found that commercial hilarious?
No, seriously, I laughed every time. Now, for the record, I want to make clear that I Do Not Condone Domestic Abuse. There are a few loons out there that – no matter how clear you make a joke – can’t seem to catch on. No, domestic abuse sucks.* Are we clear?
But, boy, was that commercial funny. I have an odd ability to break down an otherwise tragic event into smaller disassociated actions and somehow find a nugget of humor in one of those fragmented pieces. The hubby’s mimicry was so ridiculously over-exaggerated, I just found it funny. Who talks like that? In another example (to further destroy my already teetering character), I was watching this really good movie once when a scene came on where this one armed man is staggering around with this confused look on his face until he found his other severed arm, nonchalantly picked it up by the sleeve, and walked away. Surreal? Check. Amusing? Kinda. I chuckled a little, I have to admit.**
Disassociation. It’s what I do. I’m sure there is some larger psychological thing going on here but what might be your Undiagnosed Mental Disease is my Lovable Character Trait.
What does any of this have to do with running?
Well, frankly, there’s been some domestic abuse going on around my house and I’m the victim. No, Mrs. Nitmos isn’t hitting me. She is making me watch a lot of reality based TV however which is a form of abuse, of course (i.e. American Loser and Biggest Idol or whatever they are called.). And she continues to make something called “ham steak” for dinner against my vigorous protestations.
This abuse is more of the interpersonal variety. For the first time in four years, I don’t have a fall marathon already on the schedule. I’m toying with the idea of scheduling a 50k ultra. Yes, my virginal Ultra! Already, my legs are not too happy with me just from regular training schedules. As you know, my calves have even staged a few Operation Shutdown style sit-ins in the middle of a few marathons which, last I checked, are 26.2 miles. The 50k is 31.1 miles.
I like my leg muscles. I don’t mean to hurt them…and they don’t mean to hurt me I’m sure. We just have one of those stormy relationships were sometimes things go to far. My shin suddenly shows up with an unexplained bruise from “falling down the stairs.” Maybe an IT band is stiff and sullen and no longer interacts with the other IT bands. That’s just how things are.
I know you are all thinking that maybe I’m not doing right by my legs. You’re wrong. It’s not me, it’s them. They need to change. They need to look in the mirror. If I want to run 31.1 miles, I will.
I haven’t decided if I’m going to pull the trigger and sign up for the ultra. I’m afraid that my legs and I will start fighting again. We'll start fighting like the ShawWow guy and his hooker. Then I’ll have to explain the black toenails and the cigarette burns all around my ankles all over again.
I guess – if I do – I’ll sign up quietly. I’ll buy my legs new socks, shoes, and treat them to a soothing massage. Then, I’ll just show up at the 50k start line and they won’t know what hit them.
By the time they realize it isn’t a long training run and start screaming out in pain, I’ll just sneer, cackle maniacally, and mock them:
“Ow, it hurts, it hurts.”
It’s not me. It’s them.
* Unless it’s for a good reason, of course, then it's totally warranted.
** I’m ashamed to admit that the movie was Saving Private Ryan and this scene occurred in the horrifically bloody opening D-Day battle sequence. The man was clearly in shock as he just lost his arm. See, when you look at it in context, it’s not funny at all is it? And I'm a real jerk.