You reach a point of no return. A finish line. An emotional state where you realize that you’re not living your life anymore.
Today, I reached that point. The news that I had given up all rights to my life came in the form of an email containing the subject line, “Turkey Trot Registration Confirmation” with a detailed description of a race that, unbeknownst to me, I would be running.
Those who know me closely know that physical activity isn’t something I prioritize in my life, specifically cardio. If one was to go through my drawers, yes, they’d find workout clothes that signal that I do, in fact, work out. But if one was to go through my vitals file at the doctor’s office, they’d find what appears to be the genetic makeup of a 45-year-old man existing in a 29-year-old’s body. When I was 28, two strippers thought I was 36. That’s what we’re dealing with.
But that’s neither here nor there.
“Turkey Trot Registration Confirmation” turned out to be the words that signaled the downturn of an otherwise fruitful and enjoyable life. “Turkey” signaled that this race would indubitably occur on Thanksgiving Day, a day that had traditionally been considered as a day of indulgence for the first 28 years of my life.
“Trot” indicated that I would be running, or at least cramping up while jogging at a 12-minute-per-mile race. As someone who has had more than one day in the last month where I logged less than a thousand steps, “trotting” isn’t something I “do.”
“Registration” told me that this event wasn’t optional. This would not be a “wake up and see how you feel morning.” No, this would be a required event that I was to attend because “registration” means that it would require payment. Because paying to run is the yuppiest activity one can actually do. And considering my red-headed, fair-skinned girlfriend and I have recently started indulging in chia pudding for breakfast, we would be considered yuppies.
“Confirmation” was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. It’s a word that explicitly states that this wasn’t a promotional email for the Turkey Trot. It’s a word that says that I have, indeed, registered for the trot and will be partaking in it whether my body is emotionally or physically ready for it or not. My emergency contacts: listed. My fee: paid. My USATF Waiver? Forged, but signed nonetheless.
For a brief moment, I took solace in the fact that this race was “untimed” before realizing that just because something isn’t tracked doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter. It’s a five-mile race. Not five kilometers. Five miles. Her brother-in-law played professional baseball and will be showered and sitting in front of my Lions game when I’m huffing passed the finish line with shin splints. Her sisters will be running as a group, much like they do other things as a group. You know, like spin classes. Things that keep you in shape that aren’t the things that I have in my life. Sure, it is “untimed.” But it won’t go unnoticed.
To those attending my wake, tell everyone who went out the night before Thanksgiving that I’ll miss them. To the other racers, please make way for the ambulance. And to my girlfriend, please enjoy the life I once considered mine. .
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