Run Jamie, Run

If there is one thing that I traditionally loath more than all others, it’s running. I’ve never been a fan. I was pudgy growing up and physical activity equated to public humiliation. Running in school meant showcasing to all my classmates just how short of a distance it took to leave me doubled over, gasping for breath and blaming my nonexistent asthma for my inability to complete a lap. I learned from a young age to avoid public displays of physical activity at all cost. There were many excuses written explaining to my P.E. teachers why I couldn’t participate and many days ditched when the teachers wouldn’t buy my bullshit anymore. I am the girl who almost didn’t graduate high school because I failed gym. Repeatedly.

This avoidance of exercise became a sort of philosophy that I lived my life by. I did not run. I did not sweat. I thought people who did were silly. I would watch horror movies and when the teenage prey ran screaming from the psycho killer I would think, that seems like way too much effort. I would rather just get my head chopped off than run around all sweaty and screaming for half an hour.

Over the years I have made many changes in my life to improve my health. I lost weight, got a job at a gym and started working out, but I did so begrudgingly. I still hated working out but I did it because it was part of my job and because I liked being skinny(er) rather than fat. The gym members found my attitude endearing, my disdain for exercise mirrored their own lack of enthusiasm. I had come to accept that working out was something I had to do, but would never be something I would want to do.

So imagine my surprise when I began noticing this nagging thought I kept having. I wanted to start jogging. But I couldn’t start jogging because it’s not something I do. And even still, the thought was there. Maybe it’s because I spend most of my time with a two year old and don’t have many adult conversations throughout the day, but I’ve started to listen to the little voice that urges me to do something. When I was younger, I let fear stop me from pursuing my interests. I thought there was nothing more humiliating than trying and failing. Now I have come to realize that my time here is finite and I rather try and fail miserably than get to the end of my life and mourn the chances I didn’t take.

So I found an app on my phone that promises to take you from couch to running a 5K in ten weeks. I did my first workout on Monday, a combination of jogging for 60 seconds and walking for 90. It doesn’t sound like much but it was hard and I wanted to quit. But I didn’t. I finished and I was nothing short of elated. Who knew I could run at all? It was like when I went back to college and discovered that, not only could I do math, I was actually really good at it. I’m 30 years old and still surprising myself. That’s a really good feeling.

So two workouts down now and many more to go. Today was easier than Monday and that is encouraging. I’ll keep you posted on my progress. For now, I am just happy to be taking the first steps down a new road.

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Dirty David

There is no delicate way to say it, David has some really disgusting habits. He likes to pick his nose and on occasion, eat it. His gas rivals his father’s in both volume and pugency, which is no small feat. He is constantly digging in any dirt he can find, be it in the garden, where I am sure the neighbor’s cat poops or in the cracks on the sidewalk. Even more stomach turning, I have caught him eating the accumulated filth out from under his fingernails. David has never seem a piece of floor food too disgusting to eat, be it lint covered Cheerios from under the couch or semi- moist popcorn off the kitchen floor.

With this laundry list of questionable personal habits it is hard to pick which is the worst, but I have the definitive winner. David likes to stick both hands down his pants, pull them out, and then sniff them. Keep in mind he isn’t potty trained so he is basically sticking his hands in the toilet and then smelling them. Sometimes while doing his scratch and sniff routine, he manages to shift himself around in a way that causes his diaper to leak and anything around him to become soaked in pee. Also, one of his favorite games to play is sticking his fingers in my mouth and eyes. Now his new past time has filled each day with the fear of an impending pinkeye outbreak.

I have been at my wits end with him and have heard myself scream, ” get your hands out of your pants” enough times to realize I needed a new approach. Yesterday morning I tried  something different- every time I caught David with his hands in his pants I would make him go to the bathroom to wash his hands because they were dirty. I had to do this four times in a row before he finally found another way to entertain himself. I thought this was going to be a really good way to break this habit. Then my issue of Parenting magazine showed up.

Apparently, it is natural for children to explore their bodies and you are supposed to just ignore them and let them do what they want. What you aren’t supposed to do is tell them what they are doing is wrong or “dirty”. So now I am damaging David’s burgeoning self esteem. Well excuse me, Parenting magazine, for not wanting my kid to be a pee-hand sniffer.

I don’t know what to do now. I don’t want to make him grow up with weird negative associations but I also don’t want him to have no friends because he always has his hands either down his pants or up his nose. Or both.

If anyone has any advice or suggestions, please let me know. I’m desperate.