Currently pain flows through my body. Movement is stiff, my ego damaged, my self-righteousness inflated. Waking up this morning I was welcomed by the familiar feeling of painful pressure despite lying on soft sheets. Getting up and walking into the kitchen was a minor struggle, not to mention the bodily battle slipping into my slim-fit jeans.
The reason for my numb anguish is that yesterday me and a good friend ran Stockholm Color Run, a five kilometer race with the cheesy and as we discovered greatly overstated slogan: The happiest 5k on the planet! Embarrassing enough that five kilometers leave me in this level of pain, I don’t need to say that it was over a year since I had a proper exercise plan.
The supposed happy part of the race is that at every kilometer you are sprayed with different color powder leaving you like an abstract painting at the finish line. Yet at the first kilometer (yellow) a guy gets a mouthful of powder leaving him vomiting on the sidewalk. Somehow I doubt that was the “happy” part. My friend suggested instead the more plausible happy-theory – that the 5k is in fact only four, leaving us laughing for a couple of kilometers.
Even though we both perceive the race as the shortest 5k we ever ran, I keep on telling my friend how unfit I am, which is displayed at an almost never-ending hill. Surprised that she asks, she really should know better than to question my logical sanity in decision making, she wonders why I would suggest her to join me for a race in my current state. Laughing I tell her that this is the turning point. Big words, but I really need to mean them. Not because I have gained weight, to be honest I believe that I quite undeserved actually lost some, but because I really don’t want to be the couch potato I feel like. I miss my firm muscles, the strength and the stamina that I at least mentally pretend to once have had.
The feeling is not discourage at the observation of the other people running next to me. Jiggly, wiggly butts are wobbling enormously all around me. Young girls, far larger than me, squeezed into yoga pants or tiny hot pants can be seen everywhere, mostly walking the five kilometers rather than running. Soft jelly that while belonging, in most cases, to that proportionality that defines attractiveness, looks unhealthy and way too heavy to run these kinds of distances. It is a bit unsettling that while the Swedish population grows, it is not by number.
Regardless of my unintended, but unavoidable, notice of excessive body fat sprinkled with cellulites (it was surprisingly easy to have highly judgmental opinions that really was none of my business when I didn’t really see the victims faces) my ego is boosted that I run more or less the entire distance, the two short breaks disregarded. I am filled with a level of self pride that I have come to associate with a minor level of physical effort and a lot of external “jippo”, as in this case.
Finishing the race neither me nor my friend are covered in remotely the level of color powder that I thought / hoped / desired. At best I could be defined as a bit dotted in blue and green, looking more like a molded cheese rather than the abstract painting I had envisioned.