Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Leopard Print Unitards Further Ignite The War On Suet

You read that correctly.

Leopard.


Print.


Unitard.


I’ll be wearing one, come the end of June.
Uh-huh.

If there was anything to motivate a girl to lose any tiny bit of extra suet, it would be the prospect of most of her neighbors and fellow school parents seeing her finishing a 6.7 mile run (okay, at the pace I will go, it’s a “run”) in a leopard print unitard. Which will be happening to me at the end of June. Thus, my shinsplint-prone legs and I are hitting the road, slooooowly increasing the distance (and alternating with bicycle workouts) in the hopes of avoiding said shinsplints. I am also suddenly watching my croissant, doughnut, pain au chocolat, eclair, pudding, pie, cookie, cake and general pastry intake. Typed out in a list, that sounds like an awful lot of pastries. But in this February/March weather that Seattle insists on limping forward with, it doesn't feel like eating pastries as a hobby is unreasonable. Except when a girl realizes she will be wearing a leopard print unitard in public (and on purpose) in about 60 days.

Why would I don a leopard print unitard? For a run that ends in my neighborhood and is much supported by pretty much everyone I know in the neighborhood? Giving me the opportunity to smile and wave to them (and wish I could sink into an inconspicuous hole in the ground) at pretty much every turn? Several years ago, a member of my (now pretty far flung) running group discovered that what she thought was a nasty case of bronchitis was, in fact, advanced cancer. The June after her diagnosis, when she was operating mostly on one lung, the decision was somehow made that she, and our running group, would participate in the Shore Run (which benefits the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center) in Seattle. And that we would wear: leopard-print unitards. Which seemed reasonable; if she was going to cheerfully go through the run on one lung, we could all do it wearing leopard-print unitards. Eventually, I weaseled out of this, not because I was pregnant with Curly and didn’t want to wear a unitard (although I admit, that's a tough thing to want to wear), but because I was pregnant, and running made me puke. And smelling sweaty runners made me puke. And being in the warm June sun for too long made me puke. And the sight of sweaty runners from a distance made me... gag for a while, and then puke. And the food the runners ate afterwards? Yep, made me gag and/or puke. And generally, I think, it seemed like someone puking and gagging the entire way (and cursing. I almost always curse a blue streak when I puke) wasn’t really… what we were looking for. So I missed that one. She died early that November. The last time I saw her was in her hospital room, shortly before she moved to the hospice where she died. I had brought some grown-up books to read quietly, which we had done on previous visits, but I ended up reading her and my boy his little boy books as she drifted in and out of the fog her medications created, sometimes holding his hand, sometimes mine, sometimes nobody's.
This June, we’re re-uniting, scary lycra and all, for a memorial run.

I am not very keen (understatement) on wearing a leopard print unitard, but I’ll be damned if I’ll miss this one.

That started out more light-heartedly than it ended.

5 comments:

cook eat FRET said...

very cool all around

homebody at heart said...

Well, then, wear that leopard print with great pride.

Meg said...

Claudia and Homebody- It should be great. Periodically mortifying, but otherwise great.

franki durbin said...

oh. my. goodness. you know... I have to admit, the whole thing sounds pretty fabulous - in an "I can't believe I did that!" sort of way. You'll be happy you ran once June is over... talk about building memories!

Meg said...

Franki- how's life with baby? Once I suck it up (and serve pre-race mimosas), it should rock. I was, actually, kind of bummed to miss Round One, but morning sickness puking rarely brings anyone's spirits up, and it was then, and kind of is now, all about saying "to hell with it" and having fun.