A few weeks ago, I took my son to Cabrini Park in the French Quarter. I paused at the front door as I checked the weather, as I always do, when I walked outside because weather apps are wrong a lot.
My human barometer detected something looming in the distance. The air felt twitchy even though I didn’t see anything troubling.
“I think we have a little weather window here to make it to the park” I said aloud. My toddler gave thumbs up.
Well, we made it to the park.
Half of the park is playground and the other half is a dog park that doubles as a kid’s soccer field. (Hmmm…not where I want my kid playing ball, but we take what we can get down here, I guess.)
I scoped out the dogs, which run leash-free and there were a few chasing balls with their owners.
And then I looked down to see my son VERY NARROWLY miss stepping in a YUGE pile of steaming dog shit.
I kindly but urgently called out to the owners that there was some poo there, as I pointed to the steaming pile and added, “It’s quite fresh” because sometimes they need convincing.
And one of the owners actually came over with a doggie bag, THANKED ME for speaking up, and scooped the poop. Wow! Winning!
The kid went down slides and made some new friends. There was a father there who had a dope reggae playlist piping a lot of our favorites and my son was getting down. We had a lot of fun.
Oh, yeah, but then I locked eyes on the weather that was most definitely headed our way: A fierce color combination of dark blue, indigo, and purple clouds all bunched up making angry faces and hovering over the trees lining the park. After just a couple more minutes, I could literally feel the cold front moving in.
This was not just any rain storm. This was going to be a monster.
After a few more minutes, it became clear that we might not make it back to the house without getting caught in this storm. Problem!
I put the kid back into the stroller and prepared to make some serious moves.
A few words about this stroller: it is pimp. It’s a jogging stroller that cost more than I ever thought I would spend on a stroller. But we got it because New Orleans. It’s built on a sturdy frame, with rugged tires, shocks, a handbrake, and a pivoting front wheel that can maneuver like a dream.
I’ve enjoyed pushing it around ironically because I have no intention of ever, ever jogging.
But that day, I NEEDED to RUN and was very thankful I had this beast of a jogging stroller. I did not want to get caught in this nasty storm, especially since it was bringing with it a supposed 30 degree temperature drop, which we were quickly starting to feel.
SO I RAN. LIKE THE WIND.
Or, as fast as the sidewalks would allow.
Dodging a litany of trash bins, cracked sidewalks with cliffs, narrow passes between flower pots, around closed off sections under construction, through jungle-like overgrown foliage, through the obstacle course of asphalt and tree roots.
A couple of people called out, “I hope you don’t have far to go!” and “I hope you make it home before the storm!” I was huffing and puffing at that point and couldn’t muster a reply (HOW do people run and chit chat??)
We finally made it to our block, where I had to delicately maneuver the stroller over the cracked sidewalk that requires my famous, patented “flying stroller” maneuver where I hold the back wheels of the stroller level AS IF the sidewalk could rise up to meet it while steadily guiding the front wheel onto the narrow strip of sidewalk that’s level. It’s the only way to avoid rattling my kid inside his stroller through this deathtrap section of sidewalk.
It’s some supermom level shit, I know.
As we made our final approach, the first fat raindrops hit my face.
Moments later, safe inside the house, the deluge started pounding the roof. I gave myself a pat on the back for hauling so much ass.
After feeling my heart rate settle, I was standing at the kitchen sink when I realized: my brain is buzzing.
Then I realized that I was naturally high on endorphins.
I felt REALLY, REALLY GOOD. And I was all smiley.
And because I felt so good—and, I never thought I’d say this, but—I thought to myself, “I could actually get into running!”
I mean, here I am writing about it weeks later and thinking running is probably still a good idea (and I’m still fiending for that endorphin rush).
I haven’t been running since then, but I’ve tried to. I really have.
I set out all my clothes one night with the intention of running the next morning. But then it got really cold. (If excuses were truffles, I would be a very valuable pig.)
I’ve failed to get out of the house every single morning for a couple weeks now.
When I start running, I know that the stitch in my side is going to be very painful to plow through and there won’t always be the threat of a storm to outrun. Yeah, it’s going to SUCK.
But I’ve changed my habits enough now to know that it’s super discouraging in the beginning. And that constant failure doesn’t equate to permanent failure.
And that’s how change and any kind of growth starts out for me—wishful thinking. An aspiration.
Success isn’t immediate because it shouldn’t be. It takes a while to find a strong motivation, a strong enough reward, a compelling reason WHY, to continue to try instead of giving up.
So, I’m not a runner yet. I don’t know if I will even be one this year. But I do know that it’s possible.
Because the sweet, sweet liqueur of victory combined with those natural stims are *muah* c’est delicieux. I need dat.
Have you had any surprising wins lately? Hit reply and tell me all about it!
May you always outrun the rainstorms,
Sharon High-On-Life Seyna
p.s. Not my favorite NIN song by any stretch, but it’s worth mentioning since I used it in the subject that the music video for “The Perfect Drug” is about absinthe, a drink that’s historically famous for hallucinations and a kind of artistic crazy. It turns out, though, that the drug responsible for these effects was most likely 0pium, which was *also* hugely popular in absinthe’s heyday. The more you know!
p.p.s. Let’s all stick to the natural stims, mmkay?!