Yesterday, Chad Statko wrote an article in the WSJ, OK, You’re a Runner. Get Over It. http://tinyurl.com/k8bxlkk
He states running is like a one person parade. Another person commented that the sport has become a dog and pony show.
Newsflash! Life is a sport, a one person parade and what I rather refer to as a pig and pony show. Everything you do displays who you are at all times. So you accomplished a goal and like to wear a t-shirt or put a bumper sticker on your car touting this feat? I don’t know about you, but I would like that to be positive, interesting and possibly motivating to others.
If you don’t like what someone is putting out there, why can’t you just ignore it? (OK, this is contradictory as I am publicly posting a rebuttal, but you get the point!)
Begin scene of my last business trip: After three days of meetings, I race from my client’s office, in the smallest car I have ever driven, to the Austin-Bergstrom Airport. It is hot, I am nervous I might miss my flight and I have to stop and fill up the gas tank. I am sweating like I just ran a marathon. (Mr. Statko, these little innuendos are all for you.)
I arrive at the rental car return lot and lady luck was on my side. I pull right up and I am assisted immediately. Then as I check in, I am the second person through the new security line they just opened. This gives me plenty of time to grab a sandwich and board the Southwest flight to BWI. Downside is I am in the C group, back of the pack, which will mean slim seat pickings.
I board the plane and the same terrible smell I was picking up in the “cattle line”, is now on the flight. Alright, who has the nasty body odor? I better not have to endure this for the 3 hour and 20 minute flight.
I walk to the back, preying like runner at a freebie protein bar table, for an open row. No such luck, as it is a very full flight. I look down at two burly men that have the middle seat just waiting for me. I am going to refer to them as Arizona and Rochester.
Aisle seat Arizona makes no movement to stand up so I can sit down. I carefully maneuver over Arizona’s lap to my seat and give a quick smile. The air starts blowing and I have my cardigan wrapped around my t-shirt. Unfortunately, it was not one of my coveted race shirts. I stretch my cotton wrap around me like a blanket and settle in for the long fight. Side note, the wrap is one of the best inventions, next to body glide and compression socks, and there is no sign of the loser with body odor. At least I dodged that bullet.
Rochester starts to talking about his work that brought him to Texas and a little chit chat about family, kids, blah blah blah. He quickly reveals his perverted side and starts in with his knowledge of sex-crazed teenage girls and how they don’t view oral sex as real sex. I am taken back and unsure how to shut this down, when he continues to go on about the texts he reads and the conversations he overhears. Did my shirt say, “I heart gross old men”?
I yawn and say I am tired. I close my eyes and just picture, as I do on any long run, pulling up safe and sound in my driveway. Luckily he falls asleep and I try to keep his leg from touching mine.
Arizona heads to the bathroom. I see two women’s clothing catalogs, sadly, neither of them Runner’s World, in the seat pocket under his tray table. I take them out assuming they were left by the former passenger. Arizona, who is 60 something, returns from the bathroom and says, “You are welcome to look through my magazines.” I apologize, a little dumbfounded. He now responds with a quirky laugh and states he is not a transvestite. Sweet marathon blisters, take two. Am I being punked?
This is where I need a new set of rules to live by and could take a little advice from grouchy, sedentary-lifestyler, Chad. I half laugh, flipping through the magazine. Not my style of clothing, but just trying to pass the time and honestly, a little afraid to close my eyes.
He may have sensed my apprehension to engage in any further dialogue. So he says he is divorced after 26 years of marriage and he likes to buy clothes for his girlfriend who is a real looker. He is flying home to NY for his mother’s funeral.
I feel bad for him and continue flipping through the magazine. He takes out a bottle of nail polish, albeit clear, it’s nail polish and points to a sparkly, backless dress and tells me I should buy it to wear for New Year’s Eve. End scene.
These were two people marching in a parade I hope to never encounter again.
The flight arrives at BWI and I depart as quickly as possible. My two friends are thankfully continuing on to their final destination. I get to my car and I am relieved to be almost home. As I turn the heat on and start driving home, I smell something terrible. It is hideous, the body odor had followed me. I sniff my arm pit (too much to share?) and yup, worst case scenario; it’s me. I must have forgotten to put on deodorant that morning.
If there was still any doubt in my mind, I walk in my house where my Mom so kindly was watching the kids. Her first words were, “What’s that smell?”
Queue music: Lynyrd Skynyrd – Ooh That Smell.
Here is Pig Pen’s 50th blog tip: Yes, there are people that are obnoxious, cocky, perverted and in general, not your cup of tea. It is wise to not encourage, engage or continue dialect with these people. There are other times, however, you might just want to look in the mirror or sniff your armpit, because it could just be you that stinks. Not the happy gal or guy that is trying to live life with a little extra spring in their step.