Last night I met my good friend Cindy for drinks/dinner at our local pub.  She had called me on my way home from work,

"Hey! Want to go for a dog run?"

"Yeah, sure…." I agreed. I've started running again, recently.  I'm only up to 4 painful miles, roughly every other day.  But it's a start, and since its a start, it's easy to blow off.  There is always an excuse to not run when it still hurts and you feel like you're pulling a piano the entire time.  I like running with another person now and then. It breaks up the monotony of the same song riff going over and over in my head while I worry that what's really going on is that I have a Gland Problem and that my Gland is why I'm getting fat, not because I eat and drink like a frat boy. 

I want to make running a habit again, the way I've made cheese and a 2nd/3rd beer.  Yes to running!

"I'm not SERIOUS! GOD!" she said, "You're supposed to say 'it's too hot'  …because it IS, then I suggest that we get a beer instead! And some pie!"

"Why not just suggest the beer first then?  Why even bring up the run?"  I wondered what kind of pie.  I think I frowned. It was too early for pie. 

"Because then we can feel better about ourselves for considering it."

So we agreed to meet at our neighborhood pub for beer and cheese fries and include talk about how much we used to run/bike and how we intend to start again, but anyway how much better we are than Other Women Our Age. Like Barbara Bush. and Sally Struthers.

"I did Hard Guy last year," I said, shoveling in a greasy handful of cheese and potato, slathered in special fat sauce.  My second Bloody Mary stood accusingly over our afterthought salads.

"I was in killer shape last summer. I biked almost every day."  She ordered another beer.

"Having Cienna here was good. We ran a lot, and I biked a few days every week…..I had a bicep."

"Yeah, we bought that Gym membership and used it around Christmas for a month. …remember our personal trainer?"

"Yeah…that was over a year ago." I wanted to be careful going too far back…lest we get into lying about how much we weighed in high school and what skinny babies were were.  We needed to stick to things not too far out of reach.  The personal trainer was borderline…not because it was so far back, but because it was so ridiculous.  One of the stupidest Get Fit Quick schemes I'd ever been a party to…

"She hated us.  She didn't like that you wore men's boxer shorts to work out in…and that I refused to join the Smoothy of the Month Club."

It's true.  Cindy's lady garden was open for viewing to anyone and everyone for 1 hour each day while our Personal Trainer tried to come up with exercises that would keep her legs together.   And Smoothy of the MONTH CLUB? What the HELL? Why would I join?  That just seems sad. Like something someone who really needed to BELONG would do.  Hang out with other blended yogurt enthusiasts.  GOD, like,

"At last other people who don't want to chew their fruits JUST LIKE ME …."

The personal trainer, Blindy was her name, or something weird like that, had us running in place, running up and down stairs, standing behind the bathroom door holding our breath to the count of 30…whatever she could do to keep us from exposing our parts (Cindy) and out of sight and influence of guest members who might want a blended yogurt drink fellowship (me).

So, here we were, in Gold's Gym, amidst hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of high tech exercise equipment, free weights, machines of every kind….and we were jumping stairs and doing wall pushups. Holding our breath and counting.  3 times a week.  Until I stopped going and the personal trainer stopped taking Cindy's calls. 

"No wonder we stopped working out!" Cindy said. "What a bitch."

"That personal trainer ruined everything for us." I agreed, finishing my drink. 

The waitress came promptly over and asked if I'd like another, at happy hour prices.  If she had asked me to join her Bloody Mary a Month club, I wouldn't have thought twice about it.

But tonight I will run.