I went for a run this weekend even though I made a solemn promise to all of you and to the universe that after Ironman Boulder I would never exercise again. But as it turns out, my body be doing crazy things lately.
I had a hard time figuring out what was going on at first. I felt this unbelievable amount of anxious energy, like I could run up a mountain, crab style, like the Exorcist girl. Also, I've been insanely hungry. ALL THE TIME ALWAYS. If you guys saw how many jumbo bags of peanut M&Ms I've gone through in the last 14 days you would probably start petitioning to have me on the next season of My 600 Pound Life.
I knew this couldn't be menopause because I've never gone through puberty. Naturally, then, I assumed that this was all because of disease and so last Thursday I took 5 minutes and jotted out a very simple will.
Mr. Ollie Pants will go to Matt, Jolyn gets my wig collection, and everything else goes to Bob and Cathie. I also gave very strict instructions to Young Wade to go through my whole house and get rid of all the "not that we know what that is, Cathie" paraphernalia before anyone can come over and start going through my stuff. Like, for example, my slutty outfits.
Then I looked on the Internet and it confirmed that I have every single disease that has ever been discovered. Also I got distracted by cat gifs for a while. And that somehow pulled me into a Youtube black hole. And then a Wikipedia black hole. And then back to cat gifs. But by the following Wednesday at 2:00 I had circled back around to diseases.
Did you guys know that everything is a symptom of everything? As it turns out, it's probably not that hard to be a physician. No matter what anyone tells you, you just have to respond, "well it could be [blank]." And there is a basis for literally any disease you guess.
"You say your eye hurts? GENITAL HERPES."
"You're bleeding from the back of your neck? CHLAMYDIA."
"Your mom stopped talking to you? GONORRHEA!"
Not that we know what bleeding is, Cathie.
After concluding my Interneting on all topics, I happened to see a Facebook post from someone who also did Ironman Boulder, complaining about the same things I had been experiencing. And as it turned out, per the many comments from fellow triathletes, what I was experiencing was very common for someone who has recently completed an Ironman.
It goes like this: for eleventy million months I was doing hard cardio exercise between 15 and 20 hours per week, burning sometimes 5,000 or more calories in a day. You guys remember this because for all eleventy million months Stranger turned into a whine-fest. THEN, suddenly, I stopped exercising. And my body FREAKED THE HELL OUT.
As it turns out, it takes a while for your appetite to catch up to change. So my body still thinks it needs to consume enough food to power me through the Civil War. And also, I have this constant energy pulsing through every corner of my body, demanding to be released.
And all of this means that I think I might literally go insane if I try to be as lazy as I so sincerely vowed to be. And so I find myself going on very regular runs and doing what I can to get the anxious energy out, which in turn validates my body's disillusioned belief that it needs to take in 5,000 calories a day.
And THAT'S why I went for a run this weekend SO CALM DOWN AND STOP YELLING AT ME.
Now, for the story I'm here to share: I have been listening to podcasts while I bike or run because they make me feel smart and superior and for those same reasons I've recently turned into that guy who interjects into every conversation a sentence that starts with "RECENTLY I WAS LISTENING TO A PODCAST AND . . ." And then everyone rolls their eyes. But then they probably think I'm super cultured and intelligent and they wish they had my hair and OH MY GOSH I HATE ALL THIS ATTENTION.
I was listening to This American Life on my run and someone was telling a story about an accident that had happened. The story was surprisingly graphic and bloody and it caught me very off guard. And it just so happened to catch me off guard as I was returning home and running right in front of YOU GUESSED IT, The Perfects' house.
Picture the scene. Mr. Perfect was politely trimming the hedge. Mrs. Perfect was watering an award-winning potted plant. Boy Perfect was playing the cello. Girl Perfect was twirling a baton of fire. Dog Perfect sat stoically on the front porch, his fur elegantly blowing in the light breeze.
I've mostly given up on trying to impress The Perfects. It is impossible to impress people who are literally the best at everything.
The other day, for example:
Eli: Hi, Mrs. Perfect. Your yard looks lovely as always. You people are sure intimidating to live next to.
Mrs. Perfect: Is that a dead rat on your driveway?
Eli: Oh Hell it followed me!
Mrs. Perfect: Sorry?
Eli: It's a long story. But, yes, there is, of course, a dead rat on my property right now. Right here for you to see.
Mrs. Perfect: Well in any event, your yard looks lovely too.
Eli: Let's not do this, lady.
They clearly attempt to give me the benefit of the doubt. but I just don't try anymore. I am their trashy neighbor who runs by their house half naked and who can't keep flowers alive. But I don't have a meth lab in my basement so maybe they should just have some perspective and be a little more grateful.
While I don't try to impress them, I still do try to keep my embarrassing activities to a minimum when they are in their front yard. But that didn't stop me from doing what I did this weekend while running by their house listening to that graphic podcast.
You guys. It was like I had no control over myself. The speaker made some comment that caught me off guard and a sound came out of my mouth that had never been made by a human before. It was this long, loud, gurgle/moan/groan/scream. It was like something out of Star Wards and Jurassic World and the zoo. 20 to 30 angels lost their wings because of this noise. The government wants to study me for science now. This sound reversed Global Warming.
I'm not kidding you. It was the weirdest noise I've ever made. And I made it RIGHT in front of all of The Perfects. They all looked at me, concerned and frightened. I looked at them, mortified. I didn't know it was possible to make eye contact with four people and a dog simultaneously, but I somehow managed to do this.
And then, in my absolute panic, I did the only thing I could think of to do. I pretended to be on a phone call.
I don't know why I thought that being on a phone call would make the sound that had just come from me normal. But for some reason, this seemed like the best possible way to overcome what had just happened.
And so I stopped, in front of The Perfects' house, while they all stood, staring at me, and I had a VERY LOUD fake phone conversation with a fictional person named "Rob" wherein I tried to provide context for the sound I had made. I did this by pretending to tell this Rob person about a fictional problem at my home that I wondered whether he could come and "take a look" and "see if you can figure out why my water heater is making these sounds and acting this way."
Then I finished the call. Unfortunately Rob was too busy to make it over that day. You know, with the new baby and trying to get ready for that business trip to Oklahoma City and what with school starting back up this week and all.
Mr. Perfect: Water heater problems?
Eli: Oh . . . oh my gosh . . . did you just hear me on the phone? I'm sorry. I hope I didn't bother you.
Mr. Perfect: Not at all. You know, we had some issues a while back. I could take a look at it with you and see if I can help you figure out what might be wrong.
You know, it was the strangest thing. The water heater didn't make the sound once while we were down there looking at it together FOR 35 MINUTES.
Which makes sense. What with it being new and everything.
~It Just Gets Stranger