I hate running.
I hate it with the fire of a thousand suns.
In high school, when we had to start running on the regular for gym class, I wondered what I had done wrong to deserve such punishment. Surely they couldn’t make us do this?! And then I looked around, and I found that some of my friends actually liked it. They were competitive. They were fast. They were nuts.
I will never understand those people.
Fast forward to now, where for the past 2-3 years, I have actually started working out with some regularity, not counting getting into yoga after my cancer surgery in 2003. I started doing yoga a few weeks after surgery when it was a struggle to get up from a sitting position, and now I’d say I am at least at an intermediate level. I’m pretty proud about some of the kickass poses I can do.
So, 2-3 years ago I added in some elliptical stuff. Basically, I re-watch episodes of 30 Rock while I fake run on a very loud machine in my tiny apartment complex exercise room. Now that my calves are pretty buff, I wanted to switch things up a little bit and try some…running.
Now, I’ve actually tried to run in the past, but it basically turns into what I like to call a walkjog. I just don’t have the physical stamina for any sustained motion that propels me forward with any speed. Also, being the true artist that I am, what’s my motivation for this torture? It’s almost like I’d need something chasing me.
And with that, enter Brian, my husband-to-be, who is always motivating me to better myself and always has my well-being in mind (and only chases me in the romantic sense):
B: What are you going to do when the zombies get here?
Me: Well, if they are slow zombies, I’ll sprint past them and jam the close ones through the eye socket.
B: First, you can’t handle bodily fluids. How will you manage to ‘jam the close ones’ accurately enough and with enough force? Second, what if they are 28 Days Later zombies?
Me: First, you’re right. Bloody noses make me gag, and forget about mucous. I will use my samurai swords and just decapitate ‘em like Michonne, because she’s badass and had the right idea from the start. Second, fuuuuuuck.
B: Exactly. Let’s start running.
But I can’t just run, and I certainly can’t just run with Brian. We’ve tried this before, where he’s motivating me by saying all these sweet things as we’re running side by side, but all it does it make me giggle, and I have a bad habit of giggling when I run…and then I can’t stop giggling, which means I have to stop running. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, I am a 5 year old. And if I ever have children, I don’t know how I’ll be able to keep them alive (especially since kids bleed out so fast), but that’s another blog post altogether.
The answer was clear: the app called Zombies, Run!
It sounded perfect. You’re a runner, a gopher in this post-apocalyptic world where people with British accents tell you when to run to evade a zombie mob. If you’re lucky enough to survive the mission, you pick up stuff along the way and bring it back to base.
This was it. This was my motivation. Plus, I could never disobey someone with a British accent.
Last Thursday, Brian and I gave this app a try. We keyed up the first mission and started power walking down the street. It was still a bit light out, but the sun would go down soon. British man and lady were describing our surroundings and I was told I found and picked up some water. And then – I could hear them. The Brits could see the mob closing in on me and told me to run…I looked at Brian and he nodded to me as I felt an adrenaline surge and picked up the pace. They were 50 meters away, their breathing heavy, low moaning. Then 20 meters away. Fuck, this was scary! I swear I could feel their ragged breath on the back of my neck. And then -
Zombie mob evaded. Good job Runner 5!
Sweetness! This was actually kinda fun!
B: Jesus, Lady! I’ve never seen you take off like that!
Me: Well, they were going to GET ME!
And so on the mission went…we had to pass the old hospital, hoping to find supplies and rejoin Runner 7. In real life, we had turned between two ag fields and were running between two rows of olive trees…it was much darker now.
Suddenly, the Brits could see Runner 7! She was running to catch up with us…only she was different. Oh shit, she’s a zombie and there’s more behind her, RUN!
So we do it again. Remember when I said I lack stamina? I was already pretty wiped at this point, but I gave it my all. Seriously, I ran even after I didn’t think I could run anymore. And this time, I was seriously freaked out because Brian had run ahead, I couldn’t see him anymore, and I could hear and feel these monsters getting closer and closer…
And I became Zombie Runner 7′s nighttime snack. I was so pissed I nearly collapsed in the dirt.
Fast forward to the day after, and I could barely walk. Seriously, my legs would painfully cramp up if I transferred any weight to my toes. Had this really been the zombie apocalypse, I would have died on Day 2. Or Brian would have carried me, because that’s what husbands-to-be do in dystopias.
So I won’t give up; I plan to run more missions, because damn, it’s motivating!
Why don’t I ever see them stop to stretch on The Walking Dead?!