Am I the only long-distance runner out there who is barraged every holiday season by relatives with accusations of being insane/unhealthy/crazy?
Well, this year I was prepared. Despite only sleeping 3 hours because of hospital call and The Lorax not being able to sleep, I was all ready to appear "normal" for the Christmas dinner SR's mom's family held on the 27th of December.
(I had, of course, taken time to run for a couple hours that morning, most of which with The Lorax in the baby jogger).
I took a shower and shaved the pits smooth. Yes, I've had a change of heart. I used nicely scented soap that SR had picked up at a hotel. I might have even used deodorant if I owned any. I had a slinky red top, tight black pants and my strapless bra lying out to wear. I shortly realized the bra was a bit too big. But that was easily solved by stuffing a small pair of socks in it. Just because I prefer being thin, doesn't mean I don't appreciate the beauty of curves.
Painting of Luisa O’Murphy by François Boucher, 1752
I did my hair in a beautiful braided style and put on my 50 cent beaded bracelet from Guatemala. SR and I even remembered to bring two vegetarian dishes to pass for the dinner. And the kids looked great. It could only be a success...
The dinner itself was wonderful. I just love herring, dark ale, marzipan and chocolates. Plus the vegetarian taco dish SR made was amazing. SR and I both won gifts in an old Danish phrase and climate quiz respectively. It was a really fun party. And I was starting to feel way too full from all of the food.
And then the interrogation started. "Why don't you just allow yourself to eat? Why don't you allow yourself to have fun? Why don't you gain weight? Why won't you let yourself be happy? Why do you run so much?"
It all seemed a little surreal. I am just a happy person by nature. And I sure do love to eat. I even said I wished I were 1-2 kgs lighter, because I thought I would feel just a little better and be a bit faster of a runner. If only I could get myself to eat a little less! But everyone stared at me with concern. Okay, people, I'm not crazy. I'd much rather stuff my bra and be running marathons at 85 than have a voluptuous body now and diabetes and heart disease in 20 years. But I'd never go up to another person and say they had better lose weight or start excercising.
Then poor SR became the center of attention and was accused of being "særlig". This is somewhere between special and weird and where exactly between them it lies is up to interpretation. Part of me felt bad for him, but part of me felt proud. Why shouldn't we just be happy to be "særlige" together? After all, we at least think our life is good and that we and the kids are happy and healthy. We have always done what we believed was right for us and our family and have never just followed trends or the crowd.
Hey and I at least know that neither of us is schizophrenic because neither of us smokes :). But we lay in bed last night discussing whether or not we really do have psychiatric disorders. We ended up deciding on obsessive compulsive personality disorder for me (no surprise there!) and social phobia for SR. Ha ha. At least we have each other. And I wouldn't change a thing.
Note on the cds: It's NOT too late for you to receive the running song cd's from me (best Danish running songs of 2009 and best running songs ever). Just send your address to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Photo from the 2014 Ice Age Trail 50 Miler by Ali Engin. Permission to use header photo must be obtained through Ali Elgin.
"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman