The idea of taking a road trip, in a convertible, across the country seemed like it might be fun. And parts of it were. That said, when I learned that the air conditioning was on the fritz […and that Mr. Enthusiasm hadn’t bothered to address that small issue before we left], I was concerned, to say the least.
We left home in the wee (dark) hours of Sunday morning, so the temps were quite cool, and the top was up as we drove some 3 hours towards the border crossing at Sarnia, Ontario / Port Huron, Michigan.
Border crossing complete, and late breakfast consumed, we decided it was time to take the top down and enjoy the scenery and weather. Four hours later, brains fried from direct sunlight [neither of us had put hats on], and completely dehydrated, we put the top back up. It was hot. And we were stuck in 3 separate traffic jams due to accidents in the Chicago vicinity.
I’m claustrophobic at the best of times. Sitting in a little convertible, with that oppressive black cloth roof right overhead, and the hot, stale air suffocating me, despite windows that were fully rolled down… it was a test. I’m sure of this. Let’s see if we can rattle Nancy back to her old ways [complaining, miserable, bitchy]. I was quiet. Very quiet. But I didn’t melt down. And this is progress mes amis.
Day 2 was much of the same, but the sun felt even hotter. At least we had our heads covered this day. Me, I chose a bandana to wrap around my head because even the hat felt too constricting and added to my claustrophobia. I know…I have issues. Anyway, nearing the end of the drive, I messaged the Russian Princess to advise on our arrival time. I also said, “I apologize in advance for my appearance. I look like a female Hulk Hogan, crossed with a sweaty refugee.” [No insult intended to sweaty refugees out there. If anything I am now completely empathetic.]
If I was a designer cross-bred dog, I’d be a Hulk X Refugee, or a Hulkagee for short.
Hulkagees are primarily known for their platinum locks, sun-weathered skin, pungent aroma and wrinkly, sweaty clothing, along with a temperament that can be sweet and fun, but can turn
angry feral based on environmental conditions. Thankfully they do not exhibit the moustaches that their “Hulk” roots are known for. Small mercies.
Arriving into Denver, and into the welcoming arms of our hosts was the highlight of the road trip. Having home-cooked food after 2 breakfasts (Cracker Barrel), 2 lunches (Subway) and 1 dinner (room service) was fantastic. And being able to do a brisk, heart-accelerating speed walk with my bestie after dinner was so much better than the trip to the Treadmill in the hotel fitness center the night before. The Hulkagee responds well to a warm, loving environment. 🙂
When she suggested a 6am run the next day, my initial reaction was HELL TO THE N-O. My body doesn’t understand exercise at that hour. It won’t be pretty. But then I realized that I hadn’t had a chance to workout with her since last November at Fitness Ridge/Biggest Loser Resort [or as she lovingly refers to it, Fat Camp]. The Russian doesn’t mince words.
So off we went for a run the next morning.
It wasn’t my best run in the history of runs, but it was fantastic for the following reasons:
- I was with my buddy.
- I ran in Denver, the Mile-High City, a city where climbing a single flight of stairs would challenge my oxygen depleted lungs a year ago. And that day I was running. And didn’t die.
- I was capable of running AND having a conversation. What? Who is this person?
- I proved that I am capable of working out before 9am. 🙂
But perhaps most of all, the run gave me and the RP some time to share our challenges and setbacks with each other. We talked about what it takes to hit our own reset buttons and move past the shit that caused the setback. We talked about not succumbing to excuses [like the fat gene].
We supported each other, without resorting to “oh, it’s okay that you haven’t worked out in X weeks because blah, blah and blah were going on in your life”. Being a friend means holding up the mirror and saying, hey – shit happens. Move on and start making better choices today. And that made this run magical.
I can’t wait to see her (and her man) again in a little over a week, when we’ll get the opportunity to share some real quality time over a leisurely extended weekend.
And I can’t wait to continue those great conversations with my beautiful, strong friend.