How My Wife Ran Down My Resolve And Perhaps Made Me A Would-Be Runner

6:57 AM – Admittedly addicted to Lana Del Ray after that number in The Great Gatsby. Perhaps Paradise is not the best propeller of productivity on a Monday morning, but I’ll find out soon.

***

“My parents are very religious, so I’ve been leaving them messages on their answering machine from the Baby Jesus.”   –  Maria Bamford : Unwanted Thoughts Syndrome

I find a glorious slice of irony served in the fact that my last post, before a week’s sabbatical, was titled “The Hoax of Manliness” and in it I explored various ways I buck against modern notions of masculine chest-puffedness. I find this gloriously ironic because this morning my wife’s badassedness revealed my own couch-enthroned gut-puffedness. All this before 6 on the clock, before coffee, before I finally shielded my wife against waking evils with the horse-powered muscles of a Nissan X-Terra chassis and the snorted puffs of a pug’s nose.

Perhaps God infused every man (and mother-bearish woman) with the need to protect their own. According to John Eldridge and every film starring Liam Neeson (other than Kinsey), men are hard-wired to go the distance for their wives and their off-spring. I have a wife. I have no off-spring. And considering that I do not run, the distance I am hard-wired to go to defend my own is about two blocks. My half-marathon devouring wife runs 4-5 miles for a work-out, sometimes as prep to a work-out, while I consider walking the dog twice daily and scampering to the building next to my office for bathroom breaks – taking the stairs along the way, mind you! – sufficiently heart-healthy. This woman is set to outlive me by a full decade and four Papa John’s BOGO specials.

This morning my wife missed her 5:30 gym workout due to an ill-set alarm. Flustered, my wife announced she would go for a run. I looked out the window. Pitch black. Squirrels were not even acorning yet. Our pug snored on. And I remembered a harrowing experience we endured this past winter when my wife frantically called from a well-lit gas station in the dark of the morning. She’d been trailed by a creeper in a Lincoln town car. Killing the headlights, he coasted quietly by her side until another car crested the hill. LT b-lined through front and backyards to the corner Shell, glowing – as Maria Bamford would describe – like the logo of an international conglomerate in a third world shanty-town, beaming like the heart of a protective God. She called me. I drove to her aide, hitting the wrong Shell station before finding her huddled and shivering in the dawn’s winter chill at the other Shell station. It’s a damned world when a perfectly sweet Black girl cannot run alone in a predominantly White neighborhood before the sun rises.

So this morning I protested. She could not leave the house. Darkness prevailed in the streets and in my trust of Texas. LT was not pleased. Overly submissive, she grabbed her Bible and returned to the warmth of our well-lit queen sized bed.

I knew I had failed my wife. John Eldridge would be wilder at heart. Liam Neesom would chew the evil of smalltown Texas like a Copenhagen dip, spitting his brown liquid chaw-cud in the devil’s silly eyes. But me? I started making coffee and sat down to the Washington Post, elderly before my years, crippled by slothfulness and caffeine dependence. But then a resolution dawned on me.

LT had not made it halfway through this morning’s run before I finally decided to get myself fitted for running shoes. I allowed her to reach just out of sight before slipping into drive, rounding the bend until she entered my rearview mirror again. I’m not sure this is what John Eldridge had in mind when he called men to a William Wallace stance against social ills. Still, LT got in her run, and I – cradling my pug and listening to the Nerdist interview with Maria Bamford on our Nissan factory system – wrestled on the hillside of my stubbornness with angels of maturation and cardiovascular reasoning. And I realized right there, watching for my wife to run towards me, that – sweet baby Jesus! – all manner of Maria Bamford fits into my iPod, into my earbuds, into a solid pace beside my bride as we reach that far corner, slap the traffic light, and turn back home. LT may have finally duped me into her running activities by the drowning whimpers of my own inactivity. And my queasy lungs ache just thinking about it.

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About Kiki Malone

Girding till the break of dawn.
This entry was posted in Early, Here To Pump You Up, The Marriage Arts and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to How My Wife Ran Down My Resolve And Perhaps Made Me A Would-Be Runner

  1. esueflater says:

    I used to semi-regularly encourage Adam to run. It always was followed by, “I only run from cops.” Now, mind you, the man won’t even cross the street if there’s no crosswalk, so fleeing cops is not happening. Yesterday he just ran his first 10K and as he crossed the finish line, baton victoriously raised in the air, I choked up. Lord knows how our lives will unfold, but it’s quite possible that this new running thing could result in more years of life together, which is something worth choking up over.

  2. esueflater says:

    Oh, and run on, runner.

  3. sethhaines says:

    You know I love this… Huh?

    Carry a pocket knife, the kind that locks up nice and tight.

  4. Latonya Still says:

    Here here to many long years together. I love you!! Thanks for helping me to get my run in yesterday.

  5. Latonya Still says:

    oops, that should say Hear, hear!

  6. I too loathe running. My wife also runs. It would be good if I ran. LT and you run in my mind often, and you will be happy to know that you keep up with her.

  7. mwerntz says:

    May this be the beginning of many steps in the same direction, athletically-speaking.

  8. Chad says:

    You and I ran together a few cold Spring mornings in Yantai…until the early mornings conflicted with my beer and cigarette regimen.

    • Kiki Malone says:

      Yes. And I remember running with wide open lungs gasping and gasping that last hill around the final turn before reentering campus, and then those giant buses with their black clouds of coal dust and ground-up corpse fumes would pass-by, chugging their aromatic trash into our path, and we would weeze home feeling the garbage packed up tight in our bronchial bags, and then you would have a smoke on my balcony full of bottles before the nicotine hit so that you hopped back inside to make more trashy air in my apartment. Good times.

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