I have recently stopped running (of course not, not for good… are you MAD?). Sure, I will miss it a bit for the coming few months. The running itself, obviously, but also (and allow me to be cheesy here), you know, that feeling of belonging to a community. Then I came to realise that there were more common points between runners and pregnant women than catches the eye, and wondered if that that would help me still feeling part of a community.
The runners amongst you will know that runners share much more than their love for running. For the others, just picture this: normally well-behaved and socially-apt adults describing in vivid details pre-race bowel movements. Debating for hours whether Paula did a number two on that 2005 London Marathon wildly reported pit stop. Not to mention giving detailed, gory and totally unnecessary description of various sport-induced injuries. I must myself confess to months of having as screen-saver the photo of my sliced-open ankle and naked split tendon, given by my surgeon after surgery. You want to see? No? really? Sure... OK then… shame, though...As for the triathletes, logically being as gross as runners to the power of three, just ask and they will delight you with stories of the best methods to pee from your bike, or in your wetsuit, or on your running shoes (and I should know, as Martin, having recently taken up triathlon, is delighted me with his accounts).
So I thought being now off running for a few months would have at least one plus, which would be to keep me away from the “gross” issue, and spare me the need to hear about my fellow runners’ bowel movements and other appetizing adventures, (and, let’s face it, sometimes share descriptions of my own: you do what you have to do to belong).Well, I had to think again. Because you see, the main characteristic shared by runners and pregnant women alike is precisely their propensity at being totally; overly gross. Actually, strike that off: delectation, rather than propensity, describes the phenomenon much more accurately.
The fact is, pregnant women LOVE gore. And the problem is that, no matter how you slice it, you have to hand it over to them, they have plenty to tell, much more than any runners, no matter how dedicated, will ever have.So, since we made public the imminent arrival of the little one, I have had to deal with descriptions which could make a runner, and maybe even a triathlete, blush. Think no-details-spared descriptions of first trimester nauseas. Hemorrhoids. 18-hour-long labour with tears, screams, ending up in apotheosis with the use of forceps or other torture device. Episiotomy. And here, guys, one word of advice: if you (lucky you) don’t know what this is, refrain from looking it up on Google. Trust me, you will find out soon enough. In a nutshell, think of something truly abominable and the chance is there will be a pregnant woman around with a story to share.
This has been a real problem for me for the past few months. In fact, I just feel like I don’t belong. See, so far, my pregnancy has gone super well. No nauseas. Ok, I was a bit tired for the last couple of months, but it did not last, and somehow this did not sound like something that would get my pregnant friends impressed. No significant back pain which lasted more than a few days. Not even water retention, for crying out loud. Result is, I am feeling a bit like an outcast: not a fully paid-up member of the running community anymore, and not quite gore enough to be admitted in the close circle of the Truly-Pregnant women.
But you know, I think I will live with it. Call me a softie, but not matter how much I want to belong, I don’t think I am ready to go for the 18-hour delivery just yet…