I have always had a condescending attitude towards the Eternal Female Quest to find and nurture one’s “Inner Goddess.” What’s with this obsession with your “Inner Goddess?” And why do you need to excuse all your silly actions with an imaginary deity?
Have you ever heard of a man looking for ways to nurture his “Inner God”?
My annoyance with the Inner Goddess obsession peaked when I was reading 50 Shades of Grey. Every page was abundant with platitudes such as: (Quotes)
“My very small inner goddess sways in a gentle victorious samba”
“My inner goddess is jumping up and down, clapping her hands like a five-year-old.”
“My inner goddess is doing backflips in a routine worthy of a Russian Olympic gymnast.”
“My inner goddess is smoldering and not in a good way.”
For me, this particular Inner Goddess was as annoying as her owner, the lead female character in the book.
A recent running experience of mine, let’s code-name the incident 50 Shades of Brown, made me change my point of view. I now have a newfound respect for the Inner Goddess concept. Throughout the aforementioned experience, which became a nightmarish ordeal, I was constantly resorting to channeling something stronger than myself in order to make it through to the end of the run. I had an epiphany. After I survived one of my most humiliating runs ever, I adopted a new attitude and even started wondering what my Inner Goddess is like and how she behaves.
But let’s cut to the chase. It was a 5k park run. At one point, while running, I sensed that two other runners had started running right behind me, keeping up with my pace. Since I didn’t know their names, for the sake of the narrative, I will call them Runner Number 1 and Runner Number 2. I assumed that they wanted to use me as a pacer. This stroked my ego. Look at me, I thought, the 41-year-old woman that only a few years ago was among the slowest runners. I have made such progress that now people actually use me to pace themselves to a faster tempo.
Kudos to my body! – I kept on mentally congratulating myself – it really does behave as if it is much younger than its real age! My body, evidently encouraged by the high praise, decided that the younger behavior it adopts, the more pride and joy it would bring me. So it inadvertently threw a curveball my way by starting to behave like a baby’s body.
Our little pacing party of 3 remained firmly stuck together, but unless a miracle happened, its’ pacer was probably going to become the Party Pooper very soon.
I was only halfway through the 5K race when the first painful bowel movement cut through my stomach. Accompanied by over 250 fellow runners and zero toilets. I squeezed my butt cheeks as hard as I could. As a result, I slowed down my pace by 10-15 secs for a km and swapped my usual forefoot strike with a temporary heel strike. This did the trick and my body urges were kept at bay for a while. A worthwhile sacrifice of speed.
Anyone in their right mind would assume that one can’t keep on running for another 2.5 km in this horrible disposition. Any given sane person would take a detour from the race course and would seek bowel relief in the faraway fields, obscured from human sight.
But I am not anyone. Less so any given sane person. I am an amateur runner. This was my first competitive run after a 3-week injury break. It was important for me to keep going as I wanted to compare my run with my personal best on the course and use that to estimate the negative impact the rest had on my running form. Not to mention that I had the self-imposed responsibility to pace my new friends. Whether they knew it or not, willing or unwilling – Runner Number 1 and Runner Number 2 were already sheltered under my friendly pacing wing.
By squeezing my butt cheeks that I’d clad in pale pink tights, I managed to partially mitigate my bowel urges for a significant part of the course. Halfway through the 4th K, the agony has resumed its’ overwhelmingly painful ebbs and flows. I managed to maintain a decent tempo that my faithful followers – Runners Number 1 and Number 2 kept up with almost all the way.
500 meters before the final line though, the park run photographer suddenly appeared out of nowhere, and in his search for the perfect runner photo, he flashed the camera in my face. The flash had me startled. This led to me losing focus for a teeny tiny second. This second proved fatal.
Photography is a major art form. When a photo is taken at the right moment, it can capture the genuine emotion that the model is going through at that instant. It seals the moment for all eternity.
I found some consolation in that the photographer had taken a photo of my front side. He eternalized my face but missed out on doing so with my derriere. After attempting to take its initial soar towards freedom, it was exactly my pink tight-clad derriere, that my waste had snuggled so sweetly into.
“My boys” а.k.a. Number 1 and Number 2 however, were still running right behind me. Number 2 caught up with me. He obviously meant to Share-a-Delicate-Info with his pacer. I doubted he would tell me something I wasn’t aware of.
- Excuse me for approaching you without even knowing you. I bet you feel very uncomfortable, given that…-
I got pissed off. I had to go through the most humiliating conversation of my life – Did we have to discuss the obvious? And while still running?
Number 2 kept on – “…. given that you have to put up with my heavy breathing. I know I snort while I run, but I am yet to learn to control my breathing while I run. Again – apologies and thank you for pacing me.”
And it was then, my friends, that I realized that each of us is going through our own inferno, enveloped in our own torment. And this often blinds us to the point of us not noticing other people’s hell. Number 2 was so engrossed in his own embarrassment, that he didn’t notice a very particular other Number 2 that I had to apologize to him about. I waved my hand in an all-forgiving, patronizing gesture, conveying the message:
“Apology accepted. Not being able to control your body functions – such a rookie mistake.” The wave of my hand had a two-fold purpose – it also stirred around the air around me. I put a slightly condescending expression on my face –the way only flawless human beings like myself can afford to do and let both guys outpace me. I’d rather not have anyone behind me.
At one point it occurred to me that I can take off my sports jacket and tie it around my waist, which I promptly did. After crossing the finish line, I disappeared for a while until I achieved a socially acceptable level of bum cleanliness.
I walked among my parkrun friends, eyeing them surreptitiously. I couldn’t get rid of the feeling that I have “Nia the Poo” written on my forehead in red paint. Nobody took any notice.
Only Emil (my husband) noticed my absence and asked me where I have been. I told him that running triggered my excretory system into overload and I lost control over it. I couldn’t have phrased it more subtly. He nodded understandingly, as he knows me inside out and remembered another running story of mine. In that case, it was my bladder that I couldn’t control though.
- Give me a hug, Mrs. Piss-My-Pants! –
- I’m no longer Mrs. Piss-My-Pants – I gave him a condescending look – You underestimate me.
Emil does a facepalm. Even though he knows Embarrassment is my middle name, he still struggles to believe that I have upped the level that much. He makes me promise that I will not tell this story to anyone. In particular, he wants to make sure that I will not tell this story to any guys I know.
I find it cute that my hubby is looking after my image among the male population. I will not tell anyone, Emil, don’t worry. ( I am not the kind of girl to sh*t and tell, but I am the kind of girl to sh*t and write a blog). I hope this doesn’t count.
Sharing this photo doesn’t count either, I hope.
This is the photo I have been telling you about. I will cherish it forever. Every time I feel down I take a look at it and say to myself:
-Way to go, Girl!
Even though at this very moment you are crapping your pants, you still found the inner strength to do the Victory sign to the camera. With both hands!
This is my Inner Goddess at Her Best!