I live in one of Toronto’s suburbs, a town with a population of 172 000. Since I live and work in town, I often pass people I know when I run – or get honked at as they pass me. This means that I often do a vanity run, a run in which I run well, look good or do both.
Two weeks ago, I realized how important it is to try and impress others with my running. The OTHM 5K was swarmed with high school volunteers who were working to add hours to their community service commitment. Many of them I recognized from being at my school a few years ago.
After I finished the race, I was quickly handed a bottle of water and guided to the next volunteer:
Teenage Male Volunteer: Ah, can I have your chip?
Me: Ya, ya, just wait a second (as I was still catching my breath).
A few seconds later, I stopped shaking enough that I could let him remove the timing chip from my ankle.
TMV: Good time.
Hours later, I wondered if TMV was Stew, one of our grade 8’s last year who I knew was volunteering that morning. When I recalled our friendly interaction at the finish line, I was sure it was.
Then, I imagined some of the comments at our local high school the next day.
“Yay, Mrs. O’H. ran.”
“Yay, she was pretty fast.”
“Man, does Mrs. O’H. have hairy legs!”
At that point, I was glad that I took the time to shave the night before. Could you imagine what the next lines would be if I hadn’t? I’d be torn to shreds.
Looks like shaving has definitely become a pre-race ritual for me.