Monday, March 12, 2007

But, Amy, doesn't running suck?

Yes, yes it does.

Running can suck in ways you can't even imagine. It's hard. It hurts. It's difficult to begin and easy to stop. It makes you thirsty. It makes you hungry. It even does strange things to your body. Like, I have a permanent owie on the small of my back where the my running shorts chafe my skin. I can't take a flight of stairs without wincing a little at pain in my knees. And this weekend I achieved a milestone that can only mean I am really and truly a runner: I lost a toenail.

OK, so it's not the entire toenail, but I don't care. I'm inconsolable. You see, there aren't many things I am terribly vain about. But my feet? I take care of my feet. I delight in cute toenails, pink little pads with pristine french trim. I pamper my feet. I admire my feet. I like to point my freshly painted toes to and fro, admiring the cuteness of it all.

So you can imagine my horror when, about a month ago, I noticed a small crack in the side of my right big toenail. It was right after I had a pedicure, so for awhile I was convinced I picked up some sort of horrid fungus that would rot off my legs. I was so worried I even went to see a doctor, who seemed infuriatingly bored with my problem. I also posted a frantic plea on a health/fitness message board for someone, ANYONE, to explain to me, a person who had always had healthy toes, what the hell was going on. The responses flooded in.

"Cheer up, it happens to every runner!"
"It's the running! In my last marathon, I lost four of 'em!"
"Look at it like a badge of honor!"

Honor my ass! It's so nasty. I tried to save it as long as I could, with band aids and daily coats of clear polish, but the crack grew and grew until I finally had to admit defeat. Saturday night, I snipped the bad piece off and flushed it down the toilet. And now I have a half-naked big toe. Please, if you respect me at all, do not look directly at this toe until I tell you it's safe. Check back in July.

No comments: