Monday, June 18, 2012

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

This weekend, Rayne and I decided to take Henry on his first run in Prospect Park with the jogging stroller, since he is now old enough to support his head.  I was excited for this first jog.  Rayne and I met training for a marathon in 2006, and even though I am in the worst shape of my life, we decided to run the New York City marathon this November.  We smiled at our future cuteness, running blissfully along with Henry in the jogging stroller.  Maybe we would each have a hand on the stroller.  Beautiful flowers would appear in the sky, bathing us with their soft petals and sweet aroma.


As soon as we began jogging, Henry started emitting his special low-pitched whine that provokes in me a Pavlovian shoulder creep until I look like a frightened turtle.  Because I know what's coming.

We tried everything -- stopping to soothe him, stopping to pick him up, having me run in the front so he could see me, singing songs, ignoring him entirely.  But the pitch and intensity of his cries only escalated. 

After a mile or so, we gave up.  Score one for Henry.  We cut through the lawn and came to the park's big hill.  Rayne wanted to get a workout in, so he said he was going to "push the hill," which left me "pushing the stroller up the hill."  Henry chose this moment to elevate his whine-cry into a full-on series of screams.  Strangers turned from every direction to find the source of the shrieking monkey noise.  I smiled apologetically to every other person on the loop.

I wasn't self-conscious from the attention, because everyone else was also super out of shape, gasping for air and shuffling lamely up the hill along with me.  (No, they weren't.)

I threw in the towel.  I pulled over (no small feat with a jogging stroller whose front wheel is locked into a forward position), took Henry out of the stroller and carried him in one arm while pushing the stroller with the other.  He stopped crying immediately, of course.  I instantly went from being the meanest Moo Cow to his favorite Moo Cow again.  Score two for Henry.

For those of you keeping track, that's 2 for Henry and 0 for Running.  We will not, however, be deterred.  We have lost but one battle in the long road to Staten Island.*

* That's where the marathon starts.  Because runners have to go through all five boroughs, right?  Don't worry, we immediately run over the Verrazano Bridge into Brooklyn to, well, get away from Staten Island.