Monday, June 20, 2016

Toucan go bananas

I am not a "stuff'" person. Shortly after we moved into our house, some of Pete's friends came over and one of their wives said "Where is all your stuff? It looks like a retreat in here." I laughed because it's a pretty apt description. I want our house to feel like a retreat - relaxing, comfortable, uncluttered. I prefer to spend money on experiences rather than things. Unless those things are A) functional and/or B) bring me joy. Like a giant bed. Or a super comfortable couch. Or a banana costume and toucan running shorts. Because, let's face it, most of the things that bring me joy are running related and/or ridiculous.

I bought the banana costume to wear while cheering at races. Or on Halloween. Or wherever there is a shortage of is that a banana in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?  jokes. The banana debuted at the Ontario Summit Marathon a couple weekends ago, where I was an aid station volunteer. During races, I love to see anything that is weird or makes me laugh. So when I'm not running, I'm happy to be the weird one. Life is hard. Humans do some really fucked up shit to each other. And it's depressing to watch. I don't know how to open people's minds, hearts and arms and fill them with reason, kindness and hugs. But I do know how to be a banana and fill people's water bottles and hopefully make them laugh, even though they just ran uphill for 3 miles. It's not much but it's a start. After the race, some dude came up to me and said "You were really great at the aid station, thank you!" That alone made the $20 I spent on the banana totally worth it. And of course it is quite fun to go bananas on occasion.
With the toucan shorts, it was love at first sight. I am no fashionista. I like clothes that are, above all, comfortable. Bonus points for being able to run/climb trees in them and extra bonus points if they are weird/ridiculous. So the toucan shorts were a home run. But when they arrived in the mail and I tried them on, I had a twinge of regret. That my squats-done to cookies-eaten ratio wasn't much, much higher. The shorts And I say that as a trail runner who pees in the woods and changes in parking lots and regularly wears spandex. I thought that running had relieved me of the vast majority of my self consciousness. But the shortness of these shorts cannot be overstated (understated?). So I was faced with a dilemma. On the one hand (or should I say thigh?), I loved them. On the other hand, I wondered what people would think. Am I too old to wear these? Are my thighs too jiggly? Too pasty? But ridiculousness was calling me, and I had to heed the call. So I decided that if anyone has a problem with the way I look, it is exactly that: their problem. This is my body. It is built for running and hugging and ice cream ingesting. And since those happen to be three of my favorite things to do, I am lucky indeed. Life is too short not to rock the ridiculous short shorts. So the toucan shorts and I went to 5am Fit1 with Laura last Thursday. Under a fushia-orange-blue sunrise. In jungle-level humidity. Perfect toucan weather! And a funny thing happened. I wasn't self conscious at all. I forgot I was even wearing the shorts. (Pistol squats have a way of making you forget about everything except how bad you are at pistol squats). Except when I happened to look down and see a bunch of brightly colored toucans looking back at me. Then I just smiled. It's hard to be anything other than happy when you put on your silly shorts and start your morning outside with excellent company.

Thanks to Gustavo for the awesome pics!

So, my friends, the moral of this meandering story is: fill your life up with people and experiences and yes, sometimes even things, that you love. Toucan go bananas. I highly recommend it.

Lyric of the moment: "I'm flowing prose to cons and cons to pros. I'm like Toucan Sam when I follow my nose. I'm giving shouts to Gandhi, Gravy and King, his holiness and all enlightened beings..And more ink from my pen and more tears from my eyes. And more crimes are committed as I say these lines..." ~Beastie Boys "Flowin' Prose"

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