Running on the Beach
(It’s Dangerous!)By: Katie Jay, MSW, National Association for Weight Loss Surgery
“It should have been a perfect moment,” I thought as I spit sand out of my mouth like a man spitting out teeth after a fight.
I had taken my new dog, Ruby, to the beach for a walk. An action that was totally out of character for me.
First of all, the mere idea of me having a dog was mind-blowing. I was not a “dog person” before weight loss surgery. I was a “cat person.” Recently, however, I rescued a dog from a shelter so that I would have a built-in walking buddy. (Dogs never turn you down — and they are always available.)
Second, before WLS I didn’t have the energy or the desire to put a slobbering canine into my car and drive to the beach. And I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to walk laboriously (actually waddle, if you want to know the truth) from the car to the ocean over hot sand.
Third, even if I had gotten myself to the edge of the ocean, I would not have set out for a hike along the beach — let alone a run. I would have stood there with the waves nipping at my toes, studied the sea for a minute or so (looking for dolphins), turned around, and gone home.
I wouldn’t even have sat down, because getting up was so darn difficult.
Now, I was a new woman. Ruby the dog and I hopped lightly out of the car, practically skipped to the shore, and embarked on a brisk walk, letting our toes get wet from time to time.
Ruby loved the surf so much, I started trotting through the water along the shore, so that she could jump over the remnants of the incoming waves.
She gained speed as we did this, so naturally I gained speed, too! And I was RUNNING! Me! Katie Jay. Running.
My hair was blowing in the wind, my strides were strong. “I look good,” I imagined, “a slender, fit, woman out running in a fashionable exercise outfit. And with a great-looking dog, too!”
Sitting on a sand dune ahead of me were three college kids. They watched me approach. They didn’t stare, really, they just saw me as they scanned the beach.
They were just some guys taking a break from surfing.
As I got close to them, and realized they saw me coming, I started to feel self conscious, “A fat woman running,” I thought, “how embarrassing.”
As I reached the guys, running at full speed, my ankle twisted, I lost my balance, went airborne — and then landed on my face in the sand, mouth open — directly in front of those guys.
Thankfully, I was able to jump up immediately, spit the sand out, and keep moving. I guess being in shape has its advantages.
But I’ll never go running on the beach again. Too dangerous.