Friday, March 26, 2010

The Workout Gift

Sometimes I like to think I am training to climb Mt. Everest. Even though I have no desire to actually climb Mt. Everest, and only if by climbing it, I would be carrying a giant bag on one shoulder that contains necessities like Advil, ear muffs and hand sanitizer. (I mean, mountain goats are probably full of germs, right?) 

Clearly I do not need to be trekking all over town with a bag full of "things you rarely use," especially on a day like today when I might as well be climbing Mt. Everest since I've been knocked over twice by the gale force winds. You might think I am joking, but you would be wrong. Literally - off the sidewalk and into the street. I can't walk without bowing forward and plunging head-first into my intended direction. So maybe it's a good thing I have a bag stocked with snacks, an umbrella and gum. You never know when you might be swept into a gutter and need to survive for days. Just like on Everest. 

Of all of the things I stuff into my mountain climbing apprenticeship bags, I somehow did not bring a pair of gym socks today. To the gym. Which means I was forced to work out in giant giraffe socks. And in case the clarity of the pictures of giraffes on the sides of my mid-calf socks is not up to par, in total nerdtastic fashion, my socks say "GIRAFFE" in big block letters along the tops. 

I can't say that I am totally embarrassed by this. These are my seventh pair of giraffe socks and I wear all seven pairs with impressive regularity. As an extension of the inside joke about giraffes that I have with my dad, every Christmas I find a new pair of socks in my stocking adorned with the gangly African animals. My dad gets everyone a pair of goofy or cool or crazy socks every year in their stocking. The first time my mom received a pair of socks covered in horses, she cried. She has gotten horse socks ever since. 

My brother usually gets sports-related socks, and I have gotten two pairs of Colts socks. But usually it's giraffes for me. And I love them. They are like little foot surprises, brown speckled heads peeking out atop my shoes and into the world. My giraffes keep me grounded as they clomp along under my work clothes. They make me a little taller, a little more interesting, a little less serious. A little like I am porting tiny foot Muppets.

And as such, they are not my first choice for workout wear. I like to feel like I am way awesome at working out, like I was just cast in an action movie and my workout is part of the movie’s video montage. Super warm socks that shout “GIRAFFE” from my ankles would not make a cameo in this sequence. What DOES fit in this sequence is an iPod. (Which I also forgot to bring today.)

For Christmas last year, my brother and I combined forces to buy my mom an iPod nano. We found one in her favorite color (purple) and told her it would make her long walks and exercises way more fun. My brother made her a mix CD and a certificate that promised to help her figure out how to use the iPod. (My brother is even broke-r than I am, so we split the cost unevenly, and then G took on these extras to make up the difference. Plus he’s really good at picking out music and I listen to anything that’s on the radio. G is embarrassed to even look at my iPod.)

My mom called a few weeks after Christmas last year to say that her new purple friend had revolutionized her workouts. She had successfully uploaded all of the Broadway musicals in her collection and was walking to work faster than usual. Her iPod was starting to become the soundtrack to her own action movie. It was becoming her own little foot Muppet. Only designed for workouts. Like an aerobic giraffe.

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