I Punked The Batman (to defeat colon cancer)
I am a giant ball of aching, creaking horror right now.
When walking down the stairs, I list to the side like a drunken sailor who had, at one point in his life, showed a truly appalling set of decision-making skills and decided to have both legs amputated for kicks and then had one of them considerably shortened during a somewhat elaborate prank. (Wow. That was a bit of a specific metaphor there. Don’t know where that came from.)
The fronts of my thighs are aching whenever I put weight on them and I do have considerable weight on which to put . . . them. (stoopid grammer*)They hurt most when I stand up, sit down or try to navigate stairs without listing like a. . . You know what? Never mind like a what. Stairs are bad right now, okay?
I hurt so much because of stupid pride, a desire for closeness, a good friend in need, a good cause to help and the fact that I like colons**.Which one of those five reasons is the most out of place? Can you guess which of those reasons is the one that I’m blaming for most of my pain? Yeah. We’ve only been together for a while and I already feel like you know me inside and out.
Over the weekend, I participated in the Get Your Rear In Gear 5k at Independence Park in Charlotte. The event is run by Erace Away Cancer to benefit the Colon Cancer Coalition and is designed to raise money to benefit colon cancer research.
IMPORTANT NOTE: You can still donate to the Colon Cancer Coalition by clicking on its link here and in the last paragraph. If you want to donate, try to do so through the Kiss My Sass (that’s my team! Go, Kissers! or Sassers!? I don’t know, just click on the link and give to a good cause.)
Now, there was a time when I could run a 5k with my hands tied behind my back, run backwards and even drink a glass of water at the same time. This is not that time. I’ve not been able to run for the past couple of years because of some pretty severe plantar fasciatis (pain in my foot whenever I put weight on it). So bad is the pain, I’ve only been able to walk the dog with any regularity thanks to these custom-designed orthotic inserts I put in my shoes.
So I’m not really in top shape. However, when my wife, known to me as She Who Must Be Running More In One Day Than I Have All Year, asked me to do it with her, I couldn’t say no. Mostly because our friend, SassMouth, is a living example of why this sort of research funding is so important.
I tried to talk our youngest boy into running with me under the theory that misery loves company, but he had a competing theory that went something along the lines of he didn’t want to be miserable in the first place and didn’t see why he had to do it and didn’t I love him, no probably not because otherwise I wouldn’t try to make him miserable. He called it the Miser Theory. He’s very concise.
Which meant that I would be running just me and She Who Must Be Laughing On The Inside, who is an accomplished triathlete (finished a 140.6-mile iron distance triathlon in 14 hours) and thinks nothing of a quick 5k just to get her heart pumping. The good news is that she promised to laugh. Even better, she promised to run with me. I made sure she knew in advance that it would be a run like a penguin can fly. That is, pittiful, painful and only funny to those watching, not the ones participating.
In what was one of the slowest 5k-distance races in her recent memory and my (sigh) personal best, we crossed the finish line at exactly 42 minutes. Which is a pretty good deal as far as I was concerned. I knew I’d be able to finish in a reasonable amount of time. That is, I’d probably only be beaten by the first 30 or so 12-year-old girls or so, but definitely ahead of some of them. (No, really. It seems like every 5k I run, I always finish behind a 12-year-old girl who’s sad because she only beat the old, bald, fat guy and all of her friends are all the way up front.)
I knew it was going to hurt later. For later, read Sunday, Monday and today. Yeesh. Getting old; definitely needs some of the kinks worked out of it.
So, I got done with the race and didn’t have to be helped over the finish line so that was good. Then the day kept getting better. I got to hit the participant tent and get me some grub. Great Harvest Bread was there and giving out free samples of the best bread in existence. I got some free water. A banana. Some trail mix. It was, in short, pretty darn wonderful.
But then the day got even better. That’s when I saw the Batman.
Well, more accurate to say I saw the Batman. . . again. I’d seen the Caped Crusader near the starting line and again near the finish line when I was running the race. I didn’t stop to say hello because, hello?, I was running (for very slow mostly walking values of run) the race and was rather busy. Of course, being the Batman, he’d not only won the race, but he won it before we even put our shoes on that morning.°
Sadly, I didn’t think I’d have a chance to get a picture taken with him because there’s all this supercrime needing the swift fist of justice of the Dark Knight. But, nope. I got lucky.
There was the Batman and he was in a picture-taking mood. He wasn’t hissing at the cameras, twirling his cape and disappearing into the darkness. Mostly becuase it was bright, sunny and yet really, really cold out there.
I had my chance, so I took it. And the picture.
See, everyone (and by everyone I mean a bunch of my fellow comic-book geeks) all say you can’t beat the Batman. He’s too smart, too dedicated, too rich and all the rest. But I knew, if I ever got the chance I could get the better of him.
And, what do you know? I did. I put the bunny ears on the Batman.
Let me say that again in all-caps because I just love the sound of it.
I PUT THE BUNNY EARS ON THE BATMAN.
So, to recap. I ran a 5k, finished with croaking, didn’t embarrass myself (too much), raised money to help fund research into ways to beat colon cancer, and PUNKED THE BATMAN.
For which I’ve been hobbled for the past three days.
Totally worth it, dudes. Totally worth it.
Footnotes & Errata
* Yes I know it’s spelled wrong. That’s the joke. I didn’t say it was a good joke.
** It’s a good cause. No one said they had good taste. Or a good smell.
° Inside comic-book-geek joke. Probably only amusing myself with that one, but just coudn’t help it.