With this post, I’m officially making the transition from being an expectant daddy blog to becoming a full-fledged daddy blog. I’ve already been peed on, so it’s official.
To make that transition, I want to talk about running. No, not running away—you should know me better than that by now—and don’t worry, this isn’t going to turn into another post where I gripe about being overweight and out-of-shape. I’ll spare you that. I’ll post a birth story at some point in the near future, but today I mostly wanted to talk about one thing.
I don’t get running.
I don’t really get runners, either.
Sure, I’ve run before. I’ve tried going out with runner friends and end up making a fool out of myself. I’ve jumped on a treadmill and, after nearly killing myself by not knowing how to use it, mostly huffed and wheezed myself back to the locker room. I’ve run when taking part in other sports. I’ve run to chase down various food trucks who are trying to get away. But running, in and of itself as a sport of its own—I just don’t get it.
You have to have a special mentality to be a runner. You almost need to be slightly masochistic. A glutton for punishment. Because, when you look at it, runners run to nowhere. They always end up back home or at the starting line or, on a treadmill, in the exact same place they’ve always been since firing the thing up. They run and run and run, and they get nowhere. Except exhausted.
In order to keep running and get nowhere, those runners need something to drive them. Some want to get in shape, some want to stay in shape, some want to push themselves to get faster and compete and win races or marathons or whatever. But they need that motivation to drag their sorry asses out of bed at the crack of dawn (or before) and put one foot in front of another so they can end up tired and back where they started.
People who run will tell you that it’s hard, but its the endorphins that keep them at it. Exercise releases those endorphins, so to go along with the tiredness is a feeling of bliss and happiness. It’s hard to get to that place, and that’s why a lot of people who start running will fail. They never get to that place. Running is hard.
Today, Squatch is five days old. In these five days, I haven’t slept much, which is no surprise to the parents out there. There’s just so much to do. And I’m just the dad—the one who didn’t carry the baby around for nine months then force him out of my nether bits. But now that he’s here, I’ve been trying to carry as much of the load as I can handle with him and with the house in general.
Those of you who’ve had babies or been around babies or have seen a baby know that they’re pretty helpless on their own. You have to do everything for them. Karli does the feeding since I lack the required attachments. I get her water and snacks to make sure she’s able to provide that food for Squatch. I try to handle the bulk of the diaper changing. I try to make meals for us at a reasonable time. I wash the breast pump equipment and the bottles and the dishes and whatever else happens to be in a three-foot radius of the kitchen sink. I try to keep the apartment (reasonably) clean. I make runs to the store to get more snacks and food.
Then, a couple hours later, it happens again. Squatch is hungry. His diaper is wet and turdy again. There’s more dishes and bottles to clean. The dog needs taken out. Every couple hours—like Law & Order reruns—it’s on again. All this work and I’m back where I started. And tired.
But I don’t mind. As a matter of fact, I kind of enjoy it, strange as it sounds. I get a strange rush from doing all this work because it’s for my wife and my brand new kid, which makes it seem worthwhile that I’m just heading in circles, ending up right back at where I began before collapsing into the bed in a tired heap of Sasquatch. I dig it. I can’t stop doing it. It’s hard, but I really need to do it. I want to do it.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I kinda get running.