Dear Icy Hot,
I know we used to be friends, but I have to admit that these past several years have been so pleasant without you. The fact that I didn’t have to go out and purchase you is only because Nate had some left over – and the Icy Hot that I’m presently using may be several years old!
Oh how we used to have such fun! Amber and I would spread you on our foreheads when we got bored at cross country meets – as eighth-graders, that seemed a good idea. I spent many a weekend smelling of menthol, but I had to admit, you were good at what you did. “Icy to dull the pain, Hot to relax it away.” Sometimes I think it was more the novelty that the actual effect that lead me to smear you everywhere. The secondary scent of a runner in season – the first, of course, being sweat.
But now, now, dear Icy Hot, you just make me feel like an old woman. Massaging you into my lower back as I waddle about my house – I am unhappy about this. What I am more unhappy about, really, is that, even after washing, my jeans bear that signature scent. No more the mark of an athlete, but the mark of an injury.
I know that if I am to continue this running thing, when I’m no longer hobbling, of course, I will have to acknowledge that you are probably back in my life for the long haul. You’re part of that group of things that I avoided while not running – the calloused toes, the foot cramps, shin splints, the nail polish that won’t stay on. I can’t say that I’m entirely sad, I just forgot. I see romanticized pictures of women running, and I think, “Oh! That looks easy!” Not “Gee, I bet her toes look gross” or “I wonder what sports bra SHE wears to keep THEM under control.”
But I guess I’m committed. For the time being any way. Well, when I can run again, anyway.
I’m glad you were in my closet when I needed you. And for now, you’ll sit on my dresser, within reach at all times. Just in case.