Dear Icy Hot

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.

Saretta

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