Monday, February 21, 2011

The Treadmill Incident.

I have occasionally been called a graceful person. However, this is a moniker only proscribed to me by those who do not know me very well. Because while I do have a certain fluidity to my person while walking or dancing (which I did for a long time), I am actually hopelessly awkward and clumsy. When you combine that with my lack of an immune system and general sense of being a delicate fleur, hilarious hijinks will always and do always ensue.
There were so many awkward photos to choose from,
but I think this may be the epitome of my grace.
Me on the floor of a dirty tube tunnel in London.
No one around me seems impressed or concerned.
Ninth grade was a banner year for me, whatever that expression means because if you look too closely at it, it becomes an incredibly weird way to ironic say: ninth grade didn't go so well for me. Basically, it started out pretty well, but turned into a shit show around January when I got mono. Or rather, I had already had mono for awhile and had given it to several friends through sharing drinks (and on one weird and partially accidental occasion, gum) and, yes, kissing. Oh, I know, scandalous. Calm down, because that's not the entire story.

Mono's supposed to last, oh, a month tops once you're diagnosed, and people rarely get all the symptoms. I mention this because I am phenomenally the exception to both these rules. Not only did I get mono, but I GOT MONO LIKE A FUCKING CHAMP. I slept constantly but was always tired, sore throat, pancreas blew up, etc. etc. etc. Normal sick people things times a thousand, all at once. And oh, how long did it last? In June, after missing half my classes every day through an agreement with the school instead of taking a full month off, which, come to think of it, is probably why I was sick for so long, I was still pretty sickly. If you're still having trouble with the months, I was going on six. It was explained by the fact there's several strains of the virus, and they tested me for autoimmune diseases, which I had none and just marveled over how terribly mother nature had fucked me over.
I was still dying in a minor way, but I was restless and annoyed and by the time, fattening up from never moving ever. So I accepted an invitation of a very misinformed friend who thought I was better and went to the gym. There were five of us, and we trooped over to the treadmills, determined to exercise and stuff, I guess. I was mostly happy not to be watching Dawson's Creek again.

I had never used a treadmill before and found it vaguely unsettling. Have you ever been on a treadmill? It's like it's trying to suck you into some sort of existentialistic black hole that exists behind the treadmill. I should probably also mention mono makes you depressed. But really, it was terrifying. However, after walking for a few minutes I felt pretty stupid and decided to try running. I bet you'll all be really surprised how this turned out.

I pressed the button to increase the speed. Nothing happened. Again. Nothing. AGAIN. NOTHING. Frustrated, I started punching the button over and over, furiously. And then the treadmill move.
Foreshadowing for something youtube has prepared you for.
It picked up speed so fast I was sprinting before I knew what was happening. This infernal device was going so fast, I couldn't even reach the button to make it slow down. I had never been on a treadmill before and had no idea I could JUST PUT MY FEET ON THE SIDES or PRESS THE STOP BUTTON. So I just sprinted and sprinted for several minutes, trying to get the attention of my friends around me, who were oblivious, happily absorbed in their individual television sets. I ran and I ran and I ran, and eventually...

I fainted.

I should also mention, in the spirit of full disclosure, that my fainting was not an entirely new phenomenon, even pre-mono. But those are stories for another day. The fact is, when I came to, which must have been relatively quickly, my chin was smacking against the speeding belt of the treadmill with a teeth-shattering thunk. I had gotten lodged between the closely packed rows. But as I went to stand and almost fell again, for in the time I has been unconscious all the skin had been removed from my knees and there was blood everywhere, pooling in my shoes and all over the wall-to-wall carpeting of Frog's Fitness (the name is a mystery to me too.)

So I did what any logical and sane person would do. I walked up to the front desk and asked for a band-aid.

I can't even imagine what I looked like. A sickly pale creature covered in blood from both the large patch of skin missing from chin and all of it gone from my knees. The woman at the front desk, however, was not impressed. She looked me up and down, handed me two band-aids sized for a normal cut or scrape, and pointed me to the locker room where I could clean up what looked like “just a flesh wound.”

And, I, 14-year-old delicate fleur Devon, did just that. I wasn't going to let mono or my general clumsiness mess up my first outing in months. No, no. I may not be able to control my body in most ways, but I do not let it fuck with me. So I cleaned up, jumped back on the treadmill among my still clueless friends, and ran two miles.

Moral of the story: I couldn't walk the next day. Body win.

I wish I had taken any pictures of these moments, but unfortunately all I have to offer you are these two from weeks after the aforementioned incident:
Note the knees, ignore the hat.
Better than a butt chin, I suppose.

P.S. On an old blog I kept during the time of the incident, I found a list of terrible things that happened to me that week. Here it is, verbatim, just as it was typed. It really was a banner year:

in the past 24 hours (ish) i've...

*gotten smacked in the head
*gotten attacked by "gang birds"
*gotten my hair pulled BY A BOY
*fell off a treadmill disfiguring my face and making it hard to walk
*fell out of bed in the middle of the night
*gotten my foot run over and bled by a FUCKING ROLLEYBACKPACK

all in all it's been good

I stole from here and here. Sorry.

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