The 5K That Almost Was

If there’s one good thing about having a violent stomach parasite for a week, it’s that your friends aren’t quite so hard on you when you tell them that you’re not going to join them in the 5K race you had all been planning on running for months.
Unfortunately, my friends are clever, so it didn’t take long before they realized that I had never actually signed up for said 5K race, which we had “all” been planning on running in for months. But again, I played the sympathy card and said, “Don’t you think I’ve been punished enough for my mistake? Don’t you think I see now that I never should have lied to you? Don’t you think I wish I were as healthy as all of you so that I could join you? You should just be thankful that you are all blessed with iron stomachs.”
I just hope they bought that load of crap. I think they did, because before they left me sitting on a grassy knoll surrounded by their smelly gym bags, they all clasped hands and said they were going to run this race for me.
“Let’s win this one for Jenny, guys!” shouted Seamus, as he rubbed Vaseline on his nipples and tried to decide whether his shirt looked cooler hanging out or tucked in.
“Yeah, let’s do it for Jenny! And all the other women around the world suffering from weak constitutions!” yelled Natasha, as she popped a piece of Gatorgum into her mouth and adjusted her Adidas headband.
My heart swelled with love. And pride. With prideful love. And perhaps a bit of jealousy. They now all shared a bond that I would never know. A bond of sweat and Vitamin Water. Our friendship will probably never be the same. Now when we get together, I’ll feel so left out as I listen to story after story about how they felt the “runner’s high” kick in at Mile 2, and the rush they felt as they saw the finish line just a few yards away, and how soundly they slept that night, their muscles still burning and twitching from their accomplishment.
I guess I really learned a lot from this whole 5K experience. I learned that I shouldn’t lie to my friends, because they always find out the truth in the end. And I learned that setting personal goals and accomplishing them can give you a high like nothing else, not even animal tranquilizers washed down with some scotch. But most of all, I’ve learned that any time I screw up, all I have to do is spend five days trapped in my apartment suffering from a rare Amazonian intestinal parasite and my friends will forgive almost anything. If that’s not love, then I don’t know what is.

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