Seven Miles and a Side of Ketchup

The beauty of my husband is that, in addition to accepting my quirks, he comes up with ideas as to how I can bump them to the next level.

A couple of months ago, for instance, I was thumping around the house one afternoon, kvetching about how Jocelyn’s Perfect Storm coalesces when free time for exercise is countered by a deep peckishness. The winds began to swirl as I headed for my running clothes while thinking about biscotti; darkness set in as I began layering on pairs of socks while considering the richness of a breakfast burrito; sleet began to spit from the sky as I snapped on my Ipod while picturing a pasta bowl teeming with carbonara; 50-foot waves began kicking up as I reset my running watch while mentally buttering a huge hunk of challah.

Standing up to zip my windproof shell, I bellowed in frustration, “This is the only time today I have when I can go for a run, but mostly I just want to tip a cow and gnaw on its leg.”

While I often do my bellowing in solitude, on this particular day, Byron was there.

I continued, “And so here I am, quite virtuous despite the growling in my belly, ready to go for a run now.”

Byron lifted a brow.

“Except running is kind of hard to think about doing seeing as I’m ravenous, in a profound way that no quick banana could remedy.”

Compassionately, Byron gave a quiet nod.

“Because what I’m trying to say is that I’m hungry in a ‘just set the entire pot roast on my chest, please’ way.”

With that, I started stomping towards the door, only to be interrupted by Byron’s voice, suggesting:

“Why not go get a hamburger as part of your exercise?”


I understood his words. He had said “hamburger,” after all. He was speaking my language.

But what? Get. Hamburger. As. Part. Of. Exercise?

As the halves of my brain shifted and then realigned, as the universe tilted three degrees on its axis [which is super weird–the universe on an axis! I am so totally an English major and leave that quantum junk to the, uh, geologists], as everything I knew, as everything I had ever known rushed towards me and receded again, I was left enthralled by his suggestion’s brilliance.

“So, you’re saying eating a hamburger and going for a run can co-exist?”

Supportively, Byron pointed out, “Well, not for just anyone. Most runners can’t stop for a burger mid-run. But you have a well-documented ability to eat heaps and still be hungry, remember? And you’re the one who can slam a 20 ounce latte and then head into yoga class and hold a downward dog for ten breaths. Not once, not once, have you ever urped, either. I think you can do this.”

As he spoke, his voice was unusually mellifluous. I fell under the spell of his dulcet tones.

“So here’s what I’m suggesting, Joce. You run from here, down the Lakewalk, then cross over the foot bridge and come up on London Road near all the fast food places. You know how you love a Wendy’s burger? Today’s your day, girl. The mid-point of your run will be Wendy’s. You head in there, have a burger–make it a double–and then you run home. When you get back, your every need will have been satisfied. How’s that for Living Your Best Life?”

Swooning, I responded with a, “So wait a minute. Not only are you motivating me to run, you’re also throwing in the promise of beef and topping it all off with an Oprah catchphrase? Honey. Oh, honey. You’re speaking love to me right now. The Romantics had nothing on you and your ‘Ode to Enabling Jocelyn’s Every Random Desire.’ I’m warning you right now that when I get home, I’m going to be pumped and fueled, so protect yourself. My huggin’ arms will be out and looking for squeezies.”

With that, I tucked my debit card in my sports bra and galumphed out the back door.

A delightful destination in mind, I ran with vigor, hardly noticing that it was the coldest day of the year, with windchills in the double negatives.

Ten minutes in, though, even dreams of hamburgers couldn’t distract me from encroaching frostbite. I felt myself in a conundrum: must get to burger, but must keep skin alive. How to do both?

A-ha! Giving the debit card–and, okay, my left breast–a quick rub, I remembered that I had options.

Not too far past the Wendy’s was a running store. Thus, my first stop was there, for a few more layers (how negligent of Byron to forget to factor a shopping spree into Jocelyn’s Best Run Ever!). Minutes later, wearing yet another pair of wool running socks and a new Smartwool balaclava, I bounced out of the Duluth Running Company and turned my compass towards a double, no pickles, no tomatoes.

An hour and a half after leaving the house, I returned from my run, debit card still warm on my chest, new balaclava covering the ketchup stains on my face:

Byron peeled down the faceguard, took one look at my grinning mug,

sniffed my breath for telltale signs of recent carnivorous inhalations,

and murmured,

“I was thinking: you know how you want to swim laps more often? What if we put English muffins by the diving board?”






22 responses to “Seven Miles and a Side of Ketchup”

  1. monica Avatar

    he knows you – and owns you!!! hopefully he got the "swing in your arms" as he deserved :o))

  2. furiousBall Avatar

    Minnesota has ninjas?

  3. Pseudonymous High School Teacher Avatar
    Pseudonymous High School Teacher

    Well, he certainly has a risky sense of humor.

  4. actonbell Avatar

    LOL, furiousBall! I'm impressed, Jocelyn.

    It's really warming up here. I went out for my Sunday run along the river and there were so many people and dogs out, it looked like something special was going on, but it was just the first 50 degree, sunny day we've had this year. The walkway was crowded!

  5. Jazz Avatar

    If ever you tire of that man, I'll buy him off you.

  6. Deborah Avatar

    What does he do for a living?? I'm thinking he's one of those guys who sells ice to Eskimos…er Inuit.
    So smooth. So affirming. So…so… understanding !
    Not a person to be refused – anything.

  7. Green Girl in Wisconsin Avatar
    Green Girl in Wisconsin

    Your husband is the brightest and most brilliant of the bunch. Lucky.

  8. Jeni Avatar

    Oh, what I wouldn't give for a nice, juicy burger from virtually anywhere right about now. I saw by the scale this a.m. when I checked in for outpatient surgery this a.m. that the piece of ultra-yummy peanut butter-chocolate cream pie I had last night had upped my weight 2 pounds over what it was on Friday -when I got the new scale to work. Rats. Back almost to square one now as I have to show some noticeable difference in my weight by next Monday. I'd even be happy to have a burger without the bread to cut back on the carbs a bit. NOw, I'm thinking I need a little nap to finish sleeping off the "twilight" crap they gave me this a.m. I'll probably dream about burgers (but no fries) though.

  9. cathy Avatar

    My husband has never approved of me eating anything at anytime. My fat bottom is a permanent mut F**k you of retribution in direct response to his parsimony.

    Give groom a squeeze from me please.

  10. Jenn @ Juggling Life Avatar
    Jenn @ Juggling Life

    This could be just the motivation I need!

  11. Logophile Avatar

    true love and a perfect fit is a rare and wonderful thing.
    Saturday I was talking to Mr.Logo about going for a family motorcycle ride and then today,
    TODAY it snowed here.
    So wrong.
    I don't know why I thought this information important to add to this comment, it just seeems sooo wrong to have the snow out here in March.
    Oh, I have it, the perfect connection of thoughts,
    I'm blaming your husband for bringing it with him!~

  12. Fragrant Liar Avatar
    Fragrant Liar

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaa-ha-ha-ha. I love Groom. Does he have a brother?

  13. geewits Avatar

    That's funny. I'm surprised you can eat a double. A single is all that will fit in my belly. You might try a single next time, all the flavor yumminess with half the meat badness. And thanks for the motivation here. I just had two Girl Scout Samoas (the cookies, I hope you knew that) and now I will go walk on my treadmill, grateful that my skin will not freeze off.

  14. jess Avatar

    Oh Jocelyn, you makes me giggle. I never thought running was a good idea (unless I am being chased by someone who is not a handsome available may-un) but now I am thinking of the frozen yogurt place near my house, and wheels (wheels, I tells ya!) are starting to spin in my rickety brainpan.

    My captcha is "dementi." Should I take that personally?

  15. Midlife Jobhunter Avatar
    Midlife Jobhunter

    Ha! English muffins at pool's end. Works for me.

    My downfall is a Wendy's hamburger. For some reason, my comfort. In fact, I haven't had lunch, so…

  16. secret agent woman Avatar
    secret agent woman

    It's fries I crave when I ought to be exercising. But that wouldn't be my hurdle – I could never go out when I needed to cover part of my face to stay alive.

  17. Voyager Avatar

    Groom has the best ideas. Wendy's and a workout: it could catch on.

  18. Pearl Avatar

    You've married well, my friend.


  19. Michelle Wells Grant Avatar
    Michelle Wells Grant

    You're talkin' my language, sister. But I might have to make it a Boca burger on the run these days. Hell, I'm totally impressed that you're running in winter … I am such a lazy ass!

  20. Chantal Avatar

    LOL he is a keeper that Groomeo!

  21. Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings Avatar
    Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings

    You are my hero.

  22. lime Avatar

    the two of you are the truest soulmates. blessed i tell you, blessed.

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