If you follow my Twitter stream you know that I ran my first 5k this weekend. I'm not a runner. I never have been. I'm a softball and basketball player, which means there are bouts of struggling and diving after things in between running. That I can do. Straight running... well, it kinda takes me down. But as I get older I've noticed that there aren't a lot of mid 30's just randomly available for me to play barnyard games with, so running it is.
I've been running on the treadmill religiously for a year, and my stamina is better than it's ever been. I won't tell you my time from the 5k, but I will tell you my goals were:
2) Don't die.
I accomplished these. I also learned that if I want to keep doing this I probably ought to invest in a better sports bra. Why am I blogging about it? Because I have alternative reasons for running, too. It's that time of year. Emails and magazine covers are asking me if I've got my bikini body ready.
The short answer: no.
The long answer: I look pretty good with clothes on, but strip me down for the beach and we're looking at razor burn that might need medical attention and dimples in places that aren't so flattering. My fair Irish skin is pale like a post-mortem Scarlett O'Hara.
To quote Kevin Spacey's disarmingly frank line from American Beauty: "I just want to look good naked."
And that's the trick of the bikini - you're not wearing much, so everything's gotta look good. You can't cover up those flabby upper arms and hope the push-up bra will be distracting enough. You can't wear waterproof mascara and assume people are looking at your face. Everything is up for dissection by the public.
Same goes for your book.
The cover and first chapter are important, like your general silhouette. You might be able to reel them in, but are they gonna get closer and go for the casual nod instead of engaging? What if Chapter Two is the equivalent of starting a conversation to find out you've got bad breath?
Too often I hear writers say, "Yeah there's a downswing here but the next scene really picks up." Or, "I know there's a huge info dump at the beginning but if you can get past that, it's totally awesome." Right. And the obese chick with a good personality gets all the guys on the beach.
Your book is going to be naked. Every page is going to be turned (hopefully). Every word will be exposed to an eyeball. And you can't very well say, "Do me a favor and read this next bit in the dark."
With all this in mind, I'm declaring it something of a Fitness Week on the blog. Today I'm giving you a fitness giveaway, there will be a healthy non-fiction book review for you on Friday, and hopefully my Thursday Thoughts and Wednesday WOLF will conform to these parameters too.
What am I giving away? A SONY Fitness Walkman (specs here) It's a great, wireless way to run without being encumbered. Listen to the Rocky soundtrack, or be a nerd like me and load up some audiobooks. I got this without realizing that it's only PC compatible, and I'm an Apple girl. So, it's never even been popped into my nasty little ears. It's brand new, friends. Wear it, run and skim down your book while you're at it.
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