Fall has finally forced its way into the nation’s capital. Leaves are floating down to rest on lawns. That is, until over-zealous gardeners will chase them with their loud leaf-blowers. Nature is displaying a beautiful pallet of colors under a bright blue sky. Even though we still enjoy mild afternoon temperatures, mornings have gotten colder. And really, that is a good thing.
Two days ago, after an exceptional four-day bout of heavy – and I mean really HEAVY – rain, all the energized morning runners seemed to embrace my 14-year-old daughter and me into their active world again. Not that we were running, mind you. My morning alter ego could never be coaxed into such an intense activity and one look at my daughter told me she felt the same way. However, from the safe haven of our car, we enjoyed observing the runners. Or at least, I did. My daughter seemed too absorbed in reviewing her French presentation to notice the human variety on display.
As a result of the colder weather, the middle-aged man — who only last week proudly displayed his overweight, hairy, bared torso — was now wearing a lycra, slightly slimming shirt. A most definite improvement.
The perky lady, her highlighted ponytail dancing on the top of her head as the stroller attached to her right wrist pulled her forward, had traded her hot pink sports bra for a flashy green, polyester shirt. I, for one, was glad about that transformation. For who needs reminders that some not-so-young mothers are able to perfectly tone their belly, despite having to exercise with their kids in tow?
Only the Lara Croft look-a-like — her ample breasts flattened by a severe black, sports top — obstinately still showed off her sculpted abs, only partially covered by the tool belt that secured a blue power drink to her back. But that didn’t really bother me. Lara Croft competes in different league altogether anyway.
While I might aspire one day to obtain the blonde stroller-runner’s stomach, there’s no way I’ll ever display Lara’s muscles. Not the ones in her abs, but neither those in her arms, her legs or, for that matter, her buttocks – neatly packed today in electric blue, polyester shorts.
Still, seeing all those active people, made me feel energized and motivated. I could hardly wait to don my own workout outfit — carefully covering my belly — for a run at noon. I envisioned myself a bit later doing some crunches in our backyard, slightly hitching up my t-shirt to catch as many sun rays as possible. Just because the afternoon fall temperatures would allow me to do so. Besides, who knew, if the weather held, I might soon be spotted wearing a hot pink sports bra for my run, proudly displaying my toned and tanned abs.
Then again, maybe not … For one thing, I didn’t own a hot pink sports bra and I was pretty sure none would be available for purchase in fall. For another, the remaining number of warm October afternoons would never be sufficient to tan my stomach. As a result, I quickly erased the shirt-lifting images from my afternoon routine and moved my crunches to the indoors. Who needed a tan and toned stomach just before winter anyway?
In an instant I had created a new plan for the day. I would go for my noon run and then stretch on a lounger, enjoying the colorful display of leaves around me. Never mind that I wouldn’t have the time to just lie around. Just to think about it made me happy.
Hurray for the Washingtonian fall!