The weekend before I was supposed to meet Sylvie for the first time, I thought about how I should prepare. I needed a new pair of shoes, for one – I’d owned my current ones for about two years. (General rule of thumb: You should replace your running shoes every 500 kilometers or 6 months, whichever comes first.) I needed to quit smoking again (the last time didn’t take). And I’d only jogged once in the last four months, so, you know, I could do that.
But the more I thought about it, the more this seemed like a bad idea. As I sat on my couch that weekend, it occurred to me that if I prepared too much before I even met Sylvie, she might not have anything to do. I wanted her to feel useful.
I imagined her shaking my hand, then taking one look at my trained body and saying, “I’m sorry. There’s nothing I can teach you.”
“No. You are in perfect shape already.”
“Really? I mean, you’ve competed in multiple Ironmans. I just went out for a couple jogs this weekend. Surely-”
“And I came all the way down here in the middle of rush hour. Thanks for wasting my time.”
“How embarrassing that would be for both of us,” I thought, as I chewed my way through another slice of the large Pizza Hut pizza I had just ordered. “Besides, if I didn’t run at all before I met her, it would probably give her a better idea of my natural state of fitness,” I reasoned, as I dipped another chicken wing in blue cheese sauce.
The poor woman has no idea what she’s gotten herself into.