Don’t know what cankles are? Allow me to provide some definitions:
“The area in affected female legs where the calf meets the foot in an abrupt, nontapering terminus; medical cause: adipose tissue surrounding the soleus tendon, probably congenital, worsened by weight gain and improved in appearance only by boots. From the English “calf” meaning wide portion of the lower leg, and “ankle” meaning slender joint of leg with foot.”
“A reference to a pair of legs that have no defined end of the calf area as well as no defined beginning of the ankle area. Does not only refer to fatty legs, simply shapeless legs.”
“n. 1) An aesthetically unfortunate physiological condition which leaves its victims with no discernable narrowing of the ankle between the calf and the foot. 2) An ankle which has no discernable narrowing from the calf to the foot. History: The word is derived a combination of the words calf and ankle. Victims of this condition are advised to avoid the following: ankle boots, ankle-strap shoes, anklets, ankle socks, ankle tattoos, high-top shoes, and any other footwear or legwear that might draw attention to the cankle region.”
That’s right, people. I have an aesthetically unfortunate physiological condition here there is no definition from the end of my calf to the beginning of my ankle, which is worsened by weight gain. My mother says I haven’t always had cankles, but I beg to differ. I hope she’s right, though and that my memory is swayed by my adolescent tendencies to never be happy with any of my body parts. So why am I inundating you with definitions of cankles? Because cankles, more importantly the sight of my cankles, has become my running motivation.
As some of you may remember, or may have never known, I have signed up to run my first 5k on April 29, the day after my 26th birthday. (please don’t forget to donate to support me!) Running is not in my blood. It is not something I really enjoy doing. And it is definitely not something that comes easy to me. I am following the Couch to 5k program with an app on my iphone. I love that program, but man does it take a lot of self-motivating when I look down and see that today’s run is scaring me more than last week’s run.
Last night, in the umpteenth hotel room I’ve been in this semester, I yelled at myself to go down to the gym and run. “Self!,” I yelled inward. “Yes, you’re tired. Yes, you’ve just driven 2 hours. And yes, you have work to do for tomorrow. But get up off your fat butt and go do a measly 30 minute treadmill session!” So myself did and was happy to find that the other people in the tiny gym already had The Voice switched on the tv.
As soon as I stepped onto the treadmill I could feel that this was going to be rough. My hips were tight from all teh driving I’d done this week already, and my calves were tight from not being stretched. But I ran that day’s program: Run 3, walk 2, run 4, walk 2, run 5, walk 3. Might not seem difficult to some of you but that run 4 and run 5 scared the poop out of me (fortunately not literally).
And when I felt 90 seconds into the run 4 that I was going to die, I looked at myself in the mirror (I really do hate running in front of a mirror) and saw them. My cankles. They were staring at me as I ran. laughing at me. Taunting me. Telling me, “it’s okay, just stop. No one here is going to judge you.”
And then I realized that the bane of my existence, the body part that keeps me from wearing cute skirts, dresses, and shorts, the part of my I can’t stand, was the one part of me that could motivate me the most. When I felt like my lungs were going to burst and my kneecaps were going to shoot off and shatter into a million pieces, I looked down at my cankles and told myself “run off your cankles.”
What is your motivation? What do you do about a body-part you’re unhappy with?