I believe we can rate fails on the level of their failure. An example of a little fail is like when my car drove over a bump, the CD paused and my very loud, very out-of-tune and very, very embarrassing singing to Ke$ha’s ‘We R Who We R’ rang out.
But that was a baby fail, a little fail, a small glitch in an otherwise successful life.
Then you get the medium fails; something that was indeed a fail but not quite of Olympian proportions. Like waving madly at a complete stranger; watching an Uma Thermon movie; or (as I did this weekend) applying self-tanner not in “smooth, even strokes” as the bottle suggests.
Oh, the Epic Fail. I know it far too well. We met again two weekends ago when I was struggling with both getting sexy (for Mission Succexy) and with my circling, vulture like thoughts over my ex. I decided to cope with this all this shiz by going on a run with my friend, Fit Kelli.
(Let me explain that although I’ve been in Cape Town for a year, I still only know parts of areas rather than the whole ‘bird’s eye view’ thing. Just… keep that in mind. Also, I don’t have a sense of direction.)
Fit Kelli and I set out on a new running route in her suburb. And, as per normal (her name is ‘Fit Kelli’ for a reason), she shot on ahead while I struggled and panted and lagged behind. Every now and then she’d pause and wait for me (running in place) or trot back to fetch me.
Then we came to The Hill. This is when I got… The Stitch.
And not just any stitch.
This stitch bullied the other stitches in Primary School. This stitch had a tattoo and smoked behind the McDonalds. This stitch Wasn’t Messing Around. It felt like a cactus had exploded in my chest, or like two hedgehogs were making rather violent love in my side. It wasn’t pleasant.
I decided to walk until the shooting pain subsided, fully confident that Fit Kelli was aware of my less-than-perfect sense of direction and that she’d stop or come fetch me (with a motivational phrase like “Think of all the calories you’re burning!” or “Come on, Sam!” or even just “Mission Succexy!”) if the route became even slightly complicated.
So I walked, at first briskly and then slower and slower – savouring each leisurely step until, I imagined, Fit Kelli would bound up to save my from myself and what was slowly turning into a walk instead of a run.
But that never happened. I carried on walking until the road ended in a cul-de-sac, and was forced to take the first street that looked like it was going in the right direction. Still no Kelli. Then it dawned on me – I’d lost her.
I had to find my way back to her flat… ALONE. I knew it was over there somewhere, and I hoped that if I kept jogging in the right direction I’d end up in her area. Instead, and I’m still not sure how this happened, I ended up on Beach Road – nowhere near Kelli’s house. And pretty far from mine.
Desperate and confused, I ran into a Protea Hotel. “You probably don’t get this a lot,” I, sweating and red, panted to a surprised receptionist, “but I was out running with my friend and I lost her. How do I get to Green Point from here?” She looked at me with wide eyes and replied, “Yoh, it’s far from here. Too far to walk.”
I had nothing on me – not a cellphone, not a Rand, not even a sense of direction. I asked to use the phone and called the only number I memorised: my mother. My mother, who’s in Pretoria. She of course could offer nothing except moral support and peals of very unsympathetic laughter as I explained my dilemma. The receptionist and I looked over a map together, and, in a spasm of pity, she donated R5 to the Save Sam Foundation to get me home.
I caught a big white taxi, aware that though I knew that I’d be able to get home just fine, I didn’t know if Fit Kelli knew that I knew I’d be able to get back (and she didn’t – she spent 20 minutes running around looking for me and 20 minutes in her car searching the streets; wandering “Did Sam collapse from exhaustion!? Did someone kidnap her and stuff her into a big white van?!?” A rather ironic fear because I was in a big white van at the time).
On the way home, my Tarmac Therapy short-circuited by the stitch, the lost-ness and now the van, I was driven past the ex’s church and the ex’s flat. It just goes to show, I guess, that it never helps to run away from your problems. Though I am glad that for the first time ever, I chose Prof Tarmac over Dr Kit-Kat. Maybe next time I won’t get lost. Maybe next time I’ll use a treadmill.