Chafing. Feel the rub.

To sleep, perchance to dream—ay, there’s the rub.

Spoiler alert: this will be all about rubbing. And dreams. Not too much Shakespeare.

When I started running longer distances my Target Champion bras all of a sudden became less comfortable. The brand of socks I was wearing started to matter. I would peruse the butt creams they sold in the bike section and wonder why they were necessary.

On 15 mile rides, probably not. But saddle sores do appear. A friend who runs marathons has a giant jar of Vaseline that he applies methodically all over. Every “nook and cranny” as he explained.

I learned with time all about chafing. I read about chafing in places I had never imagined and cringed. Ay, the rub.

Of course, Shakespeare just meant a problem. But chafing is a problem. I highly recommend Body Glide, which now comes in little mini-sticks you can keep in your running belt or bike kit. It glides on like a deodorant stick and doesn’t smell at all. Recently I recommended it to one of my son’s dancer-friends who had chafing or burns from doing floor work. I guess it would be hard to butter up one’s entire body, but it feels good on hot spots.

Just so you don’t think for an instant that this is a giant product endorsement, it’s time to explore the good sides of chafing. Yes, there are some.

Lots of things in life rub; past memories, hot spots of my past. I finally popped in the VHS I recently found of my first marriage (or the Great Unpleasantness No.1). I was very young– just fresh out of college. I remember feeling panicked the day of the wedding; I wanted to stop it all just like Edith’s husband-to-be in Downtown Abbey, but I didn’t have the guts to let down my entire family and my finance’s friends and family who had traveled to Iowa from France.

20 some years later I can still sense my alienation, the friction. It was hard to watch, but sometimes it is better to feel the burn then to bury those feelings. That wedding and that marriage happened. Watching the video was stepping back into a dream that led to disappointment, but it is okay to confront my choices and think about my life journey sometimes.

Although I wouldn’t mind having my 125 bride-to-be body back, I’m happy to have my 45 year mental place instead. I’m so much more happy and confident than my early years. That happiness came with some chafing and burns along the way. That is how I grew, poor choices leading to better ones one step at a time. It’s all a process to view with humility and also wonderment at how we survive and become better people.

Enjoy the rub!

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