Life Deconstructed: See Maria run, see Maria expire

Life Deconstructed - Maria Jiunta Heck | September 23rd, 2016 4:22 pm

I’ve been running for three years now. I realize many of you have been doing this for decades. I hear it’s addictive.

So is Three Olives orange vodka.

Guess which one is more fun for me? In the prolific words of Elf: I hate, hate, hate, double hate, loathe … running.

I first began prancing about because I wanted to participate in the Paint Pittston Pink 5k, the proceeds of which are dedicated to breast cancer vaccine research; a cause near and dear to my heart, but not my calf muscles or spleen. I ran that race and it was the longest hour of my life. Ha.

I try to run daily and it’s like I’m being punished for some sin I’ve committed. Like tunneling through a gallon of peanut butter ripple, eating all the peanut butter and then patting it down with a spatula to give the illusion that I didn’t do it. Or, hiding a pair of shoes in the underwear pile at TJ Maxx so no one finds them until I can return with a working charge card to buy them.

Well, let’s be honest, the sin list goes on.

I just don’t think physical activity should be so, so, so icky.

I’ve decided that once I’m finished with this 5k, I’m hanging up my Nikes. And, my special anti-wicking socks, my orthotics, my special Flip-Belt to hold my phone and keys, my special running tights and my special no-sweat headband. Thank God I didn’t invest too much into this running gig.

I can’t keep working at something in which I experience no fun whatsoever or results; like marriage, but without the life insurance.

What will I do instead? There’s no question that I have to stay active in some consistent capacity. I love my Pilates, but if I practiced it daily I would die, probably in a collapsed and writhing fetal position, post plank. My people cannot do stagnant, because we then become potato-shaped mortals, with Q-tips for arms and legs.

My friend/boss (fross?) Anne, is a librarian-by-day-roller-derby-by-night aficionado and is a fan of the exercise-by-skate. I love to roller skate! I used to roll back in the day, when I wasn’t quite so feeble and fragile. Arthritis was just a word on my grandmother’s jar of Aspercreme, but it now courses through the highways of my own circulatory system.

Well, what the hell, I thought, with Anne’s encouragement, I gave this skating thing a whirl. Literally, I whirled and I twirled, I unfurled and I crashed. Anne made me get fancy new quickie-skates and I guess I was used to my old K-Mart wheels. I flew like the wind. It’s so much fun. I smile the entire time I’m skating, until I cry. It appears that the fine art of stopping eludes me.

Well, I can stop, but it’s usually because I’ve run into a headstone, a gate, a curb, a branch or another human being. (Sorry, not sorry, cute guy on the dike.)

Listen, everything in life that I enjoy requires some degree of aptitude and work. I’m sticking with this skating thing, no matter how many dislocated fibula or hematomas I get. It makes me happy. Walking, running, skating, falling. This is the yardstick by which I am now measuring my milestones of life.

But, mostly falling.

Life Deconstructed

Maria Jiunta Heck

Maria Jiunta Heck of West Pittston is a mother of three and a business owner who lives to dissect the minutiae of life. Send Maria an email at