I’m Tiger. Mostly Tiger. A tiger that likes to roam to the out-of-way places. A perfect day for me would be rugged miles under sore feet, running fast and free and strong. Power swimming across a frigid stream, pushing, forever pushing body beyond the easy ways. Tiger Lady I am, with too much round, and short. Not every Tiger Lady looks like The Williams Muscle Sisters, the powerhouses who beat tennis into submission. Some Tigers are pudgy and slight. Some are awkward and pale. Because Tiger is not a look, it’s a heart condition. One that causes starry eyes and aggressive wonderings.
This condition of mine has not helped me make friends. My girlfriends are the best collection of human beings on the planet, and not a-one of them appreciates this side of me. Shall we say they like me despite my vicious cross-country vigils. Seems that the tiger types I’ve come across are who I wish I were. They tend to be highly competitive, and have a body to match the drive. Not wanting to be slowed by the likes of me. And not much for books and thoughts and … definitely a requirement for my dearest of friends. I’ve not found a Tiger-Lady soul sister yet. How can I complain? My own body disowns me in my crazed march. I’m not made for such brutality, and yet desire it more than comfort.
My husband says therapeutic marijuana might just be the thing. I guess I’d rather have a powerful desire to do something I’m not physically capable of, than to have the desire taken away.
I have been altogether unsuccessful in the making of a Tiger, other than a couple of my kids, who I think must have come by these passions honestly, because the other two and my husband, and all my friends haven’t caught the bug. When I met my husband, I had been running daily from my college apartment through narrow streets, past the college dairy, and tilled corn fields, up the hill to the Whitman Mission Memorial and back again. A seven mile trek. I was running every morning with this rather nerdish fellow, and did appreciated having someone along for saftey, but really was not interested in his interest in me, and definitely didn’t want to give him any ideas … so begging a favor, asked my then-friend to come running with me so that nerdish fellow would stop needing to. I look back on it all now with amazement. How did Adored Future Husband manage to run seven miles? Since the day till this day, Adored Husband has never run as far, or even a quarter as far. False advertising, I say.
It’s not only others that have let me down. It’s me, too. A true Tiger Lady is fearless. I’m your basic Chicken. Yes, I love to conquer a mountain. I also will never feel comfortable stepping over crevasses, hanging by ropes, tip-toeing cross shale that sits atop a death cliff. Which is where the quandary comes in. I do not fear pain from pushing my body. I fear pain from dropping my body down a distance.
Tiger Lady must be tough. I can’t carry more than a fanny-pack or my back starts acting up. The whole thing is ridiculous, really. What I want to do I’m not built for. Which brings me to heaven. I think about a sweet boy just our son’s age who, after a terrible accidental overdose is locked in an body that can hear and speak some, and understand everything, but has no ability to move. Can’t move his hand to hold a thing, can’t move his body at all, can’t see, can’t walk, can’t run, has to eat pureed food by mouth as his trachea has finally been removed… And I think about Heaven sometimes. Think of what it will be like to run for miles over mountains, months and years on end, and never tire. Where Tiger Lady’s are welcomed, and so are wheel chaired boys.