Last Friday I mentioned I went running in the rain at lunchtime and took a trip down memory lane. There was actually something else that I didn't write about until now. Earlier this year while I was training for my first marathon I learned a lot of lessons, especially a few painful ones about chafing. During my lunchtime run last Friday I was reminded of what I had forgotten. First of all, this is not an experience unique to men over 50 whose gradually decreasing muscle tone allows more motion in certain body parts while running. It was not uncommon for my sons, along with their teammates, to cover their nipples with tape before a cross country race. Chafing can happen to anyone so my slowly unraveling body parts are not entirely to blame. No, in this case, I believe the rain was entirely unhelpful. During the first half of my run I was going into the wind and rain and the front my shirt became soaking wet. The wet shirt, trying its best to stick to my jarring and heaving chest, transformed itself into a silent Black and Decker orbital sander. When I reached the halfway point and turned around I started to feel the pain in my nipples and I knew I was in trouble.
If you're not a runner or if this has never happened to you--and if you don't want to take my word for it--you can easily experience this for yourself. Get yourself a sheet of 600 grit sandpaper and tear it in half. For the full experience you'll want to do both sides. Turn the TV on or put a movie in and take your shirt off. Ever so lightly and with just a tiny bit of movement, rub the sandpaper on each nipple. Not the entire nipple, mind you. Just the very tips. Do that for 40 minutes. By the way, you may want to ensure your privacy as some scientific experiments seem to defy rational explanation. Consuming a sizable amount of alcohol beforehand could help provide an excuse as well as ease the pain. Try it out after the bike ride two nights from now.
At the end of my run I was hurting. More so when I hit the shower. Hot water on raw nipples stings. I mean it really stings. For the remainder of the day I tried to keep my shoulders slightly hunched forward in a futile effort to prevent my shirt from touching the extremely sensitive decorative dots on my chest whose only purpose seems to be preventing hair from growing in the space they occupy. When I got home and told Kathy, my wife of many years and a longtime sympathetic nurse, she reacted as she always does when I do something as silly as this--with mocking laughter. And to top it off she threw in a couple of "twister" taunts. But the fun doesn't stop there. Picture me, if you dare, standing shirtless in front of the bathroom mirror for the last three nights, my neosporin-covered index fingers making tiny circles. Oh, baby!
I'm still not healed up, but I needed to run today so I brought band-aids. I now have two less than before.