Thursday, June 6, 2013

Zombies, Run! and Embrace Your Inner Bad Ass

Reality vs My head. They are two very different places. Now, being the over-thinker that I am, this could be a very detrimental thing. Though, I do feel like my head reality bleeds over into actual reality quite often, which makes life a bit more fun. Today, is an example of that.

By no means, am I an exercise guru. I do enjoy activity like a daily walk or the occasional run when I can get myself in the mood. But I am not someone who considers exercise to be a part of her life despite the fact that I try to get out of the house at least for a walk four or five times a week mainly because of pictures like the one below.

However, you will not find me running marathons or hiking mountains unless there is something up top that I desperately must see. Nor will you find me exercising in a gym with other people. I hate exercising with other people. I loathe it, in fact. I want to be alone on my runners high. I want to come back to my apartment and lay on the floor a sweaty mess and then promptly have to go take a shower because despite the fact that I just vacuumed, cat fur still gets stuck to my skin in a weird impression of back hair that I do not have. I'm convinced that my animals roll around on the floor and spread their mange everywhere just to spite me.

Today, I left my apartment in the middle of the Oregon heat (which really isn't that bad). Dressed in my running skirt and tank top, I flipped on my phone, plugged in my headphones, and listened to the opening sounds of a gate and a frantic message from the base telling me that someone has left with top secret information. Information that she is trading for a warm bed and fresh fruit. I immediately felt my body tense. I felt my walking speed pick up and my eyes narrow as I turned the corner, cars rushing past me, and found myself on a street with little to no traffic. Brushing the hair back from my face, I listened to my orders. I was to find this girl before she could reach New Canton, and I was to stop her by any means necessary.

Mission accepted.

I took off down the street, picking up speed and following the updates from my base while listening to the sounds of Florence and the Machine. Zombies were chasing me, moaning in my ear in the hot, and what I imagined to be, desert sun. I was running through the wasteland knowing that at any minute, a decaying body could jump out in front of me. One bite, and I would have to end my own life. At least I hope I would. I wouldn't wish that kind of horror on any of the people I have come to know at the base. Pumping my legs and arms, feeling the sunscreen that I had applied drip down my neck and sting the skin under my eyes, I bent my head and pushed on, stopping only for a minute to let a nice little girl and her older brother cross the street on their way to 7-11. He was a good guy. He held her hand and skipped with her.

As I continued to run, coming closer and closer to my goal, I evaded two zombie hoards. It was a close call a few times but I managed to pick my speed up enough to lose them. Miraculously, I also picked up supplies for the base, gathering bandages and spare pieces of clothing that are lying around the wasteland because lets face it, when you live in a world where zombies have overran everything, even if you are on a dire mission to protect government secrets, you pick up a spare pair of underwear if you see it. You never know when you are going to get the chance again.

I did complete my mission that day. I won't tell you how it ended but lets just say, I have lived to tell another tale. Now, back at my apartment, trudging up the steps that lead to my front door, I felt the tremors running through my calves and the way my lungs were stinging and my heart was racing. As I let myself into the confines of my apartment, realizing it was no cooler in here than outside, I kicked off my shoes and fell to the floor. Laying on my back, I could only think of one thing.

I survived.

This is the point in time where reality hits.

Zombies, Run! is a fantastic running app that I would recommend to anyone that is looking to make their runs a bit more exciting. Set in the middle of a wasteland sometime in the near future, you are a runner that goes out on mission for the base you work for, where you inevitably, always encounter a zombie. Interspersed with your own play-list, bits of story pop through. And when I say bits of story, I mean a fully developed and well thought out story with actual voice actors. The missions are intense, they are full of emotion, and most of all, they are fun. It not only helps me complete my run, but appeases the part of my brain that constantly is swimming in a world where I am a bad ass who runs from zombies or goes on secret missions in a blue police box or knows exactly what to do to ghosts, vampires and all sorts of other goulies when they unexpectedly pop up during the dark of night. If you haven't heard of Zombies, Run!, go look at the trailer ( Then buy it.

As I laid on the floor, staring up at my ceiling and clicking off my phone, reality set in. During the two mile run that I had, I felt bad ass. I was a woman who was dressed in all black with smears of dirt and sweat across her cheek and a wicked scar on her bicep (which was well defined from the years of running and fighting that I've had to do in order to survive). To an outsider? I was a girl in a black running skirt, huffing and puffing along as she tried to work through the fact that she has just gotten over a knee injury and the flu and this is her first time actually running in two months.

Looking in the mirror after I managed to get myself off the floor, I was a sweaty red mess whose face was sunburned because SPF 30 didn't seem to want to be my friend today. My eyes were wide and makeup-less. My shirt had cat fur on it (DAMN IT) and my hair had escaped the pony tail I put it in in order to fly around my head in some poor imitation of Medusa.

Like I said. Reality vs My Head.

I think this is what we do though. Nerds, geeks, creative people, whatever you would like to call us. We exist in two worlds at once. Sometimes, we are lucky enough for those worlds to cross and other times, we are even luckier to make connections with people who understand why we still mourn the loss of Firefly. Sometimes, we use this as an escape but other times, we just realize that we think differently. We approach the world with a different eye. Some become eccentric over it, others hide it away and bring it out only when its safe, and others write and create and expand this nerd culture as much as they possibly can. So, whether you are a hardcore runner, or just someone that needs to step away from the computer for thirty minutes or so, I encourage you to indulge. You don't have to buy Zombies, Run! (But you should!) If anything, just get yourself in that head space and for twenty minutes or more, become your inner bad ass. You never know when it might come in handy.


  1. Do they have a version called...oh, I dunno...maybe, "Zombies! Stroll away slowly with your little dog"? It sounds like fun, right up until I get eaten by a zombie for being too slow! I do want to feel like a bad ass though...maybe I just need a bigger dog?

    1. Actually....! So, there is an option in this to turn off the "chase" mode of the game. It still tracks how far you've gone and the kinds of things you pick up but you don't actually have to run. If you want to be a bad ass who strolls through the zombie apocalypse, they have given you the ability to.

  2. Well then...I will check it out! Motivation to stroll, walk, move in any fashion is always welcome.