The Amazing Chafe

It burned! It hurt soooooo bad! The seam of the spandex running shorts had given way and was extruding the dimply fat from my thigh like fresh, shiny brilliantly white bun dough…..

The constant swish, swish, swish of fat meeting spandex over the past 21 kilometres had chafed the skin into a glossy sheen – I had suffered a chafing injury unlike anything I could have imagined.

The endorphins from the marathon training run were racing their own marathon through my body, thankfully keeping the pain receptors from firing. I declined my post run Tim Horton’s coffee with running pals and headed to Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacy for burn ointment.

I attended the counter hesitantly….not knowing how I should phrase my conundrum to the young male pharmacist. “Um…..I am looking for a cream?”

Brilliant question Judy! How concise and to the point, “looking for a cream”.

To his credit, the Pharmacist responded appropriately with, “What type of cream?”.

Pain receptors were now beginning to fire and I changed my position, affecting a military type of stance with legs far apart so my injured skin could breathe. It was the “I pooped myself” stance.

“I….errrrr…I burned myself? I think I need some type of ointment or dressing?”

I am not certain why I am ending everything with a question mark, but perhaps it was because I didn’t quite know what I needed. Was a chafe a burn?

“What did you burn?” he asks, his eyes flickering over me quickly in assessment.

I lean forward into the counter, “I have a chafing injury…my thighs rubbed while I was running. The spandex tore and um….the skin kind of came out and….it rubbed against the other spandex. It hurts”.

Credit to the Pharmacist, he didn’t blink or even react, he simply opened the little half door that separated him from the masses and efficiently walked down the aisle and returned with a box containing a burn dressing. “When you get home, remove anything that could cause more irritation, and once it cools down, use this dressing. It will protect, soothe and keep it from blistering”.

I returned home and got undressed as quickly as possible. Removing the spandex shorts was a challenge as the material was encircling the fat from my thigh so tightly that removing it was difficult. Imagine pulling a ring off of a fat finger…..same analogy. I reached over and tore the fabric further, giving my skin immediate relief and allowing me to remove the shorts.

I hop in a cool shower, knowing that I needed to get the sweat off my body, but realizing that the pressure of the cool water hitting the burn would be painful.

The cool breeze from the fan blowing directly onto my burn was sweet relief

I couldn’t imagine toweling off so I stood in the bathroom dripping dry. I put on a sundress but left the panties off, the thought of anything accidentally touching the burnt skin leaving me breathless.

I grabbed pillows from the bedroom and the floor fan and headed to set up my nest in the living room. The pillows for comfort, the fan for pain relief. Leaning back onto to the couch and the pillows I placed my legs (spread eagled) on the ottoman with the fan blowing onto my lower extremities.

Ahhhhhhhh……sweet heavens that felt amazing. There I sat for the remainder of the Saturday afternoon, until Hubby came home from work.

The chafe eventually scabbed, and peeled and to this day there is a scar on the inside of my thigh. A marathon training war wound of sorts, a permanent badge of courage and marking a time in my life when running was my love.

I call it, “The Amazing Chafe”.


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