Monday, April 29, 2013
This peppy song is a part of my 5K playlist. I don't listen to this playlist unless I am running, and we ran a 5K on Saturday so it came up.
It is one of those songs that gets me moving, and it's set at a time during 5Ks when I am not at the start and not at the end, and the runners have spread out and sometimes I wonder what the heck it is I am doing there, and why I do a dozen of these every year. This year, it was even more meaningful, as this was our first race since the tragedy at the Marathon.
It was a charity event, for PKU awareness. www.necpad.org/ If you've ever read the fine print on a sweetener packet, you've likely seen the phrase: phenylketonurics: contains phenylalanine. That's a substance that these folks can't metabolize. Intaking it will (eventually, as it builds up over time) kill them. It is a genetic disorder. I don't know anyone who has it. But it's of course an area where people could use support, so we ran.
And I heard that song, as I was huffing along, and had the same old conversation in my head -
Why are you doing this?
Wouldn't you rather spend your Saturday sleeping in?
Or, better yet, going out for brunch?
Pancakes sound nice.
You haven't had pancakes in a while.
Ooohh ... pancakes.
And then I remind myself that, if I am ever going to see a pancake again, I still need to finish the race. So I continue plodding along.
This time, I found myself getting bad fatigue and shin pain when I could see the finish. And that's always ironic - I like to pour it on at the end, and my body was telling me not to.
And then I remembered that there are people who, 2 weeks ago, lost their ability to run or even walk or stand, without help.
So I said, what the hell and I ran anyway.
My hips hurt today, 2 days later. My shins are on and off wonky. Advil is only working sporadically.
But I don't care.
We spend so much of our lives trying to avoid pain. And it is normal and natural to do that. After all, even the tiniest of animals will move away from negative stimuli. It seems foolish, unless you're some sort of masochist (and I am not, in case you were wondering), to go in the direction of pain, and do things, repeatedly, that hurt. Repeatedly.
But as I think about this, and I grab another pair of Advil, I am again reminded that I have shins at all.
So who the hell cares if they hurt a little?
I feel both joy and pain today.
But I feel more joy than I do pain.
Come join me for joy and pain this Saturday. It'll be my 40th 5K. :)
Monday, April 22, 2013
You hardly need for me to rehash the incredible series of events from the past week. What is perhaps most extraordinary about how Boston has been is that we are still - as of this very moment - 2 hours away from it being a week.
A freakin' week!
It boggles the mind.
Friday was a forced rest day. Why? Because we were in the initial lockdown radius. Looking at a map, we were less than 10 miles away from ALL of it. The Thursday night shootout was within walking distance.
It feels like a movie that you would never believe. It would be incredible, and it would never, ever be greenlighted. Producers would take one look at the script and trash it, saying that an audience would never buy it.
Yet it's all true, from the heroism of ordinary people to the swift response of law enforcement to the overwhelming social media juggernaut that helped with the manhunt to the outpourings of love and support for the injured and the bereaved. Hell, people are even giving money to help David Henneberry buy a new boat.
It is an unpredictable world we live in. I feel it is more beautiful than ugly, righter than wrong, warmer than cold, sweeter than bitter, kinder than cruel.
On Saturday, we were already planning to run a 5K. Now we will still do that, at 10 AM. And then, at 2 PM, my husband and I will run The Last Mile. I hope the Hoyts come with us. www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2013
It is so easy to stop, yanno? It is easy to let stress and despair and fear lock us not only in our homes but lock our spirits away.
Run, crawl, walk or wheel that last mile with me, will you? Do it for the child in this picture, Martin Richard. For Krystle Campbell, for MIT Police Officer Sean Collier and for Lingzi Lu.
Do it for Jeff Bauman, and Celeste and Sydney Corcoran, and Patrick and Jessica Downes, and Boston Police Officer Dic Donohue.
Do it for yourself, and for love and hope and justice and mercy and goodness and freedom and kindness and charity and any other wonderful things you can think of, the things that make life worth living, and that make and keep this world beautiful.
Do it for peace.
Monday, April 15, 2013
If you have not yet heard, I will tell you what happened today.
It is the Boston Marathon today. And it is a sweet and lovely and fun event where people show homemade banners and buy and hand out their own water and cups and bottles and orange wedges because they feel like it. Heartbreak Hill is a few blocks from my home.
And today it was the scene of horror and devastation, as two explosions rocked the finish line about 3 hours after the start. boston.cbslocal.com/2013/04/15/sever
There are newer news stories and they are horrible. 2 dead? 3? 12? 64 injured? 107? I just don't know, and it will be a while before things are all sorted out. Reports of a suspect in custody proved to be false. People are talking to the police. The local hospitals have their collective hands full.
All that someone like me can do is pass on the best possible information, as accurately and unemotionally as possible. And I can donate blood - which I will do on Thursday. I can offer positive thoughts, perhaps prayer.
It is shocking and frightening. And it hits home not because this literally WAS at my home, but also because this is the kind of thing that I do.
It is easy to put our heads into the sand, and say that, well, if we stop doing such things, we will be safe. It is far easier to sit at home and munch and fret.
Or we can be out there, and thumb our noses at it. Not forget the victims. Not forget that these things, sadly, do happen.
But to reaffirm that we are going to do for ourselves and our loved ones.
And we shall be unbent.
And we shall be unbowed.
This is my home.
This is what I love.
And we shall be unbowed.
Tuesday, April 09, 2013
Oops, I'm a day late with a blog. So sue me. Life is busy/I was getting up awfully late. Yesterday, I got up, er, right about now. But today's been different so far.
I am, I think, getting some of my disciple back. It had been somewhat lacking with the lousy weather (a poor excuse, I know) and now things are finally improving and so that is extremely helpful. As in, yesterday I finally did not wear long underwear, for the first time all year. Yeah, it's been that disgustingly chilly.
I was also getting up late, in part, as an avoidance mechanism. I was/am still working out, eating right, etc. I just didn't want to face the days quite so much, for reasons that I will not go into here. But things are improving. And I am tired of missing the morning, and finally getting everything rolling at 11 AM. So I will try to do better, and seize a more sunlit part of the day.
Assuming the sun comes out.
Monday, April 01, 2013
For reasons that I will not go into, I have been rather pensive about the teachings that are being passed onto the next generation. And about the teachings that we absorbed at our own mothers' and fathers' knees.
* Drive around until you find a closer parking spot, because walking is too much work!
* Do your exercises, and you won't have a back ache.
* Don't let anyone know anything about your health - and then spring it on them when it gets really bad.
* Share your health issues so that people can learn from them, or at least do what they can to help you.
* Buy convenience foods instead of fresh.
* Learn to cook.
* Let yourself balloon.
* Keep your weight down, into your later years.
* Drink soda.
* Drink water.
And there are a thousand other lessons.
Even now, at age 50, I am struck at times by what I recall from earlier days, and I wonder why these habits can sometimes continue to shape me and fuel my decisions. And then I pull myself up short, and declare that that's just stupid - you were a kid long ago, when dinosaurs still roamed the planet, and now you know better and we all know better and it's time to stop blaming your current life for past failures and problems and issues.
And so I ask you, as you putter around in your daily lives, to consider the examples that you are setting, and the decisions you are making. Last week, Mr. j and I went to Chinatown for lunch for his birthday. There is a big pagoda-style gate at the front of Boston's Chinatown. And right in front of it, there was a food truck, selling variations on grilled cheese. There was a line.
People were rejecting good, fresh, tasty, interesting, inexpensive and mainly health foods in favor of ... grilled cheese?
I get it if people have no time, but for many of these places, you can call ahead, and they'll have your order bag waiting for you, so that's no excuse. The prices were pretty high at the truck, and they are low in many of Chinatown's restaurants, so that's not the excuse, either. The variety at the truck was okay but not great - not even enough to cover one side of a standard-sized menu printed in standard-sized fonts. So that's not the excuse.
I wonder what the people hanging around there (the area is a bit of urban green space, and has a smidgen of a park) thought of all of that. Did they think those choices were wise? Convenient? Better?
No one took a survey, no one took a poll. And don't get me wrong - I do enjoy grilled cheese on occasion. But I voted with my feet, my wallet and my stomach.
I had the chicken with mixed vegetables. It was good!
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