Monday, May 13, 2013
You're so vain.
We're all vain.
It's probably evolutionary.
After all, you smell better, your clothes or your skin are cleaner or nicer, you're more likely to attract a mate. You smell better, you take better care of your teeth, you live longer. You work out or, as they called it in cave times, you gather or hunt your own food, and you live better and stronger, and longer. You get yourself educated and it makes you happier and you get a better job and you're, again, more likely to attract a mate and you can afford better care and you live longer.
And there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting any or all of these things.
Yet I saw, yet again, recently, someone going on about how plastic surgery is cheating, and diet assistance is wrong and somehow if WE DON'T SUFFER ENOUGH and WE DON'T WEAR THE SCARLET F FOR EVER AND EVER AND EVER then we are somehow, I dunno, unworthy.
Now, I am not advocating starving yourself. I am not advocating having surgeons cut you until you look like a cat, either. And I am certainly not advocating stupid acai berry or green tea scams.
Instead, what I am suggesting, is that you do what it takes to get you where you need to be. And if vanity is the key, then be vain.
Make yourself up in order to get the morning paper vain. 500 pairs of shoes in your closet vain. Put me on a reality show vain.
Make it work for you. Because anyone who tells you that there is exactly one way to do this, or that one way or another is somehow superior, they are lying, and should be called out as the lying liars that they are.
IT. DOES. NOT. MATTER.
You wanna be a vegan? Be a vegan. You wanna eat like a caveperson? Then eat like one. You wanna get your cardio in by doing the polka? Then do the Goddamned polka.
What are the basics?
* Diet, as in watch your calories and your portion sizes, and you proportion your choices away from processed garbage and in the direction of real food that a human cooks, as opposed to a factory constructs.
* Exercise, as in you sweat and you get aches and you pant.
* Water, as in you drink it, and you visit the bathroom more than you're used to.
* Salt restriction, as in you read labels and you find yourself eating a lot more real food because sodium is put in for processing more times than you can shake a stick at.
* Weight training, as in you carry heavy stuff, whether it's weights at a gym or your groceries or your kids or the dog or a bunch of books or luggage but you do it and you stop using wheeled carts for most things and you get some aches from that but you go on and you do it anyway.
All of the details, all of the rest of it, is window dressing. And if you want to read about it, or blog about it, or think about it, have at it.
But it really just comes down to those few things and, in the end, motivation often comes down to vanity, or its products, or its effects.
But don't take my word for it.
Hell, you probably think this song is about YOU.
Monday, May 06, 2013
I ran my 40th 5K a few days ago, on Saturday. I shaved over 4 minutes over last week's time and came in nearly exactly the same as when we did this race last year (this is the third year of doing this race), when I weighed 11 pounds less.
Yeah. Wacky, eh?
Even wackier when you consider how I was 5 1/2 years ago.
Anyway, I had thought of more to write, but the Internet gods ate it and I've gotta get some work done. :)
So enjoy New Order and please support brain cancer research, which is what I was running for. www.milesforhope.org/index.php/bosto
Saturday will be my 41st 5K. :)
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.
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