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look! she’s running again!

5 August 2008

30 minutes!
Knock Yourself Out—that guy from I Heart Huckabees
Trains to Brazil—Guillemots
Rock Your Body— Justin Timberlake
Move, Shake, Drop—DJ Laz (nope. Not joking.)
Volcano—Damien Rice
Paper Bag—Fiona Apple (check out the video. Paul Thomas Anderson, folks. Seriously. Slightly more delightful than There Will Be Blood)
Southern Nights—Glen Campbell (also not joking)
Pink Triangle—weezer

Today I drove by an assisted living facility, and noticed a bench near the street. At first I thought it was a bus-stop, but it just looked like a homemade bench, and there wasn’t anything official around it, just a dude in scrubs sitting on top of it, hunched over, boiling in the shade-less sun. I looked closer and noticed he was smoking, obviously miserable in the near-100-degree blazing sun. I guess you can’t smoke any closer to the door of an old folks home, and it struck me how much he was letting himself suffer to smoke.

And I started thinking how we all do things like that from time to time: go out of our way to do things we know we shouldn’t.

Like me the last few mornings when instead of getting up at 6:30 to run, I’ve snoozed and snoozed, telling myself
“just a few more minutes”
“you’re tired, you need sleep”
“you’re burning enough calories in the heat”
all those random excuses that sound so tempting in the morning in the bed. Even though I KNOW I’ll have more energy all day if I run. I KNOW I’ll feel better if I don’t let myself pack on 5 pounds from new-job-stress-snacking. I KNOW sleeping in is a bad habit that’s so easy to fall into.

So tonight I made myself go running, even though it’s still quite hot outside, and even though I have other things I could be doing. Because I know it’s good for me. Because I know this half hour is important. Because though it’s hard and I end up sweaty and panting and wobbly (hubba hubba. OH! Sidenote: it seems there are plenty of creepy dudes south of Chestnut, too. Dude. Eyes on the road.) I know that this is something I CAN do. I CAN run 30 minutes even though I’m out of practice. I can run 13 miles (not right now, but in theory. It’s been done.)

And so it feels a little more okay that there are a bunch of things that feel a little more out of reach right now.

The morning of my first day at work I had actual flashbacks to first-day-of-school feelings. The exact same sensation, as if the bus was about to come pick me up any minute but my peanut butter sandwich wasn’t yet in the lunchbox. Mixture of excitement and nerves and dread. And the excitement and nerves have continued. Starting a new job isn’t quite the circle of hell that moving can be, but it’s somewhere close. Is it purgatory? There are moments of fire and brimstone…all those things that are new and impossible to plan for, the growing pains, the hitting-the-ground-running-when-you-haven’t-even-tied-your-shoes…but there are also moments of heaven…meeting new people, setting big goals, tiny accomplishments that feel like mountains climbed.

And if all else fails, I can tell myself: you can run. You CAN run. You can run.

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