The Ultimate Bully

I hate cancer.  I just want it to leave my family, friends and me alone.  And just leave everyone else alone, too.  It’s already bullied my mom and me, and now it’s trying to attack one of my good friends.

When I left my ex and moved out of the house, my friend N let me stay with her for three months while I gathered myself back together.  Imposing on someone for that long goes against my very nature, but her kindness and open-heartedness made me feel welcome and safe.  Those three months were exactly what I needed to help me process and take the next step in my life.

N is an amazingly unselfish and giving person, and everyone she has helped is coming out of the woodwork to support her.  It really is an indication of who she is and just how much she is loved.  True to form, she told me that if anyone in her family had to get diagnosed with cancer, she was glad it was her.  She isn’t married, doesn’t have kids like her two sisters do, and doesn’t have to worry about finances because her workplace is stepping up to support her as well.  She will be able to fully concentrate on kicking cancer’s ass.

In the presence of such an incredible person, I could only do this:  tell her just how incredible she is.  Tell her with total belief in her strength as a future survivor.

If you are feeling it from the heart, say it.  Or find ways to express the gratitude and joy you feel without the expectation of getting the perfect response or in fact, getting anything in return.  What are you saving it for?



Blogging on a Runner’s High


Today was the first day I actually felt good while running.  I mean really good.  My body didn’t argue with me, the weather was beautiful, my mind strong.  And I felt happy.

Not every day is or will be like this, but I realized that it’s important to know this feeling, to know what it is that makes you feel good so that you can more easily recognize what feels off or wrong.

On a different note, today I learned that I can look at visitor stats for my blog.  Granted, not many people go to my blog, but I was shocked to see that a few people outside of the U.S. have visited.  So I have to give a shout out to:

United Kingdom

Of course, this doesn’t mean anyone actually read anything I wrote.  They could have accidentally gone to a post, thought “What the #!%*?” and immediately clicked their heels and disappeared.  But that’s okay.  I mean, someone in Kenya looked at my blog.  For real?  Thank you, Kenya!!  I love you!!  In fact, I love all of you!!

I think I’m still on my runner’s high…

The Slacker Gets Schooled

The scene of Slacker's disappearance

The scene of Slacker’s disappearance

I had been possessed by the Slacker for weeks, only exercising three times during that period.  After my move from Los Angeles, I felt it continue to circle around me, tempting me to take it easy…it’s the holidays, after all!

I was channel surfing one morning and stopped on “Sweet Home Alabama”.  As Slacker was momentarily distracted, I quickly changed into my running clothes.  Unfortunately, it recognized my motivations pretty quickly and immediately started to try and turn me:

Do you realize it’s 20 below out there?

Running doesn’t make your face look very good.  

Watch the movie with me!  Reese Witherspoon plays a fashion designer and both Patrick Dempsey and Josh Lucas are in love with her…this can be your life if you just –

I started to stretch when I realized how evil its arguments were, except for PD and JL falling in love with me.  It could happen in a parallel universe.

I blared music through my earphones to drown out any further comments and started walking over to my old high school.  I headed towards the newly built football field and as I started jogging, I saw him.

Dad, meet Slacker.  Slacker, Dad.

My dad had already left the house an hour before I did, and there he was, walking backwards along the outer edge of the track.  I don’t think it’s the safest thing an 89 year-old should be doing, but he says it’s good for his muscles.  He walks frontwards and backwards for about two miles, five times a week.

Slacker slinked away pretty quickly when it was faced with a person with no slack at all.  I was appropriately humbled and waved at my dad as I ran by him.  I thought about all the things my dad has been through in his 89 years:  growing up in a poor farming family, unable to start college when individuals of Japanese ancestry were incarcerated in camps during WWII, weathering the death of a daughter, starting and running his own business for thirty years, surviving a stroke…

There is simply no excuse for me not to try.  I have no good reason not to be the best (and healthiest) person I can be for myself and others.

I thought about all of this, put my head down, and ran harder.

I’ve run three times this week.  Thanks, Dad.  And Slacker?  With all the farewells I’ve been a part of this month, I have to make sure this one lasts a long, long time.

This Booty Was Made For Walkin’

I don’t have a runner’s body. Not that I have to in order to run. But it was never more evident than when I went to go pick up my bib and race packet for tomorrow’s 5K. The other participants who were picking up their race bibs seemed to be built like greyhounds. Sleek and lean and all arms and legs. It looked like the fat had been carved off of them. I wanted to offer them some of mine. I’m generous that way.

Olympic swimmer and medalist Nathan Adrian said in an article that his body was not made for running. It made me think – what is my body made for? Are somersaults a sport? Because I’m good at the stop, drop and roll thing. I’m built low to the ground and I can scrunch up like a roly poly/pill bug and just roll around and around with the best of them.

Maybe gymnastics. But I’m way too old now, not to mention earthbound. I don’t like my body leaving the ground unless I’m on a flight to Europe.

Am I prepared for the 5K tomorrow? Not exactly. I still can’t run longer than two miles without stopping – and that’s on a flat course. Yesterday, one of my friends sent me an article about how running might be harmful to your heart. Thanks! Just what I needed to motivate myself! I’m sure she means well, but I’m not going to respond. I want to stay positive, not think about my heart giving out on me.

However, if I don’t write about the 5K in the next few days…it means that I’m still on a runner’s high and can’t sit down long enough to post to my blog. See? Thinking positively! Watch out greyhounds – this roly poly will be right on your tails!