A Day of Extremes

It was another amazing day…

Meb and Hillary

One class act.

Records were made, others broken, along with what I’m sure were more than a few hearts and dreams.  Once again, the amazing people of the city of Boston opened up their homes and their hearts, and welcomed the world to one of it’s most prestigious races.  And as usual, I laughed and cried my way through the hours of live coverage, all the while thanking the race gods for keeping my phone from ringing so I could watch every moment.  While at work.  Thank god for understanding bosses.

Not my boss.  But she could be.

Not my boss. But she could be.

All of this was somewhat tempered by the phone call that I knew was coming.  You know the one.  “Yes ma’am, have your dupa to the hospital two hours early so you can sit around on it while we waste your time, and eventually get around to knocking you out, slicing you open, waking you up, and kicking you out the door with a set of crutches your insurance probably won’t pay for and a prescription for painkillers that we know you don’t want but we’re going to make you take anyway.”  Yeah, that one.  Cue dramatic music…dunhdunhduuuuunnnnhhhhh!!!  Yup, it’s SURGERY TIME.

Aaaaaggggghhhhh!!!!!

Aaaaaggggghhhhh!!!!!

You all know my head is typically one of these to begin with.

Welcome to my brain.

Welcome to my brain.

Knowing the time has finally come to hopefully get one of my knees fixed has the brain in all-out F5 tornadic activity.  I SO need this surgery to work if I’m going to keep distance running.  Especially since I’ll need to have it done on both of these friggin’ kneecaps.  The one thing that’s got me all freaked out?

Awake Movie

All right, this wasn’t exactly the movie I saw umpteen years ago about people going under the knife and the anesthesia not working, but you get where I’m going here, right?  Let’s just say I don’t have a great relationship with anesthesia.  (Just ask the hubs about that unfortunate wisdom teeth incident.  It wasn’t pretty.)

All that aside though, I’m looking forward to what will hopefully be a new, long, and happy relationship with my lower body joints.  I have absolutely no idea what comes next as far therapy goes, but I’m feverishly holding on to the hope that 4-6 weeks from now, this Black Dog will be adding more miles onto her pretty pink Brooks.  (And subtracting some of the inches on the aforementioned dupa.)

So as you head out the door to your day tomorrow, just take a second and send some pixie dust my way.  And hope that it makes the anesthesia work just a little.bit.better.

Yeah, that should do it.

Yup, that should do it.

Enjoy the ride.

Ever been nervous about having surgery?  Everything turn out all right?  Am I being a total nutball about this?  Perhaps watching that movie “Coma” might not be such a good idea tonight?

And The Ban Plays On

Yes, ban.  Not band.

We be jammin'!

We be jammin’!

It came as no surprise that Rita Jeptoo was banned from professional running.  It wasn’t even that surprising that Athletics Kenya banned her from competing for only three years.  I mean really.  Why would they ban one of their biggest cash cows for life?

Ha ha, fooled ya!

Ha ha, fooled ya!

Nothing is more disheartening than when you find out one of your biggest athletic heroes is a cheat.  Call it egg on your face or crap on your shoes.  You feel like an idiot.  Trust me, been there, felt that.

Ha, ha!  Fooled you too.

Ha, ha! Fooled you too.

What drives these idiots – yes, I did say IDIOTS – to cheat?  Money? Fame? Ego?  Combination of all three?  Who knows, or maybe more importantly, who cares?  I could go on an epic rant about how much these so-called “athletes” have disappointed, and just plain angered me, but what would be the point?  To give them even a few more moments of my time?  Nah, don’t think so.  What’s most upsetting about this behavior is this – people looked up to them, admired them, RESPECTED them.  And they took that respect and admiration and tossed it in the trash, giving it no more thought than a piece of garbage.

unimportant

So let the Kenyans slap Jeptoo on the wrist.  Let Armstrong compete in something other than cycling.  WHATEVER.  I know who the real athletes are.  The ones who get up at oh-dark-thirty to get their training in before dealing with the little ones.  Or the ones who pass up a weekend getaway to get their 20-miler in before their first marathon.  And the ones who stop within sight of the finish line, just to go back and help an injured competitor.  Those are sports true athletes.

We got you.

We got you.

So to everyone out there who tries their best – even if it means best gets you across that finish line last – YOU are the real heroes.  No matter what the clock says, the scale tells you, or the size tag on your pants reads, be proud of yourself.  You get out there and do what you need to do every day, using only what Mother Nature gave you.  And if that’s good enough for you, that’s more than enough for me.  Be proud of yourself and what you are capable of achieving.  Because in comparison to these “professional athletes”, you truly ARE a champion.

 

Enjoy the ride.

What do you think about all this doping nonsense?  Does it lower your opinion about professional athletes?  What do you think drives these people to cheat?

Why Does Running Always Get A Bad Rap?

Yep.  Pretty much.

Yep. Pretty much.

Remember those days back in junior high basketball practice?  Countless hours of running back and forth between foul lines and center court, over and over and over and over again.  And over.  And over.  Get the idea?

Just. Shoot. Me.

Been there buddy.  Been there.

As I sit here watching NFL playoff action, it occurs to me – and I know nothing of what these guys do in practice – they must spend hours running up and down that field more times than they can count.  Soccer, hockey, baseball, pick your sport.  It seems like every other sport really does regard running as punishment.  Now I know most of these sports don’t utilize distance running, but probably more interval-style punishment.  But I think if you asked Walter Payton or Victor Cruz to go for a nice easy 10-miler, I imagine they’d probably look at you with an expression not unlike this.

Say whaaaaaaat?

Say whaaaaaaat?

I suppose just about everyone, even seasoned runners, view speed work as a necessary evil if they want to see any kind of decrease in pace.  It’s been so long since I’ve run, (2 months, 3 days, 21 hours, and 47 minutes – not that I’m counting or anything), that I only have hazy memories of lung-busting, star-seeing, hallucination-creating, visions-of-grandeur-inducing, sprint work.  Even though I hated speed work days, it always more of a love-hate relationship.

Love_Hate_job_crop380w

The road I’d rather not travel….

Whether it’s hills, LSD’s, speed work, or tempo runs, if running is not your sport of choice, it’s all ugly and highly detested.  Just ask any typical teenager who decides to get mom and dad off their back about lazing around on the couch all day by taking up something as non-sweat inducing as curling, (no offense Lisa!).

Best. Pants. Ever.

Best. Pants. Ever.

Really, when you get right down to it, 99% of the world’s sports incorporate running to some degree.  I mean really, how silly would it be if baseball players had to walk the bases?  Oh, wait a minute…..

HATE when that happens.

Hate when that happens.

So the next time you hear another athlete whining about having to run during practice, just smile and say nothing.  Let them think their sport is so much more demanding than yours.  You know who the tougher bad ass is.  And so do we.

badass runner

 

Enjoy the ride.

Why do you think some athletes hate running so much?  Is it the physical demands or how it can put even the strongest of athletes on a level playing field with an everyday runner?  Is it bad that I just can’t stop laughing at the Norwegian National Curling Team’s plaid pants??

Why Be So Mean?

A couple of weeks ago I stumbled across this blog post.  The author is a photographer based in Kentucky who is doing his best to try to lose weight.  He’s also been a victim of bullying.  What he saw in his gym that prompted him to write this post is simply heartbreaking.  I’m not going to reiterate what he witnessed, instead I’m just going to encourage you to read his post.  Especially my readers who teach – I think there’s a very good lesson to be learned here.

To give you the short version, the author witnessed an overweight woman working out.  As she was doing so, she was being “slyly” photographed by another 20-something woman.  The author could see where this was going – right to Facebook – accompanied no doubt by some rude, hurtful comments.  Without giving anything away, let’s just say the author kept it from happening.  You’ll just have to read it for yourself to see how.

The author’s point was far from lost on me and gave me a newfound respect for those who are fighting for a healthier life.  The question is then – why do those who choose to change their lives get picked on by others?

why-1

On a day home from work, (thanks in no small part to some alien stomach bug), I went on a Netflix documentary roll.  One of those films was The Bully Project.  If you haven’t seen it, then have a box of tissues ready before you do.  It’s nothing short of devastating.  Kids in schools being beat up, taunted and humiliated, to the point that they take their own lives, their families left to pick up the pieces.  Had I behaved as badly as the perpetrators in this film, I never would have seen the light of day.  Why do these kids think it’s okay to treat another human being like they’re nothing?  Are the parents so out of touch with what their kids are up to that they never notice how they treat others?  Are these the kids who grow up to think it’s okay to take pictures of big people trying to make themselves healthier and do nothing more than embarrass them?

crying

If you’ve been following my little corner of the internet here, then you know I like to keep things fun and light-hearted.  Sometimes though, when something I see, hear, or read, leaves a strong impression, I feel compelled to throw my two cents in.  And hope that maybe my venting in my little corner of the world, makes an impression on someone else.

bullying-stop-sign

As athletes, I think it’s imperative that we not only encourage others to physically live a healthy lifestyle, but set a positive example for others to follow as well.  We have a great opportunity at every race, training run, or gym session to encourage others.  Having been in that position numerous times myself, I can’t tell you how much that pat on the back or a simple smile can lift both your spirits and your pace. Wouldn’t it be nice to be the reason for that smile?

Thanks for listening.

Enjoy the ride.

Have you ever been the victim of bullying?  Or if not, what would you do if you saw someone else being picked on?