Jan 17, 2012

Update on the Bendy Bits

I shall run again!

The Running Doctor has diagnosed me with runner's knee. Don't let the name fool you; this ailment is not the result of running - nay, slamming my feet onto the ground over and over for miles on end did not bring this on. Yoga did.

The sound of dramatically shattering glass you just heard? That was the sound of my poor, betrayed heart breaking to pieces at my feet.

One never suspects yoga - sweet, gentle yoga - of sinister things like knee injuries. But, when one's knee is repeatedly exposed to stressful situations (such as, I learned, bearing weight in a bent or lunging position) one's knee eventually tires and then begins bitching loudly at you while you try to bang its connecting joints and appendages (feet and whatnot) on the ground over and over for miles on end.

I learned all this from The Running Doctor who, after doing normal, doctorly things like quizzing me about the onset of the pain, watching me walk to and fro and prodding at my knee while inquiring Does this hurt? said to me I'd like to see your knee when it's angry and hurting. Go run three miles then come back and see me. 

If you say so.

Running three miles seemed like a godawful idea after several days of significant pain brought on by such strenuous activities as sitting and, oh, standing up. But, what do I know? I'm not The Running Doctor. So I set off.

The run itself wasn't interesting (lots of birds to look at, some surprising speed on the part of Yours Truly, the to-be-expected knee pain), nor is the ensuing visit to The Running Doctor (except for the part where he grabbed my unshod, sweaty, just-ran-three-miles foot in his bare hands and I, Foot-Phobe Extraordinaire, silently screamed You, Sir, are a disgusting man!); all that you or I need to know is that my injury is a normal thing with a cure and that I got confirmation from my running coach that I can still train for a half marathon at the end of April.

Since the diagnosis my knee has continued to feel better. I'm still not able to run run the way I had been before the injury, but it would seem that its not too far on the horizon. Today, for example, my knee felt pretty great, like, 99% of the day. I'd go so far as to say that it felt super-great. I sorta wanted to open doors with a mighty kick and leap off the tops of staircases - anything to celebrate that I'm back and I'm awesome and I'm ready (so ready) to run.

Jan 9, 2012

Running and I

Running and I are young and in love. I would never not go Running when Running is a possibility. Every weird little thing that Running does is adorable and endearing to me; Oh, Running, you made me pull a muscle in my knee and endure days of searing pain, you trickster, you!

I’m wondering if there will be a point where I fall out of love with this sport. We’ve been at it nearly a year, now, Running and I. We went through the awkward courting phase (I would wheeze my way through a one-minute run, walk for three minutes, then mutter fuuuuuck under my breath as a revved up for another minute of agony) followed by months spent in delirious puppy love; Running tentatively inhabited my body and I warmed to it over time; I lost weight. I gained speed. I built the endurance to run longer distances and would finish my runs with full-out sprints, laughing and with an idiot’s smile plastered on my face.

Around the tenth month we began to have our differences; Running caused me side pains and foot cramps. Though we worked through those issues things still came to a head when Running socked me in the knee with debilitating pain. One-third of my way through a three-mile run I mulled over the decision to cut it short or hobble on through the discomfort. Against my better judgement I finished the second and third miles, finally whimpering my way to a full stop at the side of the road and admitting to myself that we had a problem, Running and I.

It’s been three days without Running; three days that I’ve counted because I feel the absence so sharply. Three days of icing my knee 'til its chilled to the bone; three days of cringing when I lift my knee; three days of limping until I coax myself to walk normally as I feel the pain subside. Whatever this injury is it’s a minor one, but it’s pulled me away from the hobby I’ve become so fond of and I miss Running in a visceral way. My body needs something that it’s not getting.

The thought of running again makes me feel giddy and excited, and this brings me hope. I like to think that rather than getting bored with one another and letting our relationship go to weed Running and I will fall into a comfortable pattern of cohabitation. I’ll brush my teeth in front of Running and let Running see me in my rattiest pajamas; Running will admit that it has feelings for me, too, and will let down its guards so that I may fully revel in its presence.

It’s in these tenuous times that I realize the depth of my dedication to this thing. Running hurts me; Running threatens to leave me for good and I think don’t leave me, not now; I need you.  

Mar 13, 2010

The Real Tragedy

I'm still trying to come to terms with the fact that, as an adult, my bedroom is no longer a place to play and/or hang out.

(Irrelevant note: I also struggle with a lasting temptation to invite people over to "play" instead of "hang out".)

It pains me, ever-so-slightly, that the bedroom I meticulously organize and maintain will rarely, if ever, be seen by my friends. I've noticed, when giving "tours" around my apartment, that people are willing to take only a couple of steps into the room before tossing out a light compliment and booking it for the hallway.

I can only suppose that the reason for this is a silently- but generally-accepted recognition that the bedroom of an adult (and especially an adult living with a significant other) is a place for Private Things. Perhaps visitors fear that if they spend too much time in the bedroom of an acquaintance the seedy romance novels, vibrators and leather harnesses tucked away in drawers and dark corners will reveal themselves. After that, let's face it, there's no turning back. Better just to make your exit to the more neutral living room. Because only family-friendly activities take place in living rooms, right?

Anyway. That's just a theory.

Living rooms suck, though. Nothing beats stretching out on a bed with your best friend to talk for hours. My entire adolescence - from childhood up to the end of my undergraduate career - is dotted with afternoons and evenings spent this way. And I miss it.

So there it is: reason no. 2907 that growing up sucks a big one. Let's turn this one around, ok? Get back on in my bedroom, folks. That's where it's at.

Mar 10, 2010


It's like when you're not paying attention and the last step you think you're taking down a flight of stairs turns out to be nothing but the flat ground ahead of you.

In between loving a very contrary man and working a job where I play the part of the bad guy (short summary: I email out the equivalent of homework assignments to all the higher-ups in my work place, and I'm pretty sure that they all die a little bit inside when they see my name in their inboxes) I expect to be told 'no' - though rarely in so many words - more often than not.

Sometimes, though, people comply. I'm not sure what's in the water, but it's been happening recently. After all that energy, all that buildup to the big let-down, my bat flies through the air and there's nothing to make purchase with. Just the whiffle echoing in my ears, then I'm left standing, baffled.


Mar 9, 2010

The Fear

This year (I'm talking past-12-months year, not calendar year) has really been, as we say in The Business, a "doozy". As I am someone who A.) grew up privileged in WhiteBread USA and B.) is only recently emerged as a financially independent adult, perhaps you can see how a year that involved one attempted and one successful apartment break-in, one positive pap smear, a couple of months spent suffering spectacular medicinal side-effects, two emergency root canals followed by countless oral housecleanings, two freak-accident occurrences that left my car's front bumper detached on both sides and myriad miscellaneous odds and ends has left me a little wary.

There's really nothing I can do without worrying about how it will affect my teeth in six months or whether my apartment will still be un-molested if I leave the deadbolt unlocked while I'm gone for five minutes. I am on emergency stand-by 24/7.

I spent one heady summer, when I moved into my first apartment (the one that got robbed, which I no longer inhabit), riding around the neighborhood on my bike. I would go for miles and miles, from one neighborhood to another, watching as the houses changed from ramshackle burnouts to beautifully restored family homes. On my ride to work (which was down the street) I passed more than one person who sat on their porch talking to themselves on a daily basis, but I loved it anyway. I knew where each and every one of the crazies lived and I felt like I owned the place.

Now, in my new apartment, which backs up to a quiet, middle-class neighborhood full of ranch-style houses, I hesitate to go out walking for fear of...I don't even know what; adorable puppy attack, I guess. Today, unable to defy the allure of beautiful weather, I found myself out, traipsing (a.k.a. speed walking for exercise) around; and while I took the liberty of exploring a few nooks and crannies, I still checked over my shoulder time and again when I heard the keys in my fanny pack (yeah, I wear a fanny pack when I exercise...suck it) jingling.

It's just...sucks, you know? It's a real tribute to how happy I am in my relationship and with my life in general that I'm not pulling my hair out screaming because some other ridiculous thing has gone wrong and ended up costing me $800 out of the blue.

The more this shit goes down, the more that I realize that me and my meager salary are more-or-less alone in this big blue world, the more fortunate I feel, in an under-this-steaming-pile-of-crap-there's-actually-a-beautiful-shining-pearl sort of way. There's a whole load of stuff that was given to me in life - the very fact that I have emerged from my undergraduate college career without a penny of personal debt says that I've got something that precious few others my age have placed in their lap - and I'm just...fortunate. There's no other way to say it.

So I'm not sure all this lousy stuff going down is just my share of shittiness coming due or what, but I'm still thinking I'll muddle through alright. Already I have renter's insurance and live in a neighborhood that's not addled with gangs; I've also got one clear Pap smear (and one more to go until I'm in the clear...God, there's nothing so pleasing as going to the gynecologist every six months), a birth control that doesn't make me feel like barfing 24/7, at least one side of my mouth that's not rotting out and some insurance money on the way to help with the car troubles.

And so to Life I say, it could be worse. But I better not see you try.

Mar 7, 2010

Your Mission

As it turns out, there's some pretty great ways to freak the hell out of your boyfriend. There's a couple of things you have to get into place first, though, before you can execute them.

First, it helps if you live together. At the very least, you should be sleeping together on a regular basis.

Second, it helps if the time is somewhere in the nether regions of the day, say, 3:00 or 5:30 a.m. The ungodlier the better.


What you do, is you, the lady, fall asleep around midnight, like a reasonable person ought to. Then, when your beau comes to bed at the ungodly hour of his choice, you roll over and say to him, all groggy-like, "I'm gonna pee."


You wait.

The longer the better.

Your boyfriend will, undoubtedly, be distressed as the minutes pass by. He will wonder if he should wake you and remind you of the task at hand, if he should check for a wet spot or if, perhaps, he should just let you be.

Later, when he's drifting off while trying to make the right choice, steal clumsily away from the bed. Be sure to bump into some walls on the way to the bathroom and make a general ruckus.

Then, finally, pee.

Operation complete.

Jan 30, 2010

Hate is a Strong Word

It's winter, y'all. Holy God...if I'm not barefoot and wearing a t-shirt in another month I'm going to lose it.

At first winter is charming. You envision yourself curling up on the couch in a sweater, snuggling into your lover or the pages of a good book while the fire crackles (you've got a fireplace, right?). You revel in the idea of warm hot chocolate set against the chill wintry air.

Then comes the season itself, and you curse wildly every morning as you extract your naked body from the bed and set foot in the cold, cruel world where air conditioning is no match for the cold. Sure, you could heat your living space to a comfortable 80 degrees and live out the winter in climate-controlled bliss; you could also sign your winter month's wages over to the local electricity conglomerate, or pay off your bills by volunteering your time babysitting the CEO's kids on the weekends. I'm just saying.

So now I'm entertaining torrid fantasies of the summer. I see myself, out on the porch at night plucking at my guitar (I don't have one; it's part of the fantasy) and trying to keep the mosquitoes from carrying my blood away. I drink iced tea (I hate iced tea; but it's part of the fantasy) and talk long into the night with my neighbors (neighbors like Bob, who voluntarily patrols the complex parking lot, or Sausage Dog, the cylindrically-shaped mutt next door). It is bliss.

Sure, come week three of summer it, too, will seem like a hopeless chore. But for now, give me sun on my skin and the wind in my hair - the kind of wind that wont scrub my face off with sub-zero temperatures - and for a moment (just a moment) I wont complain.

Oh...and should you need distraction from the pain of winter, check out this freaking awesome photography, and feel sad that you didn't come up with this idea first. When you're done doing that, appreciate the simple beauty.