Monday, January 14, 2013

It's a Twista

When I was a kid, one of my very favorite movies was Wizard of Oz. It was so much my favorite that I probably watched it once a day every day for a solid two and a half years of my life (ask my parents). I had the dolls, I knew all the words and dance moves, I made my siblings act out scenes from the film with me. In third grade, I got to be an extra for a contemporary remake of the story put on by the local university (I was a tornado cloud, a munchkin, and a guard for the witch).

Because I was (and still am) a stubborn child, I always insisted that the first portion of the film (the black and white scenes) was broken. I had to be reminded that no, it was not broken, that the black and white was by design. I'd watch the film, singing along with Dorothy, laughing at the scarecrow, yelling "sneeze them" when the wicked witch yelled "seize them," and cowering from the flying monkeys. We'd rewind the tape, pop it in again the next day, I'd forget about the colorless intro and insist that the first portion of the film was broken. Without fail.

Nobody tells five-year-olds that the "twista" that hits and moves Dorothy's house from the black and white to the colorful is actually a terrifying weather incident that strikes randomly and powerfully. Tornadoes used to not bother me at all. One stint in Texas, I remember seeing a funnel cloud on the horizon and felt more awe than fear. Then I lived through a tornado. Now the only awe comes from fear. The other night heavy storms woke me up in the middle of the night. Considering my bedroom's location in a basement (along a wall that is surrounded by a hill), I was in probably the safest location possible if a tornado were to touch down. It was just rain and wind. Even with the understanding of my safety and the thought that it was not a tornado, the dread still crept in, weighing down that pit in my stomach. I eventually drifted back to sleep, holding on to positive images (like the Lollipop Gang).

I love living in this state. I just forget about the terror brought on by tornado threats until they happen. Just like I'd forget and insist that tape was broken. Twistas won't bother me until the warnings sound and then I remember. Without fail.

Friday, January 11, 2013

long runs

I forgot what it felt like to complete a longer run. I forgot about the sweaty toes and damp shoes and the peeling off of socks. I forgot about the soaked bandana that kept the moisture from dripping into my eyes. I forgot how even the deepest breaths don't seem to suffice, that my lungs crave more oxygen. I forgot how my legs want to keep moving after running for that long.

And I love every minute of it.

Maybe it is the endorphins, maybe it is that so-called "runner's high," but I can't help it. It is a form of addiction. The addiction isn't just the run itself, nor the various feelings associated with the run. It is the "I can do better today." It is the "oh, yeah, hill? you think you can beat me? watch this." It each how each minor improvement can be recorded as a major success because I am that much closer to my goal.

I haven't trained for a long run in nearly a year. Now with the Oak Barrel Half coming up in April, I have been gearing up with my serious training, kickin' some booty. I am considering that half marathon as a part of my training for the Ragnar Relay in June (from Madison, Wisconsin to Chicago, Illinois). I wanted to run in a Ragnar Relay for years and this will be my first time. I am stoked and minorly terrified all at the same time (mostly because of the team aspect... it is one thing to let myself down, another to let a team down).

I keep pushing one day at a time.

Bring it.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Adventures with Zeke (a photojournal)

Yesterday, I was feeling good upon coming back from a run in 60-degree and sunny weather. You can almost say I was feeling like a rockstar. I had only been away from the house for an hour or so. To most, an hour is nothing, a short unit of time marked by the ticking of 60 minutes. Based on the pitiful wailing of my parents' 9-month old dog, it was clearly closer to an eternity. I felt a little guilty, so I showered and decided to treat the dog with a trip to PetSmart.

 I could harness the dog, but not his energy. The little dude was stoked.
Look at those blue and red letters! The store actually invites animals to visit! It's like Disneyland for dogs!
 It is especially a fun place when you are cute and everybody wants to pet you.
 It is an especially fun place when there are toys nearly at your level.

Upon leaving the happiest place [for dogs] on Earth, I saw the sky and couldn't resist enjoying the last few minutes of the day. So we stopped for an extra walk.

 Pure elation as we walked around a pond at the local city park!

 There was nothing left to do than to letting that little sleeping dog lie after his adventure-filled day.