Wednesday, May 18, 2011

On epiphanies and reminiscing

Its true.  I've got things to do.  Like, mad stuff to do.  And thats "mad" as in "lots and big and important, too", not "mad" as in Crazy Harry or "mad" as in Angry Birds.  Like, LOTS.

But I'm not really feeling the pull of those things, as much as I am feeling the need to share with  you!  I'm drinking coffee mocha my own version of what "mocha" should be, which is 1/2 hot chocolate, 1/2 coffee.  Yum.  So its as though we're having coffee together!  Hello friend!  How are you doing?

Today I'm thinking about yesterday, which I suppose is common enough.  Yesterday evening, Dukas and I went for a yog, in the evening during a lull in the rainstorm.  It felt... good.  Now, there's a pause there because running has never felt good to me before.  Lets discuss my years in high school track, as an overview, shall we?

I was never a real runner, although I have this sweatshirt that seems to disagree.  
ASIDE: I don't think I'm actually supposed to have this sweatshirt, as we were a poor school and weren't allowed to keep things like this.  However, my aunt who went to the same high school as I did a ... few years previous to my attendance stole this when she was in track, and she gave it to me.  So the school never technically issued it to me... I don't know, its a moral dilemma every time I get it out to wear it.  Whew.  Thanks for hearing me out.

I was a jumper in track, and only because (1) I didn't like to run very far, and (2) I had wimpy arms and couldn't throw anything.  Jumping was great for me, because you only ever had to run the length of the runway, which was at most 100 yards, probably more like 60.  One quick sprint and done.  Take 20 minutes to recover.

I was an average jumper, which was okay with my coach since we had an A-mazing jumper already.  'Lyssa, she could out-jump most boys.  Generally there's a good 5 foot discrepancy between good girl jumpers and good guy jumpers.  Not with her.  She went to States, baby.  And then to an over-priced school and majored in pottery.  But thats neither here nor there.  So I generally filled in the #2 slot, and everything was okay.  

Somewhere around the spring of my junior year, I had an epiphany.  See, Handsome and I were dating at this point, and he was exploiting me.  Well, not me, so much as my awe-some physics skillz.  H and his friends wanted to jump a car across a void.  He kept supplying me with information like the angle of the ramp and the weight of the car and the distance they wanted to jump it, and I would tell him how fast the car needed to be going before it left the ramp.  Thats what high school physics is for, right?  Well, as I was synthesizing this information for him, it hit me!  The faster I ran, the further I would jump.  Can I get an AMEN?  I mean, seriously, who knew?  I thought they wanted me to run faster because it built character or something, not because it would have a direct impact on my performance.  Seriously, this changed my world.

I began to try to run faster.  Now the physics involved in Pole Vaulting (which I was also trying to do, in addition to High Jump, Long Jump, and Triple Jump) is a little more complicated, and so I really never got above 5'6", which coincidentally was also my highest High Jump.  Pathetic, I know.  But the other two, the long & the triple both started to improve.  I long jumped over 13 feet once.  When I look at the actual distance that covers, I'm still impressed with 17-year-old self, even these 8 (WHAT??!!) years later.

Now, the fact that I began actually completing the pre-practice runs might also play a little here.  See, we would all start out as a group, and be told to "Run down to the bridge and back," about 2 miles.  HA.  Like I was going to run 2 miles.  If I wanted to run that far, I'd join cross country.  So what would happen was myself and my accomplice, S-dawg, would begin the run, jogging at the back of the pack, which, honestly, everyone expected of us anyhow.  Then, as everyone else pulled away, S-dawg and I would veer off of the main route and walk up over the hill one short block to Handsome's house.  Here we would hang out and eat Little Debbie cakes, timing it just right so that when we jogged back down over the hill and onto the main road back to the school, we would be getting in just after everyone else (which, again, was expected).  

Now that I write it out, I'm not sure how we explained the fact that when everyone else got to the bridge and turned around and jogged back along the same route, they never saw us... perhaps we didn't keep this as good of a secret as we thought.  I do know that our coach, Mr. Maslar, never found out, because if he had, he would have gotten that awful look on his face and slapped the back of one hand into the palm of the other, exclaiming in his raspy-old-man voice, "You're cotton (slap) pickin' (slap) soft (slap)!"  Side note: I never fully understood the implications of this slur until I moved to the south and thought about people who pick cotton.  Whoopsies.

Anyhow, once I actually started running to the bridge and back, and once I actually started running faster on the runway, I got to be a decent jumper.  And I even jumped into a few 100-yard dashes,and ran a leg of a relay or two.  Of course, by this time my high school career was over and I was only just getting to mediocre status, so it never went anywhere.  Which is okay by me.  As long as I get to keep the sweatshirt.  I really wish I would have taken a pair of matching sweatpants.  Then I really could re-live the glory days.

Now, as in, this past month, when I've been running, I've been surprising myself.  I can run far!  And by far, I mean that I could run to the bridge and back and not be dying.  Not that I have the bridge to run to anymore, but you know what I mean.  I don't know that I've ever in my life run 2 1/2 consecutive miles, but I did it last week.  And last night, it was probably only 1 1/2 - 2 miles, and it really did feel like a short run.  I don't know what it is, but I might, just might, be becoming a runner, finally.  And I'm excited about it.  I like to run.  

Whoa.  I didn't think I'd ever say that.  But I do!  I think I'm getting pretty close to ready for a 5K, something I've never tried before.  Unfortunately, there's one this Saturday that would be perfect, save for the fact that its scheduled to start 2 hours before my plane leaves for Reno.  So I'm not going to make that one.  But I'm going to try and find one in June or July that I can run.  Because... (let me try this out again)  

Still weird to say.  I'll keep you posted.

As a final note, let us examine this sweatshirt, gifted to me by my Aunt Klepto.

Notice the absurd length of the sleeves.  Luckily I got this just as 3/4 length sweatshirts were all the rage.  What?  3/4 length sweatshirts were never in any sort of rage?  I'm sorry, you must be misinformed.  I rocked these.

As I said, I'm leaving for Reno on Saturday.  If you can think of anything that I should do/see while I'm there, I'd love to hear your suggestions.  Last time around, it was pretty bland.  With that, I bid you adieu.  Or as my adorable niece said yesterday, 

Pasta & Lasagna (Hasta mañana),

1 comment:

  1. I appreciate these thoughts on high school track. I too can now run to the (actual) bridge and back without stopping. Oddly enough, I've had to run around the school, run down to the bridge, and run around the school again in order to complete a "workout". (Yes, I do workouts now.) As I currently reside in the state of PA, I have started training for the Peanut Butter Festival 5k. It's in September. I hope I gave myself enough time...

    It is funny how much farther I can run now than I could when I was 15 pounds lighter and 8 (What!?) years younger. I'm going to use the same rationale as Maslar did for my events: I'm built for sprinting (i.e. short stumpy tree legs and not aerodynamic hips?).


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