An inner athlete's manifesto.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Post for Joy

I know I bitch about the N Train more times than most people; although, I truly believe we all share the same thoughts about commuting. Here, we find solidarity. Since the beginning of the year—no, actually, since Sandy, I’ve been feeling like quite the mixed bag of feelings:

I am a spoiled, “effing” brat. The week before Sandy, I remember being really unhappy for choosing to buy a certain “healthy” cereal, one that tasted like rabbit food. I was going to post a status update about it in search of solidarity for others who have tried eating healthy cereal, only to find that some of it tasted like chalkboard and woodchips. This particular “flavor”, (not brand), just happened to suck. Then, Sandy happened. People’s lives and homes were destroyed, kids were swept away, and I am sure kitties drowned (you all know how I love cats), and here I was…perfectly safe, Pineapple the Cat purring on my tummy, unhappy with my cereal purchase. Total asshole.

The same thing again happened with the Boston Marathon. I ran a marathon in February to make up for not running the NYC Marathon in November (coincidentally due to Sandy). This marathon in Central Park was one of the most mentally challenging things I’ve done in my life. I am grateful that I had good friends to come out and support me—some even ran with me—and without them, I would not have been able to finish (Dana Krashin, Ashley Balevander, Chris Szabo). It was the only race I have ran where I was in tears. By Mile 13, I wanted to call my best friend here in the city, also a runner, (and forever, Nichole), and by Mile 15, I wanted to call my mom. That’s how shitty I felt, and I was used to running 20+ mile days. After finishing that marathon, I felt grateful for the support of my friends.

Then I went up to Boston to see my friend finish. Proudly jealous, I camped out at the finish line to see the elite women—my idol, Kara Goucher, was racing, and I could NOT miss her. I remember admiring the wheelchair racers whirring past us at Mile 26. I remember thinking how remarkable they were, and how grateful I was I had two legs to run on. I had always silently thanked my mom for good stems, and I wondered if I would have the will to race like that if something ever happened to them. I felt humbled.

We left the finish area and meandered around for a few hours, planning on meeting up with our Boston Marathoning friend (Dana Krashin) before she finished. Then shit hit the fan. People lost their fucking legs, for pete’s sake, but—people lost their sons. Their daughters. Their joy.

Last week, my mom didn’t text me for about a week, and this is really rare for her. I thought, “what the eff is going on?!? She’s mad at me”. (There is nothing worse than having your mother mad at you, FYI). I finally texted her, and it turns out she got a new phone. Also, a favorite aunt died last week—one who was always cheery and loved by everyone in the family. I felt down, and weird, and I had to make an effort to appreciate not only the things around me, but also the things I could not see—memories, moments, aspirations…you get it.

Today, again I felt like an asshole, walking around Roosevelt Island when people’s legs were being strewn about Broadway in my home-hood Astoria, taking the tram with so much smugness against the N Train.
All I have to say now is, thank God—I have legs to walk around on, but, more importantly—THANK GOD—I have fucking hope and joy in my life. Thank God maybe 90% of the time, I am the only one who thinks I’m an asshole.

Love you, Friends and Family.


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