Saturday, January 22, 2011

#5. DeathMonsters Ahead, Beware!

I am on a mission. Not a mission to the moon, mind you, but one of gargantuan proportions nonetheless!

I am
to be a runner again

And, no, I'm not supposed to be running. And, yes, my knees hurt sometimes. But does it feel awesome? Well you bet your lucky days of the week under-roo's it does!

Let me walk you through this journey, shall I? I am so sure that you are nodding your head vigorously right now that I can do nothing but oblige. It would be quite rude not to...quite!

Okay so once upon a time, far far back in the history of Annabelle the Great (that's what they call me, you know), I realized something that has forever since shaped my life.


And this, people, was what led me to give up on my dreams of freshman year basketball & volleyball because, really, what was the use in trying if I was never going to be the best? Do your best? pshh! That is just another way of saying, "you're not the best but we want you to get us water and towels anyways, Team Manager." And so I filled my days with dance team and cheerleading and other things where lack of height is a great advantage because, duh, you get to be in the front row. And that, people, is where I wanted to be!

But...after awhile...I also wanted to be an athlete. Now cue all the folks out there who will rally to the defense of the dancing queen, the squad captain, the show choir soloist and say that these things are TOUGH WORK, athletic even! And don't get me wrong, they are tough work. But they also don't give you uber sexy calves, which is also what I was going for...I mean, those cheerleading skirts are SHORT!!! So, I did what I do best and did whatever my older sister did, which in this case was cross country.

Cross country was probably the most absurd extra-curricular I could've chosen. It involved long-distance running (of which I had never experienced), a complete & total lack of spectators (and therefore, attention), and most of all...dedication. You can't just play back-up or ride the bench. Everybody, EVERYBODY, runs the same. Just some a little faster than others. Or slower. Whatever.

I was told I couldn't do it. I mean it. Not that I couldn't hack it but that I couldn't. Dear sweet older sister Joan didn't want me on the team because she (rightly so) knew I didn't care. But I was (am?) a brat and so I joined anyways. And, you know what?


But it was also

I learned that I could do so much more than I ever thought I could and that I could actually be pretty good at it. I learned to run, not away from my problems, but towards them, head-on. Running taught me the power of positive thought, of seeking silence, and of seeking God when times got tough. Long runs was the only way I got through the turmoil of my college decision, through my incessant high school fights with my mother, and, of course, gave me my uber sexy calves. Uber. I've been told.

But along the way, my knees screamed and yelled and finally just up and quit on me! Those quitters! (but more on that another time). And so it has been weeks, months, years, since my running shoes have actually been used for running. They look quite nice, by the way, but I don't think running shoes are supposed to look nice. They are supposed to look tough, like they've seen it all, done it all, and lived to tell the tale. Grrr. Indeed!

So this weekend, I got inspired. I had spent the day painting with Mr. Awesome (our living room is now LUSH, oh it's so gorgeous) and was waiting for coat number one to dry when I said "okay LOML, I'm going for a run." "A run?" he replies, like that is the strangest thing in the world. Which, to his credit, coming from me, it probably was. And while I'm sure he was worried to DEATH about me, thinking perhaps my knees would fall off in the middle of the Panhandle and he'd then really be married to a shortie and subjected for the rest of his life to get everything off the highest shelves on demand (oh wait...that is his life....), but he just said "okay honey, have a good time!" like I was off to the circus or something. Although, seeing as I haven't run in quite some time, it's probably what I looked like!

So off I went, through the park, around the dahlia garden, picnickers, tennis players, maker-outers, and back through the panhandle. And


And because I was running through the partk, I could just keep going, one foot in front of the other, without intersections and red lights to tell me to stop, take a break, this is RiDiCuLoUs! Except for one intersection between the Panhandle & Golden Gate Park, where cars rip around the corner like they've got somewhere to be! But, thankfully, I had been forewarned, like a message from God, and escaped unscathed. Because, painted there on the bike path/running trail, some lovely San Franciscan had left me a warning:

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