Salt of the Earth

Today, we buried my grandpa. I guess I’m okay with it–I definitely still miss him–but I guess I understand that it happens to everyone. I don’t know…

My uncle and cousin came down for the burial, and my uncle told me a good story. He was a bit of a hellion during his teenage years, and he and his friend were boosting stereos out of cars. Well, when my grandpa found out, he pulled my uncle out of class (he was still in high school at the time — maybe 16, 17) and took him down to the police station. My grandpa made my uncle return all the stereos and then had him spend a week in jail.

It’s hard to describe, what I like about this story. My grandpa (my dad too) are all about doing what’s right. And that means something. To me at least.

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Salt of the Earth

Gender Norms on Sex are Crumbling – Crumbling!

Totally fascinating op-ed in the NYTimes today, Darwin was Wrong about Dating. From a study done in 2003:

“When asked about actual sexual partners, rather than just theoretical desires, the participants who were not attached to the fake lie detector displayed typical gender differences. When participants believed that lies about their sexual history would be revealed by the fake lie detector, gender differences in reported sexual partners vanished.” [Emphasis mine.]

The article has other great study results and anecdotes. It’s really interesting, go read it.

Gender Norms on Sex are Crumbling – Crumbling!

Stop Staring Down

I’m one of those people that believes running is the best (or one of the best) metaphors of life. My biggest takeaway from pounding the pavement? Stop staring down.

Why you may ask? Thanks for asking, let me tell you.

1. Because the easy thing isn’t always the right thing.
Usually, I’m hanging my head low and staring at the ground as I run because I’m tired and it feels easier. But like most things in life that are easy, it’s not actually good for you. By keeping your head up and your eyes focused on what’s in front of you, you align your body more properly which is obviously better for your running in the long-run. When I get tired, I focus on the mechanics: how are my arms moving, where is my head, how’s my breathing. Although it might not feel easier once I correct myself it, I know that it’s better for me and that gives me the mental strength to go on.

2. Because for every one interesting thing you see pass beneath your feet, you miss twenty things passing around you. I was running and saw something about being the emperor scrawled onto the sidewalk. I’m always looking for an distraction so I pondered on it for a few seconds. But sure enough, once I refocused and brought my head up, I realized all the dizzy-ing things around me. Graffiti murals, other people’s faces, store displays, oh and you know, the whole Manhattan skyline. I mean I’m lucky enough to run with a view of the Empire State building everyday, at the least, I ought to look at it. Suddenly, I’m distracted for ten minutes at a time, not just a few seconds. If your head is always down in life, you’ll miss so many things that can motivate and stimulate you.

It’s also important to keep your head up because you have to see the horizon. Sometimes it’s tough to look in the distance and be like, I have so far to go. But once you reach it – no matter the distance, no matter how long it takes you – it is always a feeling of accomplishment. If you’re always looking at your feet, you can’t assess how far you’ve gone and so you missing those rejuvenating and validating moments.

3. Because you won’t ever trip.
They always say that when you fall, you have to get back up. The actual lesson of this maxim is about enduring the pain (physical and mental) of getting back up. I remember the exact moment I fell for the first time when running. I had been running for a solid 6-months or so, I was running anywhere from 7-10 miles on the regular but still didn’t consider myself a runner. I was making my way through a residential area of Los Angeles. It was a sunny day, and I was feeling good. I was maybe 20 minutes in and about to hit the zone that would keep me going for the next 60 minutes. Maybe 10 yards before an intersection, my toe hooked the sidewalk and I came crashing down onto my hands and knees. I did’t even have to look up to know there was probably about 5 or 6 cars that I had witnessed my spectacular drop. Instantly, I thought about turning back. I mean I hurt myself, that was a good reason to stop right? I stood up and steeled my nerves. Fuck it, most of the cars that saw are going to drive off in the next 3, 2, 1 seconds and in a few minutes I’ll be off this road. I was a little scraped up and very embarrassed but fully functional. I slowly and steadily got my feet moving again.

The rest of my run went pretty well overall. When I got back to the apartment, I felt like a runner. I was a runner. It wasn’t the milage or the time, it was my belief that this is really important to me, so even though I messed up, it’s totally worth it to keep going. To say the least, I’ve fallen since then, often in front of many people, but I just take it with a grain of salt. If you play tennis, you will get hit with a ball; if you run, you will trip; if you act in life, you will experience a re-action in life. And that’s just the way it is. So accept it.

Stop Staring Down

Update: Dilemma

Okay, after hearing some kind and frank comments from friends and strangers alike, I have deferred my marine corps marathon entry to 2012. I was pretty bummed about it yesterday when I was cancelling everything, but I know it’s the right choice.

New plan?
Stop running for the month.
Run on Dec 1st and see how it goes.
Potentially run the half-marathon in Miami at the end of January.
Potentially run a full marathon in March/April, depending on how training goes over the winter.

I realized that I’d rather be that wacky, 60-year-old lady who runs five miles every morning with no marathons under my belt, than that 60-year-old lady whose had three knee surgeries and can hardly walk from running one marathon.

In the meantime, I’ve discovered rock climbing and bouldering. And I’m really enjoying that. So, one door closes, another opens right?

Update: Dilemma

Daily Delight #50

I was recently introduced to Frightened Rabbit. This — The Loneliness & The Scream — is the only song/video I’ve checked out by them, but I think it’s incredibly touching/strange/beautiful/thoughtful/etc. It easily could have been a video about some emo, indie skinny-jeans guy in his 20s feeling all alone as he tries to figure it out. Instead, they chose a more interesting approach. I like it. Makes me think of my recently widowed grandpa – sans the tattoos but with the faraway gaze and smoking. The dancing at the end was also pretty moving.

Daily Delight #50