Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Warm Sweet Goodness

There are no words to describe the amount of happy good vibes that I received Sunday (and along the 2 month journey) for my FIRST 10k. It’s difficult to explain the reason why this was such a big deal, because there are so many reasons. Many have to do with my body and finally being able to actually DO the things that I always knew I could do but for my undiagnosed genetic disorder I just couldn’t, no matter how hard I tried. Then after going through the weight loss and feeling stronger I was sidelined in 2012 by the three leg operations and lengthy recuperation time which further delayed my opportunity to let this body FLY. Now I’m feeling spectacular, I want to do everything and it is all so new and wonderful that it bursts my heart and my head just thinking about all the things I can– or try - to do.
Swason lead me to victory on Sunday with her commanding athletic spirit, her empathetic guidance and her perfectly timed words of powerful encouragement. As we stood shoulder to shoulder in the pack of 1,987 runners awaiting the starter’s pistol Swason and I discussed our pace and agreed that we would stick together if we could, but no worries if we split up.
Bang – we were off.
I was scared and anxious, I’ve been running this distance for a few weeks but it felt so different. The cement was hard, I missed my last potty pit stop and all these runners looked so strong and elegant. But Swason stayed with me, even though I didn’t turn my head to see her, I knew she was there.
I usually jog easily until about 4.5 miles however as I reached mile 2 my right calf began to cramp. As the pain increased I thought I would “run it out” until the turn around at 3.1 but the pain quickly spread through my right hip up to my shoulder then down to my foot. I tried to ignore it, I tried to focus on the traffic lights 6 blocks away, I tried to think of all of you cheering me on and Susan gliding easily over my left shoulder but when my right foot began to burn then go numb the fear of a thrombosis rupturing in my right leg finally convinced my body to stop.

Swason stuck with me as I felt the heavy pressure to complete the full 6.2 miles well up inside. She slowly and calmly led me through a series of stretches as I explained my symptoms. This was an entirely new side of Swason that I never experienced, she was the composed all knowing expert and I was the novice seeking her help. If I wasn’t so focused on relieving the pain and quieting my inner angel of death screaming “YOU ARE GOING TO DIE” I would have hugged all the air out of her – but I don’t think dominators do that, so I didn’t.
After the stretching Swason instructed me to walk for 1/10 mile then reassess my pain. I took off at my speed walking pace and moved to the center of the street instead of the right gutter where I had been jogging previously so I wouldn’t interfere with the “real” runners.  After making these adjustments I was free of pain and back at my cruising jog– ya know why? Cause I wasn’t running in the right gutter! Full on rookie move…ughhhh. Yeah, so when the street slopes to the side and there are big metal grates over the storm drains ya don’t wanna run there – lesson learned.
At mile 3.1 Swason took the lead at the turn around calling over her shoulder, “It’s shorter on the way back.” I knew mathematically that couldn’t be correct but Swason is the harbinger of truth and a marathon trainee so I accepted her words wholeheartedly as my smile grew wide and my feet welcomed the forgiving softer asphalt of the return trail.

Mile 4 my ear buds revolted, silencing my music and my GPS lady who tells me I'm a running superstar every ½ mile. I tucked the useless cord and buds into my sports bra and tried not to focus on my echoing heavy breathing and the unknown distance ahead.

4.5 miles and I hit my wall, as per always. I felt heavy and slow. Swason had pulled ahead and if I had any extra breath I would have called out to her …. just go…. leave me here…. I’ll be ok. But as my head screamed out to Swason in silence she turned as if sensing my psychic cry and yelled out “Only one and a half miles!” Swason's  words were perfectly timed, she didn’t have to say “You can do it” because I knew she was certain I had the power to conquer the next 1.5 miles and then I thought of T-bone’s beads on my laces that spelled out “Glew” “Strong” and I pumped my arms and pushed my legs.

Swason remained a few steps ahead, guiding me closer to 6.2 miles. When the 6 mile marker sign came into view my emotions erupted, stunting my lungs and clamping my throat shut. I gasped twice finding no air then I focused on the back of Swanson’s left shoulder, her gate was relaxed and steady, I wanted to feel that. My lungs loosened and I was back in the game just in time for a recreational runner, who was heading towards me in the opposite lane, to give me a massive high five as he yelled out, “You’re almost there!”

Swason and I crossed the finish line at 1:12:13 just as we began, shoulder to shoulder with broad smiles and laughter (me with tears). The announcer sang out our names like a European football announcer calls GOAL-A GOAL-A GOAL-A as my mom eagerly rang a cowbell, tooted a duck call and held a sign exclaiming Swason's and my awesomeness. We were awesome… we are awesome and so was my mom with her generous spirit, unending support and superior effervescent cheer leading.

10K Sunday ended with a celebration French Toast brunch attended by Mom and…. Sweets. Yes Sweets and I didn’t work as dating partners, and yes things were said and done that filled my head with crap but we are working really well as friends.  Sweets has always been a champion of my physical achievements and while dating not only did he introduce me to scores of new activities while never doubting my ability to conquer challenges but he named my gams “Adventure Legs”. Sweets also was the first to tell me that my strength and power were worthy of a 10K and supported me wholeheartedly throughout my training. Sweets understood what Sunday meant to me, it wasn’t JUST running 6.2 miles, it was bigger than that, it was the sum of all the parts.  Sweets and I never unpacked our emotions and shared our lives, but somehow he got it, he got that this 10K was bigger than a race and it was wonderful that he desired to share in the glory of my big day and eat my leftover bacon and french toast.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Redemption Run

I’ve borrowed my title from Swason’s running blog, recently she found redemption in a glorious run following a spirit breaking unsuccessful workout and I this morning was redeemed by my run after being bogged down in un-dating gunk.

I fell in love this morning with my city, my spirit and my body. The moon was electric before dawn; its startling white light pierced my heavy drapes welcoming me to the day at 4:45am. I stretched and prepped and hoped that 56 degrees would not feel SO shockingly awful.

When I pranced down my bock in the cover of early morning darkness I felt like an authentic competitor, a true athlete and I filled with pride at the strength of my legs and lungs. I headed west a few blocks as the black sky morphed into deep purple and the moon turned a creamy ecru. Once again I switched direction and now facing east I could see the dawn breaking ever so softly as my muscles warmed and my feet sprang forward.
Mid run I circle around two ‘garden’ blocks flanked with tidy post war brick homes. The streets are desolate in the early hours allowing me the opportunity to run on the forgiving asphalt through a tunnel of giant leafy trees. I circle 4 times in my private urban forest glen until the sky bursts with color and I take off due west.

My city was decked out for me this morning; she glistened in golds and pinks. Her skyline was shimmering as the moon, my moon, posed like a giant pink grapefruit directly behind the Empire State Building’s spire and the silvery elevated train slide by reflecting the amber of the warming sun setting it aglow like a mechanical comet across my most beautiful city scape.

I ran fast, faster than I ever had at this distance, it was all good, everything was fitting.

My final push is up a hill, an arduous task that covers ½ mile and reduces my pace to a fast
walk, but T-bone said it's good to run hills so I do it. I thought of my first run just weeks ago when the Greek Yaya cheered me on as I melted into the sidewalk and the LL Cool J celebrity double who flashed me the brightest smile, tossed me a thumbs up and shouted “YES”, the super in the building next door who after every run welcomes me to my block like I was a victorious Olympian, and then I thought of you, all of you. All of you who have cheered, supported, and offered up most wonderful advice. I thought of all the emails and texts I’ve received with words of encouragement and confessions of wanting to get back to doing ‘something’ and feeling inspired by my enthusiasm. I thought of all that good stuff and I choked up, as I’m doing now as I type this. My throat tightened and my lunges seized as the happy tears filled my eyes and gratitude filled my soul. From my dearest friends to strangers on the street you ALL want me to succeed and I thought….. why the HELL do I care about these idiotic strangers on these maddening dating sites? I have so many wonderful people in my life who can make my heart burst with happiness just by the mere thought of them. Red was right, I need to pause the internet man search.  I do not deserve to feel dejected and heartsick because of these mysterious non-existent men, I have to get off the dating sites and just live for a moment. I do feel that if I’m not looking for my datee then the parade will pass me by but the alternative is too destructive, I’m too strong and powerful for this nonsense – I'M A RUNNER!

At mile 5.5 with my new non-dating plan tucked into my silky running shorts I swallowed back my tears and thought WWSD (what would Swason do) well she would say, “G if you die of a happy tears induced asthma attack I will kick you in the face.” BTW -Swason has repeatedly threatened me with this remedy over the years regarding a diverse set of problems and it’s always worked. So I did it, 6.3 miles at my best pace ever and you all were there with me – redemption is MINE!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I ain’t gonna lie – No actually I am

On Friday I was overwhelmed with frustration due to my lack of dating prospects. Last fall my dates were low quality but they were still dates. Being a pragmatic problem solver I compared my 2012 dating profile with my 2013 profile and discovered whamo, I am an idiot, I’m being fully truthful in my posting.
Last year I posted a truthful profile requesting a casual good time with an adventurous man. Sweets jumped on board, I got what I wanted  and it was tons of fun. We both agreed that we didn’t want a serious relationship, just sex and fun, however after 7 months he informed me that he was the only one who wanted the non-committed funtastic dating scheme, I was actually lying to myself because I deserved a serious relationship which unfortunately he couldn’t give me AND even if it was true that I only wanted a good time part time guy and that I was telling the truth when I said I would be cool with him dating other women he couldn’t give me that either because he was so stressed out with “life issues” that he shouldn't date anybody. Ok fly be free Sweets, it was a fun run and even though 3 weeks ago you said we were so amazing together that you didn’t want it to end and that you would work at making time for us to do things, I respect your honesty after an apparent serious self-reflection process.
I watched him walk away and for a moment I felt happy and relieved that he broke up with me to focus on mending his messed up life. That moment of contented sympathy was short lived cause it was all a lie. The truth was while he was dumping my juicy fun time no strings attached ass that comforted him through his miserable winter and spring he was already head over heels courting another woman. Newbee isn’t involved in a non committed fun time casual dating situation, she is participating in a serious exclusive relationship. Is that what he wanted all along? Why didn’t he say anything? I thought we were on the same page? What was with the LYING?! I thought I set up a dating scenario where lying would be obsolete, he was free to do whatever he wanted (just not throw it in my face or take away from my adventure time) yet oddly even with that loosey goosey setup he infused our dating situation with a heap of lies including the night he broke up with me.

Anyways back to internet dating. After the dump (before the lying was exposed) I thought, thank goodness for Sweets, dating him was a wonderful learning experience for now I knew what to ask for when penning a dating profile.  I still wanted fun as per 2012 but I needed to weed out the guys who like Sweets were “unavailable”. So I crafted a truthfully honest posting that stressed how dating was a serious priority in my life and not only did I want a ton of raunchy romping I also wanted outdoor adventures, cozy evenings cooking together, wine tastings, brewery tours, seaside afternoons with BBQ and bonfires, days spent sipping champagne watching polo or sailing, mountains with snow and bright city nights dancing into the wee hours, I wanted shared experiences with a partner who could openly incorporate me into his life so I could shout from the roof tops, “I’M PART OF A RELATIONSHIP!!!” I was not interested in getting married or having children, I just needed a man who could share his time with me because I expected to DO things with him.
 Then I let the truth sit out there, and sit and sit and sit.   I’m into week 6 now and I’ve gotten nothing, not even a glass of wine with a lame ass guy. Last week I received this response from a perspective datee, “I read your profile, you seem cool. How much of it is lies?” Huh, what?Why would I lie in my posting? Who does that? Well according to this guy, EVERYBODY does it, guys, women, everybody. It’s just what you DO. CRAP now you tell me! I know I am not savvy to the whole relationship thing and I’m an eternal optimist but I didn’t know I was SO behind the eight ball. New plan….

Maybe this truth thing is a fools game? Maybe I need a new truth, a truth that is not so truthful if my goal is to date a man in the Metro New York area.

I say FUCK that truth, toss out all that time sharing and 'doing" stuff. Who needs my truth, obviously not the men reading my profile. Fine I will change my truth; I will say one thing and do another to get what I want.  You want kids? You want to be married? Hey so do I!  I’ll make it really easy, strip away everything else and just lay down this truth – Truthfully I need a cocktail and some major canoodling  - full stop.

I can lie to myself and  be perfectly happy having a good time with a charming man who pays attention to me when we are together, makes a date and keeps it, and when we are apart I couldn’t care less what he’s up to, secrets are good. Just ignite my emotions with your passionate words, paw at me hungrily with your meaty hands, kiss me deeply with soft lips, don't drive me crazy with manipulative confusion, and ravish me on your Manhattan rooftop.

Everybody says that I deserve more, FUCK YES I DESERVE MORE but that doesn’t make it true or real. I’ll pack away that goal of doing fun outdoorsy stuff with a date; I can fulfill that goal with my AMC group or friends. I’ll cook my own dinner while I shake my booty to my Salt N Peppa Pandora station in my kitchen and I’ll cuddle my couch cushion -it's not the same as a man and it sucks but it's the real honest truth. 

Unfortunately I’m a combo of realism and impatience, the guy who may be everything for me all the time MAY exist but dang if I know where he is and when he will show up.  In the meanwhile I can’t just sit around and wait; there is FUN to be had. Yes a healthy balanced dinner is what one deserves but if all I have is ice cream then I'm eating it. I'm not going to sit here and starve on principal because the optimal nutritional option is out of my reach.

I'll compartmentalize, hot sexy stuff with part time whomever and "doing" stuff with the social groups. SURE in a perfect truthful world there would be one guy who could fulfill both my dating goals (and take out my air conditioners) but for the past 20+ years that guy still remains a pipedream. I'm up for joining the dark side, enough with this wide-eyed innocent  transparent truth crap,  I'm hopping on the liar train. Every guy who has contributed to my dating/ hook up/ fun time/ history has been a liar and they are all in committed relationships, I don’t know why I’m fighting it.  I’ll lie to myself about what I need and deserve and I’ll lie to my dates as well cause as far as I can see the liars have much more fun and I can’t wait around another 20 years for fun.

I will always remember my conversation with Dr. Head after my first date with Sweets. 

Me: "I think he is lying to me."

Dr. "Why?"

Me: "He tells me all kinds of things that that make me really happy. He's in sales so I feel like he's studying me and saying the things that he should say to catch me."

Dr."So, he says things that make you happy, why would that be a lie? Maybe he just wants to make you happy."

Me:"I don't know, maybe he does mean it?"

Dr: "You will never know for certain. Just enjoy the nice things he says until you don't."

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Dating Should Feel Easy...

…like a monkey driving a speedboat.

WHY is it so difficult? No don’t answer that, I know why it is so difficult because I cannot control the universe or foretell what my future will be and THAT is what eats at my brain. Truly if I knew for a fact that I would be dateless for 1 month, 1 year, 10 years but THEN I would be with an amazing gent who knocked my sox off THEN I could just exhale sit back and let the waves of the world wash over me until the moment that I rein victorious in my endless search. But NO that is not how the world works, there is no pre-set plan, I have to make my own plan and good gosh damn it – I just wanna shake somebody!

Ladle into that barrel of monkeys that you call a head and scoop out and image monkey.

Oh image monkey bring him to me. Use your wise monkey magic that churns beneath your mini fez to reveal the time that I can STOP trolling the internets in search of my guy.

Now let that image monkey drive a speedboat and you…. you water-ski behind it!

Yes, I’m there monkey, drive faster. Tow me to a place where my weary head and heart can find peace and adventure – yes adventure is peaceful when you are a restless soul as me. I CRAVE movement and change and travel and action – and there lies my next problem - it’s the energy. If I was a lame toad on a log I would be very content in a plodding life but I am not SIR!

Side note – I think I want – no – need a grilled cheese. Yes a grilled cheese will fix this and well maybe some sliced tomato. MONKEY?! I’m taking my pants off and lighting the torches.  Bring me the toasted melted cheese sandwich, posthaste!


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Start putting it together...

5 Weeks into internet dating 2013 and it’s dismal. 30 + emails, winks and likes sent = ONE response from a man who after 2 emails declined my offer of a drink because I am a self-proclaimed happy morning person and he is not. Ok good to know your limits dude. I’ve accepted 3 dates, all of which have not come to fruition. The first date I canceled was for a cup of coffee (really men, coffee?) after the best cafĂ© the guy could choose was the Grand Central Terminal Starbucks and he texted me an unsolicited naked bathroom mirror shot – good to know MY limits. The second date I canceled was due to an unsolicited phone call two days prior to drinks date when the guy lectured me for 15 min. about all the things HE loves to do that I will love to do with him because he just TOLD me that I love to do those things – things like attending an all night movie marathon followed by eating chicken and waffles at 1am then staying in bed for a day to sleep it off - and no. The last date I accepted was ummmm…. ignored. HEY I know this trick, invite me out then when I accept disappear and forget that you invited me, wow that sounds like my last relationship – FUN!

The thing that is killing me is that I am at the best place in my life, I’m happy and healthy and so energized to do stuff and I cannot for the life of me find a man who wants to DO anything with me,  it’s driving me bonkers. I’m not shy or introverted, I dress well, my hair ROCKS, My curves are kicking (and these new adventure legs are HOT), I smell good and I have a TON of interesting stories/ hobbies/ interests and guys really like me … once I get out in front of them, and there is my problem, there are NO men in my world for me to WOW. So new plan….

A vision's just a vision
If it's only in your head.
If no one gets to see it,
It's as good as dead.
It has to come to light!

I’m joining groups, groups that DO stuff, mostly outdoorsy hiking camping groups cause I like to that AND guys like to do that so that will get me some face time with at least ONE man (I hope) and then that guy may know a guy and so on and so on and so on.

Bit by bit,
Putting it together...
Piece by Piece

The Tuesday after Labor Day I signed up for MeetUp.com – never heard of it but it seems like it could work. I chose about a half dozen NYC meet up groups that do stuff from Stand Up Paddle boarding to portable bicycling (bicycles supplied) to hiking and just hanging out at beer gardens… yumm beer. Also on Tuesday I signed up for my FIRST  10K! With Swason on board to be my jogging mate (as long as her little sister doesn’t go into labor 1 day early) I’m sure it will be an early morning filled with celebration and tears of joy.

Every moment makes a contribution,
Every little detail plays a part.
Having just a vision's no solution,
Everything depends on execution:
Putting it together- That's what counts!

By Wednesday I was attending an open house for The AppalachianMountain Club (AMC) where I was so enthused by the prospect of DOING things I plunked down my Visa card and signed on the line. I am now a card carrying member of the AMC and will attend my first event the weekend after my 10K. Of course now that I’m an official member of a mountain club I need stuff, like boots and socks so  - ORDER IN! However as my first foray into the AMC world I thought I should go with something I know so I signed up for the Fire Island English Pub Weekend at the AMC beach house, duh beer, sand and ocean … no brainer. Fingers crossed I won’t be dorming with a bunch of gray haired hippies and even if I am maybe they have a single corporate money making “black sheep” son/ nephew/ x-husband whom they wanna pawn off on me.

Having just a vision's no solution,
Everything depends on execution.
The art of making LIFE
Is putting it together
Bit by bit...