Monthly Archives: February 2014

YOU RUNNIN?

Over the past five(ish) years, I’ve gotten into a pretty complicated relationship.

No, not with Dan. That relationship is great and fine!

I’m talking about my relationship with running.

A few years ago, Running and I were, like, inseparable. Things got pretty serious when I did a half-marathon in February of 2011, but they tapered off when I tore my ACL later that year and then (while in recovery) got pregnant. (Hey, at least I was getting SOME exercise! HEYOOO. Sorry, Mom.)

I never thought Running would ever come back to me. I thought that, once my ACL was torn and that my kid was born, taking away every tiny ounce of energy I have in me, Running was “just someone that I used to know.”

But turns out Running is pretty forgiving and we’ve been seeing each other again lately. And I gotta say, it’s almost like things never changed.

(Well, except that my right knee kind of pops every other stride now but HEY it still works, so…)

Anytime I pass another runner on one of my runs, I always think the same thing:

“WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO ON YOUR iPOD?! IS IT MUSIC? AN AUDIOBOOK? A THIS AMERICAN LIFE PODCAST?!?!?!”

Running is, like 99% mental, 1% physical, so a killer running playlist is essential. You can’t just put your iPod on shuffle and just hope for the best because you know the second you do that, your iPod will retaliate by ONLY playing every slow, boring ballad in your library and you’ll give up and go home and check on Kathie Lee and Hoda.

Seriously it takes everything in me to not stop other runners and demand they tell me what’s on their running playlist because IT’S THAT IMPORTANT.

So, in the event that you think that about me, let me erase all inquiry:

SONGS LINDSAY RUNS TO:

  1. “Rise Up” – David Crowder Band. There is no better, GET UP AND KICK BUTT song than this one.
  2. “Rumour Has It” – Adele. Makes me want to run to my most recent ex’s house and punch him square in the jaw.
  3. “Miss Murder” – AFI. Because angst.
  4. “Dance Inside” – All American Rejects. Perfect lyrics for the point in your run where you are starting to feel like garbage. “I’ll be fine/I’ll be fine/Is this fine?/I’m not fine!”
  5. “Say This Sooner” – The Almost. Skank-tastic!
  6. “What The Hell” – Avril Lavigne. CONFESSION: I could just put this one song on repeat and it would be enough to get me to run/dance anywhere. It’s infectious.
  7. “Lonely Boy” – The Black Keys. I mean? Duh.
  8. “Lazy Sunday” – Chris Parnell & Andy Samberg. For two reasons: it’s hilarious, and they rap about cupcakes, which I don’t feel guilty craving once I’m finished running.
  9. “So Serious” – Electric Light Orchestra. I picked this song for no other reason than it reminds me of my husband who is, hands down, the funniest person on the planet to me and I just can’t help but smile when I hear it.
  10. “Robots” – Flight of the Conchords. Ditto to the above.
  11. “Shelter” – Jars of Clay. A favorite that will never get old, perfect for a cool down.

What’s on your running playlist? Please just comment and tell me so I don’t have to maul you the next time I see you out for a jog.

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some stuff i wrote.

Last weekend, a good friend of mine let me know that there was a free writing workshop being offered by an author who was in town to speak at a church. As you can tell from my dusty blog (hello cobwebs) my spirit hasn’t exactly been… um… pleasant enough for blogging…

Oh well — if you can’t be honest on the Internet, where can you? 

I’ve been in a major life funk lately.

There I said it.

And I hate blogging when I’m in a funk because it makes me re-feel all my funky feelings and, because I write on the Internet, it subjects all of you lovely people to my funk, too.

It must have been providential, then, that this workshop was titled, Open-heart Writing; like open-heart surgery, it is painful but life-saving.

The author gave us three prompts (one at a time) and gave us ten minutes to jot something down (on PAPER! with PENS!) And, despite the time crunch and my inability to edit, I kinda liked the things I wrote. So I’m gonna share them with you, the Internet, in lieu of a funky-feely blog post.

Cool? Cool.

PROMPT 1: Describe the room.

The room is golden, both in color and in ambiance. It doesn’t sparkle though, fighting a looming tarnish. The windows pour in a summery stream of mid-February, south Florida morning, as I sit between a Diane and a woman whose name will always be to me, Also Talks WIth Her Hands.

Laura sits at the head of our mango-colored table, adorned with silver rings on her fingers and around her neck, and her crooked smile and quiet voice reminds me of Erica.

PROMPT 2: The most important room in my life. 

Converted

Walking along the maroon, cracked tiles, the soles of my shoes always stuck a little bit, presumably because there was residual barbecue sauce forever festering in the pores of the tiles. The smell has gone, but the look of the interior of Mickey Andrews’ Barbecue Joint (was that its name?) would always linger in the church corporate gathering area.

It was in this dark, awkwardly arranged ex-restaurant where I was reintroduced to a guy named Jesus Christ who, contrary to everything I’d ever been taught as a small, loud-mouthed girl, loved me so very much just the way I am.

Being a converted barbecue restaurant, the dining tables exchanged for handmade wooden cafe tables and broken stadium seats, it doesn’t really look like a church. Maybe that’s why I loved it so much.

There were no stained glass windows, only dingy double panes dressed in cheap, plastic blinds. There weren’t any bad, last supper themed murals. Instead there was a thick coat of dark red matte and framed artwork by members of the community. Instead of a chancel with an organ and handbells, there was a rickety, slapped-together collapsible stage precariously cradling a drum set and a few acoustic and electric guitars, as well as a homemade stool for the pastor to teach from.

PROMPT 3: Tell the story in this photo. 

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The hot, sticky air disguised itself as that of mid to late May, but the calendar, turned to the twelfth month, called its bluff. Comforted by the shelter of a banyan canopy, sweating in long sleeves, you and I struggled to keep up with a smaller, more wild version of ourselves, who had just learned how to walk.

Stifled by both the south Florida winter’s heat and the reality that a toddler and a clock ticking seconds closer to nap time were a volatile combination, our appearance was remarkably pleasant. The perfect little trio, an enviable Christmas card, telling terrible lies to all its recipients.

“Things are beautiful and perfect here! We love our life! Cheese!” was what we said on the sandy path, our unruly boy trapped in the binding and protective embrace of a tired and frustrated father. Deep in our eyes, though, the truth was louder.

Sadness, loneliness, and betrayal leaked out of us onto the card as the cruel sun climbed higher behind the defenseless branches. But we are here, alive and robust in perspiration, together in a beautiful and clumsy dance of survival.

Like the Spanish moss to the stretching limbs, we are committed to growing and stretching upward, downward, and in spirals.

The end.

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