“Learn to light a candle in the darkest moments of someone’s life. Be the light that helps others see; it is what gives life its deepest significance.” – Roy T. Bennet

Fast Girl (Book Review)

Things I’ve learned from Suzy Favor Hamilton’s story:

1. Nothing is ever completely anonymous. (Of course, she thought she could get away with being a high-priced call girl after having competed in the Olympics three times. That is the complete opposite of anonymity.)

2. When you’re used to winning, it can be devastating to know you’re losing. (Hence her faking her fall at the 2000 Summer Olympics.)

3. Once your name is out there, everything you do is under intense scrutiny. You have to remain the person that was first introduced to the public. If you start changing, their opinion of you changes, and oftentimes for the worse.

Look her up if you’re interested in her story. I found it extremely fascinating, especially since I had no idea what was in the book that I had found at the library.

 

Music

i feel limited by the

instruments i try to play

their sounds are not what i wish to hear

my hands do not itch for frets or keys

they wish to be empty, with ease

so that i can dance

i only want to dance

and sing and not worry about

finger placements

musicians, brothers and friends, make me feel

less

as though my singing alone accounts for

nothing

always making comments about

female musicians – as though it is rare

for a woman to be talented

and so i feel less of a woman for not

desiring to be so

i just want to dance with words

be free in movement, in voice

experiment with falsetto and harmony

explore the reaches of the human instrument

-for this makes me live-

but i do not feel alive

when i am obligated to strive

with wood and metal

such pretty objects

but they hold no fire for me.

Every week, I am met at some point in time with the question/statement, “You’re eating enough, right?”

My answer? I can never eat enough. I am a breastfeeding, ultra-running, metabolism-of-a-teenager mom and I am ALWAYS HUNGRY. I wake up and eat right away and I go to sleep dreaming of what I will eat tomorrow. When I run, I think of food. When I relax, I think of food. When I eat, I think of food. I get seconds, thirds, sometimes fourths. Free samples are the first thing I beeline to when I walk into Costco or Trader Joe’s. Yes, I barely weigh 100 pounds at times but I am trying my best and, man, you don’t even know how hard it is for me to gain weight.

But that doesn’t mean I am going to give up running or even decrease my mileage. Just please, please, please stop questioning my health because I hear it all the time from everyone I know and your overwhelming concern is becoming overbearing. Did you know that I can eat half a bag of Costco trail mix in one setting? Can you? Stop talking to me about my weight because if I said anything about yours, the world would be in an uproar.

Please.

And thank you.

Awkward Moment #199

Pushing a stroller around town nearly every day is not something most people do. I run with it, walk with it, get groceries with it. My child rides front seat and I have to stop and go on his whims.

Anyway, today after an eight-mile run we had to get some bread. I stopped at my old place of work, Great Harvest Bread Co., to retrieve some sourdough. Now, pushing around a stroller has made me creative at opening doors. When heading out, I use my behind to push the door open and hold it open as I swing the stroller around to face it forward again. Sometimes a person jumps to hold to hold it open for me, but, honestly, I’m normally fine on my own.

So this little old man thought he would help me out today. I was already halfway through the door and he was on the other side of it. He asked which direction I was headed – left or right. I told him left and went to continue out. Then, for some odd reason, he went behind the door and because I was holding it open to get out, he ended up squishing his head between the open door and the wall behind it! I immediately removed pressure off the door and apologized, albeit a little confused. He stood there looking a little befuddled, and didn’t say anything, so I said sorry again and walked away quickly. I nearly laughed. but felt that would be rude since he was only trying to help. I honestly have no idea what he was trying accomplish by going behind the door that I was opening, though.

Sometimes pushing a stroller around town has its awkward moments.

These last two days I have been taking Ezekiel to try out new things and documenting it. He won’t ever remember, but he enjoyed them all just the same.

Day 1:

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To start things off, we went to Barnes & Noble. We walked the two miles to get there in the somewhat cooler morning before the heat hit us. His favourite thing to carry around with him is his hairbrush, which may seem rather odd, but when a baby is teething they will chew on anything.

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The wall in Barnes & Noble has a little mural on it. He kept trying to pick off the little black painted spots, confused as to why they wouldn’t come off in his hand. I attempted to read a book to him but since he wouldn’t stop trying to eat it, I gave up and put it back before I was forced to purchase it.

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We walked the two miles back home and rang up his grandma to see if she desired a hike. Off to the Forest Park trails we went, right at the hottest time of day. I lathered Ezekiel in sunscreen since he is an extremely ivory child.

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He didn’t (and doesn’t) understand the idea of a selfie, hence the look of confusion on his face. Also, it turned out that during the two-hour trek up and down and up and down the mountains, he had been carrying a load the entire time. Perhaps that is what this look is about, him having an uncomfortable warmth in his pants while he was already uncomfortably warm in the sun. The last mile was somewhat of a jog, and then I eventually had to bare all to potential hikers when he decided he was too hungry to wait until the end. Have you ever tried a brisk, midday hike with a baby latched to your chest? I have now.

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He seemed a little tired and frazzled when we went to a goodbye party for a friend. This is his grandpa (and my dad). Ezekiel found a piece of onion on the ground and did not enjoy it as much as he thought he might. To end the first day of documentation, I had to work at an obscurely late hour and came home to my baby fast asleep in his crib. His dad did well.

Day 2:

Since we had journeyed nearly eight miles the day before, we decided (I decided) to continue on our streak of keeping away from the apartment as long as possible.

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We went to KidTime, a hands-on children’s museum half a mile from where we live. Although Ezekiel is little, he enjoyed climbing up every stair and incline he could find. Someday, he will be an ultrarunner. I know it.

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(Cue the blurry photo of an active child.)

He kept trying to carry on a conversation with the other baby in the mirror. Right now he also likes to grab hands, and was slightly frustrated when he couldn’t hold hands with the baby. We spent an hour at the children’s museum and then joined a group run for a six-mile jaunt on the greenway.

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After the run, I still didn’t feel like heading home, so we took a detour to the library. Ezekiel was stealing toys from the other kids and attempting to eat books, so we didn’t meander there too long. I began to feel a little peckish, so I grabbed a sandwich while Ezekiel nursed. He wore himself out with all his thieving.

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(A baby with his bounty.)

Finally, as the heat steadily rose, we made our way back home. He is, at the moment, appreciating the luxury of a good, long nap after a nice, cool bath. On a side note, tomorrow I am running approximately twenty miles out of pure enjoyment. I hope I don’t get lost.

Fever

Apparently

When a baby is sick

All he wants to do is stick

More milk inside his stomach

And all throughout the night and day

His tired mother has to wait and pay for

The fever and germs that contaminate

Because the tired child cries often

(Though sometimes he softens

Just enough for a cuddle)

All I can hope for is

A lack of fever

Tomorrow

I Try

I try to be the best

Smartest, fastest, most well-rounded

Hey, look at me, I smile

Cook, clean, check the details

I am a mom and need to be strong

Perhaps a little too much

Because this wasn’t quite

What I wanted or imagined

But it’s life.

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