Funny thing…

So I’ve been having this pain in my right calf. I know its just really tight knotting in my muscles, but I haven’t been able to stretch it out. I went to Lucy’s this morning so she could work on it. When I got there I told her that I realized that my leg had been feeling much, much better today – which was surprising since I had run about 50 minutes with her yesterday. I fully expected it to be tight and achy. But when I woke up and got out of bed I hopped up on it with no pain at all – something not ‘normal’ since it had been bugging me all week. As I was sharing this with Lucy this morning, I had a realization. I realized that yesterday afternoon I had been at Brookstone at Barton Creek Shopping Center. We had lunch there and then drove my Dad to the airport. After lunch, we had a few minutes to kill and wandered through the mall. During our strolling we came to the Brookstone store and I saw the ‘OSIMÆ iSqueezÆ Calf and Foot Massager’ in the front of the store. I took my shoes off and gave it a try. It felt GREAT! I sat there for about ten minutes and let it roll over the bottom of my feet and up and down the sides of my calves. It was quite enjoyable. I completely attribute this to the relaxation of the muscles in my calves this morning and the reason my right calf felt pain free when I woke up. I think that Lucy was able to get the deep tissue that the iSqueez didn’t get yesterday and am hoping I’m on my way to a fully recovery. And I DEFINITELY know what I want for Christmas. This thing was AWESOME! Of course, it wasn’t as good as Lucy’s massage – and not as painful either ;-) But I know that when it comes to working out those aches – no pain, no gain.

I'm inclined to agree that the 'magic is over'

I’m kind of wondering how the US will handle the current list of crises that seem to be plaguing it right now – mortgage crisis, recession, sliding dollar, seemingly never ending war, a massive division in the country, blatant lack of morality and ethics, increasing complacency etc… The measure of society isn’t necessarily how it handles things when things are going well, but how it handles itself during difficult times. Oh happy day.

Totally hooked!

No – not Spitzer. This afternoon we went to ‘Main Event’ and I went rock climbing with ‘I’. Wow – it was awesome! I had been before, but always with some hesitation. I climbed up the first beginner’s wall and didn’t get to the top because I was afraid of the height of the wall. Determined not to be defeated by a beginner’s rock wall, I picked another and started up again. This time I made it to the top and rang the bell. I had difficulty with the concept of letting go and trusting that I would gently and gracefully be lowered by the tethered line so I slowly climbed my way down. A few more beginner walls and I was able to climb up to the top, ring the bell AND trust that I could let go and would be gently lowered. Once all three things fit into place I felt like I felt fearless. Okay – not entirely fearless, but I knew that I had made a step toward reducing my fear of heights – or at least rock walls. After climbing all the beginner walls, I decided to try an intermediate wall or two. I discovered that they were definitely more difficult – but I managed to make my way up two of them. One of them had shallower hand grabs (whatever they are actually called…) and I found that you had to have very strong fingers to make it up. Also, it required a lot of ‘pushing off’ with your feet and just using the rocks as balance. Its a pretty cool sport though I think my body will be feeling some pain from the muscles being used that I haven’t really used before. I’d definitely like to go back and try it again!

Good grief!

Has it been over a week since I’ve posted anything? Holy Cow. Well, the reader’s digest version is that the running has been crappy since my right calf/shin has been messed up. It started a few days before the New Orleans Mardi Gras Marathon – well, 1/2 marathon since I pulled off early – and has persisted. Its kinda the same as what had been happening to my left calf in December. So I kind of backed off running to let it heal up. I can, quite literally, count the number of runs I’ve done since the MGM on one hand. Two the week after (at a whopping 20 mins for one and 30 mins for another) and two last week (again – a whopping 35 mins for one and 48 mins on Friday). I didn’t run on Saturday because ‘E’ was baptized and that presented itself with a bunch of busyness. All good – but busy day. We hosted an open house at our home after the event at the Church and had about 20-30 people over – about 1/3 of them under the age of 10. I pulled the trigger on renting a space walk the day before and was glad I did because it was a beautiful day and it kept the kids outside. ‘E’ was kind of bummed when I suggested he jump some more after everyone left because they would be picking it up soon. He had thought it was his and would permanently reside in front of our house. Talk about letting your kids down easy. I am, however, happy to report that I managed to refrain from getting inside and jumping in spite of the champagne. I learned my lesson the hard way a few years ago. That afternoon I had a nap and woke up feeling worse than when I laid down. I thought it was the two glasses of champagne I drank (woo-hoo – big partier!). But then I realized I felt kind of sore and really, really heavy and tired. The big clue for me that I was getting sick was the fact that I just couldn’t get warm. On Sunday morning, I woke up to drive my sister to the airport. She needed to be there at 6:30 am. Fun. I came home and crawled back into bed. I took my temperature before getting back into bed and it was 99.6 – not too high, but enough to warrant taking it easy. Throughout the day yesterday it ranged somewhere around 101. Needless to say I stayed in bed. My Dad (natural father) is in town (he, my step-Dad, and my sister all came to town for the Christening which meant A LOT to me) and is staying through Thursday. Since he had the joyous time of hanging out at home with me in bed sick all day, G and the kids – all of whom were restless, I felt compelled to get out today in spite of not feeling 100%. We had a really fun day today. We had a nice lunch at a little Italian Bistro, followed by a walking tour of the Capital Building (self-guided and self-paced in consideration of the 5 year old and 7 year old attention spans), and then topped off by a 3D Imax movie called ‘Sea Monsters’. It was a wonderful movie done about the great Sea Monsters of the dinosaur age – particularly those that lived in the sea that divided eastern and western North America. The graphics were fantastic and the music was awesome – it was by Peter Gabriel. ‘E’ noted afterward that he managed to escape being eaten by several sea monsters – phew! I’m hoping to be well enough to start back to a ‘normal’ running routine tomorrow and go for a 30 min run and then maybe an even more ‘normal’ longer run on Wednesday. All in all – all is well.

'The way I am'

I heard this song by Ingrid Michaelson before – but it really caught me this week: ** The Way I Am If you were falling, then I would catch you. You need a light, I’d find a match. Cuz I love the way you say good morning. And you take me the way I am. If you are chilly, here take my sweater. Your head is aching, I’ll make it better. Cuz I love the way you call me baby. And you take me the way I am. I’d buy you Rogaine if you start losing all your hair. Sew on patches to all you tear. Cuz I love you more than I could ever promise. And you take me the way I am. You take me the way I am. You take me the way I am. ** It has given me thought about those in my life – those that I love and those that love me. Those that I have loved in the past and those that have loved me in the past. What I realize is that its such a simple song with such simple lyrics that say so much. There have been times when I haven’t loved people the way they are. I have witnessed and have been involved in many relationships where one or the other doesn’t ‘take me the way I am’. How many times have we said ‘Oh, if they could just be like this? It would be perfect then.’? That seems to be a common theme in relationships whether they are friendships, marriages, siblings etc… I have watched friends and family members immesh themselves in their siblings relationships to the point of being downright vitriolic toward the other person in the relationship. I have also been the target of this kind of behaviour by friends and family so I know how it feels to be ‘the bad guy’. Are we really able to ‘take me the way I am’? Its a very difficult thing. Especially since ‘the way I am’ often changes throughout life as we grow and experience different experiences. We are shaped so much by the things that take place in our life so we may be one way one day and another the next. I am trying very hard to be conscious of taking everyone for the way they are – and I mean everyone! Part of this has been realizing that everyone who we come into contact with us has a gift to offer. The gifts vary from person to person – but I have been trying very hard to look at every person I come into contact with and understand what that gift is and why it is significant. The way I have been doing this is by engaging everyone with whom I come into contact with some sort of connection – either a simple ‘Hello. How is your day going?’ or a smile. This has resulted in some fascinating results. Perhaps the most fascinating was the realization that I had of how incredibly interconnected we are in our lives. We think the world is so big with so many people, but it can be incredibly small. Recently I was shopping at Whole Foods downtown here in Austin. I was checking out and started a conversation with the people at the check out. This is a VERY large part of why I like to shop there. You can engage with the people who work there. That doesn’t happen to me when I shop at places like Randalls. In any event, the cashier at Whole Foods and I started discussing their new reusable bags. He had noted that I had the original version from when they came out about a year ago. I was telling him how much I liked them for traveling and that I had the opportunity to use them at our grocery store we frequent on our summer trips to Canada. We got to talking about where I was from in Canada. I told him I had been raised in Winnipeg. He looked at me and said that his Dad was from Winnipeg. I asked where they grew up and he said he couldn’t remember but that his Grandfather had worked at the Caterpillar dealership in Winnipeg. I nearly stopped dead in my tracks as that was my Dad’s family business for almost 100 years and he just sold the business a few years ago. The cashier and I nearly pooped our respective pants at the coincidence. It was absolutely amazing. I’m not sure what this has to do with ‘taking me the way I am’, but it came from my experiences in engaging everyone with whom I come across. I have always been like this, but this is a much more conscious thing for me these days. What I have discovered in this exercise is that even the most sour of faces can offer the most loving and caring and pleasant experience if we simply try.