I remember my first ever official jogging experience. I was living in Jaffrey the dead end of Parent St. I was a wee little cashew of a girl, perhaps 10 years old, my mom was inside doing the dishes and likely preparing some out-of-this-world eggplant stromboli or beef chicken turkey gizzard casserole with broccoli and her famous Southern-style, Northern macaroni-and-cheese to accompany it, when she heard the shriek only a little girl who has just had a spill on a great deal of sand and pavement can muster. My brothers and I were having a race, which I believe turned into some form of a chase, where I was to be eventually sat on and squished if I didn’t outrun them. I WIPED OUT skidding as I tried to turn on that type of dirt that sits on top of the road and the street sweeper does not clean because you don’t live in a city. Never to be one left alone and outside to cry, I limped my way indoors and showed the war wound to my mom who gave me some ice and said she thought it would be fine. Days later, with my ankle finally swelling to the size of my head, she brought me to the doctor who proclaimed a fracture, made me prove to her I could still walk and do jumping jacks on it and then sent me on my way.
Despite the occasional injury, to both my ego and my ankles, I have always loved a good marathon or two. Even more than the actual jog, I like the analogies and lessons I gleam upon the way. Runners and other athletes should be some of the most enlightened people on this planet, the way the brain races with each pounding step…although, I think the neurosis that accompanies the sports might cancel out the brilliant ideas acquired while engaging in it.
So, as you are correctly coming to the conclusion of, I went for a run today. I like running here, it’s refreshing. I ran up this huge mountain that I feel like was put there to teach me a lesson. Usually, I like to have either 1) a destination or 2) a nice big loop to run… today, and here in these French Swiss hills, I have neither. I just ran until my pitiful, un-mountain-goat-like-lungs could not take it anymore and then I turned around. Don’t we find it so much easier when we know HOW FAR we have to run, or when we know WHERE we are going, or when we know WE WILL EVENTUALLY GET BACK TO THE SAME PLACE. Even if that same place isn’t somewhere ideal, when we tell ourselves exactly what we’re in for, or when we can scurry back to the familiar, it somehow makes it all the more bearable. No surprises.
I am just like the next Franklin Covey daytimer addict who loves to plan and make sure I am equipped for every step, but what about the times when life requires you just GO –somewhere where the path is totally uncertain, where our bodies or minds are left in a complete unsure flux, having to alter and shift constantly. In those moments, has anything really changed besides us KNOWING? Has the constant of reality’s progression been altered in anyway? Aren’t we still huffing our way up the same sorts of hills just without all the foresight we would hope for? Without the certainty that there are no hills in our final destination?
_______________ (universal symbol for “fill in the blank”) has taught me how to let parts of myself go, it’s revealed to me parts of myself I did not know existed, and reminds me how needs and circumstances constantly change, requiring personal shifts if we wish to keep up and be simultaneously, kept up.
When you realize that whatever your stride is that is getting you there, whenever you decide it’s non-couch potato time and time to work on that 5K, () it’s exactly the pace you need to go at exactly the moment you need to be executing it. In finding this, you win the race.
— Emily —
Ode to the Broccoli:
“The salad is delicious but it’s a bit overkill with the broccoli.” Anonymous quote. Let’s face it folks, cruciferous vegetables get their moments of debut. They get to be main dishes, in stir fries, pastas, soups, entire side dishes, barbie que mayonaise buddies, and even accompaniments for a plethora of dips…..I guess this means they have no place in our garden salads. I shall think twice about adorning a salad with a cruciferous plant. I knew I shouldn’t pity broccoli, it knows it’s good for all of us; I just wanted it to get some appreciation.