Tuesday, January 24, 2012

All the Places I Would Run

I didn’t discover the true secret to happiness until I was thirty-years-old so I have a whole list of places where I wish I had run. Of moments in my life when I wish I had had the emotional maturity to make running a part of my everyday.

If only I had known how calm and confident running can make you.

1) Towson High School

Instead of staying up late talking on the phone or sneaking cigs before school started I could’ve, should’ve been running! God, I would have been beautiful! So young, so skinny! So tan! Instead I was an art-house goon: pale, red-eyed and brooding all the damn day.

2) In college in the beautiful Hudson Valley. Instead of drinking 40’s and arguing over Marxist theory, I could’ve been running the trails. My mind would have been sharper for studying, my poems however might have suffered a bit.

3) Those first lonely months in Madrid, when I discovered slowly and then ever so quickly what it means to be a woman in this world. Instead of feeling my lip quiver as a man named Jesus taught me how to dance, I could have been exploring the Retiro park. I could have gotten strong instead of skinny. But then again, I may never have read so much Bashevis Singer and Cormac McCarthy all alone in the subway if I’d been running…

4) Granada. Ah, the hills, I walked them back in September 2004, but how I’d like to have run them. In that crisp morning air you get from the Sierra Nevada just before the sun comes up. And I would have enjoyed all the food I ate so much more.

5) Philadelphia. That hot summer of 1999 when I was broke and broken hearted. Sure I got strong from selling cokes at Veterans Stadium and riding my bike all over town, but god if I had started running that summer I would have been on top of the world.

As you can see, I’m back to believing that running keeps me steady. This past fall I was afraid to admit that because my hip hurt and I thought that happiness might just slip away but after this weekend’s post-injury PR in a 10-k I’m feeling like I’ve kept a hold of running, clenched it just tight enough.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Goals 2012

Short & Sweet

1. Get back down to 53 kilograms / 116.8 pounds and stay there!

2. Publish a story from Other People’s Daughters.

Of course there are a lot of other things I hope to do (get more sleep, be a better daughter wife and sister, travel, swim once a week, run a marathon, host some great dinner parties), but for now I’m just betting on these two goals which are at once simple and seemingly impossible.

2011 Highlights

There were many, but here are a few.

1. January: Starting my new job as a political advisor and getting a half-marathon PR

2. February: Sitting in a packed house while my boss delivered the first BIG speech I’d written

3. March: Enjoying a wonderful, if all too-short, visit from my mom

4. April: Celebrating my birthday in Horta with lots of tapas and wine and a very funny, diverse group of friends

5. May: Discovering our terrace in full bloom and doing a 15-mile hike to Cabrera

6. June: “Working” in Venice

7. July: Running (lots) from the mountain to the sea with my dad in BCN

8. August: Having seven days in paradise, with my family in The Outer Banks

9. September: Running the Sabadell half even though I was exhausted and it was hot and hilly

10. October: Dealing, calmly, with injury

11. November: Finding Pilates

12. December: Celebrating Christmas in Baltimore with all the family and meeting Ruby, pictured above.