SWEET MARTHA VS. DOG

                       

‘The Georgetown Run Club and Intellectual Society’ Undergoes a Name Change

The Georgetown Run Club and Intellectual Society is undergoing another name change. It was only a few years ago that we decided to add “and Intellectual Society” to the end; since we are all so smart and eclectic and talk about super amazing things. Now we are changing again.

It was Martha’s idea. Martha has been in The Georgetown #Run Club and Intellectual Society for about 2 years now. But before she was part of the club, she was my #biking partner. Martha is like a mother figure to me, though my mother would have been 67 this year and Martha is in her young fifties. She is the happiest person I’ve ever met. You know the type, always smiling, even when she feels like crying. She is a #hero to me and to countless other pavilion goers that see her busting her butt on the elliptical and in the pool every week.

Martha taught me to ride a bike. Well, she taught me to ride a ‘road’ bike. She took me from a shy, brake-squeezing peddler to a confident cruiser in the span of a year. We ride twice a week in the wee hours of the morning, just her and I. We talk about life and vent all our concerns, after a couple hours we always part ways feeling a heck of a lot better for the time we spent together.

Martha joined the run club as a #newbie #runner. She struggled with issues on and off. She was almost ready to do a half marathon when her first injury occurred: she fractured her foot falling off a step. Once she recovered from that she was doing alright until her dog took her for a walk one day and ruined her shoulder. She recovered from that surgery like a champ. Somewhere along the way though, while getting back into running, she began to have issues with her heals. Every time she ran, she wouldn’t be able to walk the next day.

Now Martha loves the Run Club, but she didn’t feel right showing up and not being able to run. She felt like she wasn’t part of the club anymore. On a ride this weekend she made a request: “Can we rename the run club?” What a great idea! The Georgetown Run and Walk Club and #Intellectual Society, it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue but that’s okay. We have a lot of people in our club who walk, why not recognize them!

Well, this Monday Martha and I went out for our usual ride. It was wonderful. Martha always mentions how lucky she is to be able to ride bike and enjoy the beautiful mornings in northern Scott County. But this Monday, was different. After parting ways, Martha headed home on her bike to her house and so did I. I made it home, but poor Martha…she didn’t.

About 4 miles from her house she was charged by a dog. The dog hit her front wheel and sent her flying. She landed hard on the ground, breaking her pelvis. Her husband called me from the hospital explaining what happened. I was dumbfounded. She was so strong and happy just an hour before, now she was in the hospital unable to move, she’d have to use a walker and wouldn’t be back to herself for three long months.

I knew this would be hard for Martha; she is one of those people that multitasks and is always moving. She is either biking or #swimming or working in the #garden, caring for her parents, playing her #piano, canning tomatoes; always something.

It didn’t surprise me when I got a text from her husband. He was with her at the hospital and I was sitting at home preparing an email to go out to the run club. I was going to tell everyone about Martha and arrange for all of us to go visit her at the hospital on Tuesday night. The Text simply read: Martha wants to know if we can change the name of the run club again. She wants it to be called: The Georgetown Run and ‘Walker’ Club and Intellectual Society.

No Problem Martha, you just get better soon.

BTW: #Dog owners are responsible for injury caused by their dog whether it be from a bike or an accident caused by them. The ower of the dog that caused this accident had been spoken to many times about her dog and it chasing bikers. The owner blew-off the complaints, telling us that the dog was harmless. That owner (and her homeowners insurance) is now responsible for Martha’s bills and most likely a settlement. Martha spent over a week in the hospital and will have 3 months of rehap.

 

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Back by Popular Demand: Another Possum Story!

Back by Popular Demand: Another Possum Story!.

Why I Run

ImageWhy I Run

Occasionally I am asked why I run.  I have been accused of being a little obsessive about it.  The answer is simple: to make me appreciate walking.

In a sentence; running makes my life more intense.  While many people seek a numbness, to block out the routine of life, I run to make it more meaningful.

The slightly uncomfortable feeling of running just a little faster than your body would like to, makes the act of walking seem a little more heavenly.  And the sense of accomplishment lingers long after the run has stopped.  So as silly as it sounds, running makes you appreciate walking. 

It also makes you appreciate bathing.  There is nothing like a shower after a long run.  There are no routine showers in a runner’s life.  We don’t jump in and rinse off in order to wake up.  We actually need a shower.  We are sticky and stinky and either very hot or very cold.  Stepping into a hot shower after a 20 degree winter run feels like a welcome hug from a long dead parent.  And stepping into a cool shower after a 90 degree summer run feels like putting out a breathless fire.  It’s intense.  It’s real.  It’s a good thing.

If you have ever been pregnant (and I guess I am just talking to the ladies right now), than you probably remember how good food tasted when you were seven months along.   It was probably your body telling you to eat because you really needed the calories while making a human life.  Well when you run, food tastes really good (as do certain ales).  When you go out and burn 600 calories, your body needs fuel to repair the micro-tears in your muscles and replace lost calories.  Eating is intense, it is deserved, it’s is a good thing.

And while many people suffer from insomnia, are plagued by sleepless nights and painful days because of it, runners tend to sleep hard and well.  When I finally lay my body down on my bed at night I never fail to sigh out loud and pronounce my bed ‘the most comfortable bed in the world’.   And then five minutes later I am sound asleep in heavenly bliss.  I seldom ever lay awake and if I do it is only long enough for me to convince myself that we can discuss the persistent issue on the run in the morning.

While I once needed therapy… probably… a long time ago…, I don’t any more.   As a matter of fact, I used to suffer from seasonal depression.  Since I began running I have never felt better.  I begin my day with an hour to myself where I focus on all of the pressing issues in my life.  I organize my grocery list, my finances, and my future.  I plan the kids’ school day, I bounce problems around until solved and I return with all the answers.  There is something about the blood flow to your brain that makes thinking clearer and answers more attainable.  Who needs therapy when I have running (and a run clubJ)?

Of course it’s not just running that does all these good things for me.  Running has to share credit with biking, swimming, yoga and hiking.  I would include my occasional weight workout but I haven’t learned to appreciate it yet.  All it seems to do is make the other things more painful the next day. 

As Lexington gets the label of being the laziest city in the country, I challenge Scott County to become more active.  I encourage you to talk to your legislators, tell them you want more trails where you and your family can walk and run and bike safely.   And until it actually happens let’s all get out and move.  Go ahead and get uncomfortable because after all, it will help you appreciate the rest of your life.

 

 

 

My New Normal

My New Normal

We have all seen them. You know, the mechanic with permanently stained arms, black grease under his fingernails, grease smears on his face. He is not ashamed of himself, this is his normal.

The same goes for the horse professional. She has a little poop on her boots, a slight scent of ammonia from the stall she cleaned this morning. She has horse hair on her bum and sweaty horse hair on her calves. This is her normal and she is darn proud of it.

With the thermometer edging into the upper 90s and the heat index well over 100, I am afraid I have a new normal.

I overheard a sweet little old lady proclaim, “I am not leaving my air conditioning tomorrow, I won’t even get dressed … it’s going to be over a hundred!”  But I am simply not an inside person. I would go insane even if I could stay home hiding from the heat all day.

Besides, I haven’t the luxury.  I have errands to run and since it takes my car’s air conditioner a good 15 minutes to warm up before it starts cooling us down, I often opt not to even turn it on. So I drive with the windows open, blowing yesterday’s napkin around the interior of my car and last week’s dog hair in my face. I embrace the sensation of the breeze not cooling me but instead preventing the sweat from dripping down my face. Until I come to a stoplight, and the dripping commences.

And I refuse to let the heat and humidity get in the way of my morning run or bike ride despite the lack of actual oxygen in the air due to the moisture content. It isn’t apparent how hot I am until I stop moving and sweat drips from my shorts into a puddle on the ground and it sprays from my arms with every move I make. I know not to sit down, just go straight to the shower. Sitting is just plain messy.

So I find myself with a constant layer of sticky sweat over my body. I don’t even bother to wipe my sweat mustache because I know my arm is just as sweaty and it will only extend the mustache rather than remove it.

I quit trying to cross my legs while I sit on the front porch. When I cross my right leg over my left knee it just slides right off … pointless.  My clothes are always slightly damp and my hair, well, I don’t want to talk about my hair. It just goes up into a knot in back of my head and I try to forget it’s there. My new normal has no room for style.

Am I ashamed? Well, it depends. When I am among the company of my kids or husband the answer is no. They are almost as sweaty as me; especially my son, who it seems inherited my overactive sweat glands. But as I leave the thickness of the outside air and enter the freezing air of a store or restaurant, and the sweat suddenly evaporates, leaving a shiny crystalline layer on my skin and my clothes start to dry and salt forms on my upper lip and I start to shiver visibly … I might feel a little ashamed.

It wouldn’t be so bad, but it seems that the other patrons are from another planet, possibly a planet with outdoor air conditioning. Their hair is all fancy and hanging down, near their face like it doesn’t bother them. They have pants on. They are wearing jewelry and even make-up. … Really? I just feel a little out of sorts, like an intruder … like an alien visitor to their planet.

But this is my new normal. And as usual I don’t fit in. So I am gonna grab that grease monkey from the car shop and lasso that little cowgirl and we’re gonna hold hands. We’re gonna band together and celebrate. Because it may not be your normal, and that’s OK.  But it is our normal.