Friday, March 24, 2017

Saying Yes. Or how I ended up on the radio.

Sometimes The Universe will send you gifts. Wrapped in questions. Like hey, do you want to run at 5am? / or during an epic wind or snowstorm? / or up all the hills? Or hey, do you want to join our radio show? And you have two options. You can get swept away in the rushing cascade of thoughts detailing all the reasons you are in no way prepared for or capable of doing those things. Or you can let your excitement be your guide, say yes! and jump on in.

Confession: I've never been "ready" for anything I've done. I've never felt that oh yeah, I've got this, 100%, piece of cake feeling. Other than towards an actual piece of cake. But, and this is the important bit, that has rarely stopped me from doing things anyway. So when say, I hear about a 40 mile race in Letchworth or this tall guy on top of a volcano asks me to marry him or Chris asks if I want to talk about running on the radio, my first thought is an excited yes! followed inevitably by my second thought, oh shit, I don't have what it takes to do that! Luckily my excitement reflex is faster than my doubt/fear of failing reflex or else I'd miss out on all the best things. Because the truth about awesomeness is that it's not about being "ready,"it's about taking risks, trying new things, pushing past the fear of failing or looking foolish and making the best out of whatever happens. Now I'm not saying screw all preparations, just fly by the seat of your pants! (Though if you have flying pants, that is super cool and sounds like quite a party). By all means, do the work, put in the time and effort. But ignore that voice that says things like "you're not ready, you're not good enough, they're all going to laugh at you." Listening to that jerkface is a one-way ticket to Boringsville, with a layover in Regretown.

So when Chris and Kendra asked me to join their Running Inside Out radio show on WAYO 104.3, I said yes! before they realized their lapse in judgment. And now you can hear us talking about running on Mondays at 6pm on WAYO 104.3 FM or at I don't know what I'm doing and sometimes I say the wrong thing. (And always I start singing Harry Belafonte's Day-o in my head whenever I hear WAYO. You know, the song from Beetlejuice! Day, he say day-ay-ay-o. Daylight come and he wan' go home). But I love it and I'm having a blast. Feel free to bring your ears to this party live or to past episodes online as we run our mouths off about running. Feel free to let us know what topics you want to hear us ramblin' on about. And definitely feel free to tell that mean ol' jerk voice in your head to piss off, 'cause you've got your own adventurin' to do. (Little known (possibly alternative) fact: present participles are just more fun when you end 'em in apostrophe instead of g).

Lyric of the moment: "Now my life is sweet like cinnamon. Like a f*cking dream I'm living in. Cause I'm playing on the radio..." ~Lana Del Ray "Radio"

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

This Is Marriage: Day 556

Confession: While marriage is one of the best things I've experienced, it's also one of the most challenging. It takes a lot of work. Mostly on yourself. Because in marriage, as in life, you will at times suffer disappointments, hurt feelings and conflicts. You will at times be the cause of disappointments, hurt feelings and conflicts (hopefully unintentionally - intentionally causing hurt feelings is not a good way to human). Sometimes you will fail. Sometimes you will make mistakes. Sometimes you will handle these failures and mistakes well, sometimes you will handle them poorly. Sometimes you will wonder who this person even is that you married and conclude that he must have been raised by wolves. Sometimes you will wonder who you even are and why someone would have willingly vowed to spend all the years with you. But you will find a way through all the feelings and conflicts. You will venture into some intense, introspective shit. You will struggle and you will become better for it. And that will make all the difference.

Marriage is awesome. And it's hard. Maybe it's awesome because it's hard, because it pushes you through difficult conversations and uncomfortable feelings towards a better, more gracious and understanding self. It's a perpetual process of trying to be a better life partner today than you were yesterday. Admittedly, this does not come naturally to me. On occasion I have thought it would be easier to live with a house full of bears than with Pete. I assume he has on occasion thought it would be easier to live with a house full of beers than with me. On so many occasions I have thought about filling our house with pet bears. So yeah, I'm not a wellspring of effortless and eternal compassion. But I will keep trying. Because if there's anything worth putting my time and effort into, it's my relationships and figuring out how to be a better person in the world. So I will remind myself that there's no right vs. wrong, there's just us and figuring out how to make life more awesome. That we're imperfect, our marriage is imperfect and that's ok. That it is not in fact a personal affront if someone ate all the peanut butter cups while I was sleeping. I will strive always to be excellent to all and party on.

Lyric of the moment: "Saw the waves but not the tide. I couldn't stay, I don't know why. A sailor married to the sea. My luck is a lost key..." ~Metric "Waves"

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Inadvertently celebrating National Pancake Day

Yesterday, Mr. Internet told me it was National Pancake Day. On the ride home from eating pancakes at Cartwright's Maple Tree Inn. But the story of this pancake adventure begins days before. Because sometimes adventures don't go as planned. That is to say, they end up even better.

When I came home from my run Sunday morning, Pete and I decided to go on an impromptu pancake pilgrimage to the mecca of maple syrup. Pete used to go to the Maple Tree Inn with his dad and he's been wanting to take me there for a while. Cartwright's is only open from February 14-April 15 each year. Because nothing says Happy Valentine's Day or Happy Tax Day like pancakes, am I right? Or maybe those are just the worst times of the year in New York and we need the promise of pancakes to see us through to spring. So we drove to Angelica, NY only to discover that Sunday morning is the actual worst time to go pancaking. The parking lot was overflowing and both sides of the street were lined with cars all the way down the street to the house with the giant dinosaur in its front yard (Yes, I agree that dinosaurs and pancakes is almost too much awesomeness for one stretch of back-country road. Almost). There was a seemingly interminable line of people waiting outside and neither of us were very interested in joining them. Enter our backup plan: eat at Brian's USA Diner. No pancakes were consumed and sadly, there is no longer a giant bear statue in the yard next to the diner so it was kind of a letdown (And what happened to the bear? Why didn't it end up at my house? So many unsolved mysteries).

We figured a weeknight might be a better time to pancake, so we headed back to Angelica on Tuesday after work. When we arrived, this conversation happened:

Me: I have very high expectations for these pancakes. Why would all those people spend so long standing in line unless these were the best pancakes ever?
Pete: I think you need to lower your expectations.
(walking through the parking lot)
Me: It smells like horses and butts here.
Pete: It smells like purses?
Me: What do purses smell like?
Pete: I don't know, I was going to ask you. Tampons and lipstick?

There was only a short line this time and we were seated within 10 minutes. For $7 you get all you can eat buckwheat pancakes and the most delicious maple syrup I've ever eaten. I would not recommend waiting for hours for these pancakes, but they were good. The maple milkshake however, is legit. Sweet but not sappy, perfectly creamy and cold. Apparently the record of pancakes eaten is 93 (I asked our waitress because it's the obvious question). Pete and I were happy to eat 7 and 3 pancakes respectively, plus 2 eggs for me and 2 eggs, bacon and sausage for Pete. We also bought buckwheat pancake mix and maple syrup to take home with us for future pancaking.

This milkshake brings all the boys to the yard

On the ride back to Rochester, we passed the time laughing over ridiculous conversations like these:

Me: What is something you could never forgive me for doing?
Pete: Cutting off my penis. Shooting the penis.
Me: So like if you came home and the house was full of live baby polar bears, that would be okay because no harm came to your penis?
Pete: Yes, that is true.

(MJ's Thriller plays in the background)
Me:  When we retire, I'm going to wake up one day and say this is the day we learn all the dance moves to Thriller. And then we'll perform it.
Pete: Yeah, definitely.
Me: Do you think there's a resume out there that includes Diabolical laughter at the end of Thriller as a job/skill?
Pete: Of course there is.

Me: If I die during Many On The Genny, will you go back and carry my cremated ashes the rest of the way?
Pete: Yes, honey.

I laugh and know that I am the luckiest. For this life and this marriage where every day is a weird and hilarious adventure.

Lyric of the moment: "Honey comes from honey bees. Maple syrup comes from maple trees. But nothing in this world, none of these, are as sweet as you..." ~Mayer Hawthorne "Out of Pocket"