The One that Kept Running

It's no secret that I'm not much of an athlete. One of my dad's greatest life aspirations was to have one of his three kids play basketball in high school, like he did. Since my older sister (bless her heart) is only 5'6" or 5'7", it ruled her out. My younger brother played soccer and t-ball when he was younger, but has only ever played basketball with his friends. Which left me.

I did play basketball for a year in high school--I had a trainer and everything in order to catch up, and I liked him and learned a lot from him and I certainly appreciate my dad for paying for the lessons. BUT--my heart was definitely not in it. One of the things I've had to accept as I've gotten older is that I can't continue to do things that make me miserable in order to make others happy (Specifically, my parents... because who wants to disappoint their parents?!).

In any case, I liked my teammates and I liked my coach and ankle braces, but I've never been the type of person who likes to get her thrills on the court. I'd argue that I can be somewhat of a competitive person, but only when it comes to school work and writing, and even then not so much. Every time I went out on the court for a game, I completely lacked confidence and I dreaded someone passing the ball to me. My feelings about basketball got even worse when I reinjured my back (So when I was a cheerleader in middle school [I know, right?], I landed on my tail bone during a routine and it jammed my last vertabrae down onto it. I still, to this day, have trouble with it. Fun fact: the person in charge of pom and cheer was def. Stephenie Meyer's sister.), had this chest cold that I couldn't get over because of constant practice, and developed exercise-induced asthma (IT EXISTS, OKAY).

Needless to say, I'm always really impressed by true athletes and the people who have the kind of dedication it takes to train for things like marathons. One of my bestest college friends, Kevin, participated in the NYC half-marathon yesterday, and I couldn't be prouder of him.

After we had a really warm Friday and Saturday, Sunday was F-R-E-E-Z-I-N-G. The finish line was at Chambers Street and the West Side Highway, which, SURPRISE! at 9:00 AM is completely in the shade. And super windy. And also really cold.

I met my friend and former freshman suitemate, Sam, there so we could cheer on Kevin together. We waited for him to cross the finish line so we could scream our heads off when we saw him--I had made a sign and everything! We both tried using the mobile phone tracker the race had set up, but it wasn't sending any of his updates. All the while, Announcer Guy was calling out the names of people who were finishing saying, "Good job, Ashley ___!" "Almost there, George ____!" so we were hoping to rely on him to figure out when Kevin actually finished. (I should mention that we were set back and away from where the finish line actually was. Once they crossed it, they curved around the corner to go up and get their medals and blankets and we were right at the curve.) We basically stood there and thought every other person was Kevin, and then, along with Announcer Guy, got a cheap thrill when Hugh Jackman finished the half-marathon.

(No really. Announcer Guy about lost his mind. "WOLVERINE!! LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, IT'S WOLVERINE!! HUGH JACKMAN!!! WE HAD A STATE SENATOR AND NOW WE HAVE A SUPER HERO!!!")

Kevin mentioned to us the night before that he would be finished before 10 AM, so around 9:45 Sam and I started moving up the street towards where they were handing out the aforementioned medals. There was this tall fence they set up to separate the runners from everyone else, and, amazingly enough, Sam managed to spot Kevin just as we passed the only small opening in it.

I'm incredibly proud of him for finishing (after he busted a knee on mile twelve), but the whole event put a lot of things in perspective for me, namely how many of the marathoners weren't in it to race against others, but to improve themselves and test their limits. The point of a marathon is rarely to finish first, but to keep going.

Anyway, anyway, I hope you all had a lovely weekend! I will conclude this long, rambling entry by sharing one of my latest song obsessions:

P.S. It is totally snowing right now! Apparently Mother Earth didn't get the message that SPRING STARTED YESTERDAY.

P.P.S. I'm thinking about doing a weekly series on Useful Publishing Info. Let me know if you have any questions about what a department does, how something is decided, why certain books are marketed the way they are, etc.