In my dreams, I can run

Best Foot Forward

I dream of being a runner.

Not just in a figurative sense, mind you. I mean that I regularly dream of running.

It’s not just that I can run in my dreams, either – it’s how I run. Quickly. Effortlessly. As though I each one of my paces sends me a tremendous distance, floating a tiny bit above the air. (My real running is nothing like this, of course. It is lumbering and breathless and, frankly, demoralizing.)

I continue to daydream of running, although my progress toward this goal is hampered by the following conundrum:

  •  I am afraid of running. Afraid that I will lose my balance and fall, that I won’t be able to go more than about 30 yards, that my left foot will scream every time it hits the ground.
  • This is not pure conjecture; in the past couple of years, I have experienced all of these things when I have tried to run.
  •  Therefore, I rarely attempt to run.
  •  And, thus, I shall never become a proficient runner.

It’s silly, I suppose, to believe that it is a hopeless case. I mean, I lose my balance while standing still, I’ve fallen over while taking a simple walk, and my foot bugs the heck out of me on a regular basis. . . and yet I still get out there and walk around every single day. Why not let the same things happen while trying to go a little faster?

I’m cognitively aware that even tiny amounts of effort will lead to incremental success in building my skill, yet I still choose not to act. Perhaps it’s silly that I cling to this dream so tenaciously while putting so little effort into achieving it.

I’m sure that most of us have dreams we are not brave enough to strive for, things that we achieve only in our deepest sleep. Running is mine; what’s yours?

Best Foot Forward” by Maureen Barlin / BY CC

It’s kidney stones…

Once upon a time (at the end of May), I had a kidney stone.

Not that I knew this at the time. As far as I knew, the proper diagnosis for what I was feeling was I Am Going To Die Right Now. They say that women may not have the classic symptoms of a heart attack – chest pain, shortness of breath, pain in your arms – but whatever their symptoms might be, I was pretty sure that “a knife is stabbing me in the ribs from behind, over and over and over” was one of them.

I was pacing between the bed, where I would futilely try to lie down in a comfortable position, and the bathroom, where I was sure I would be sick from the pain. I told David I loved him, just in case I didn’t make it and there was even the slightest possibility he didn’t already know.

Thank goodness the pain was so terrible, because David had been invited to game with the Rip City Gamers and had it not been so severe, I might have told him to go ahead and go. As it was, he drove me to Urgent Care as I lay curled on the backseat trying not to throw up from the pain. I barely made it: he pulled up to Kaiser, I sat up, opened the door, and was sick all over their entry.

The place was packed, but I wasn’t worried about the wait. Surely once I gasped out my vital information to the triage nurse, I’d be whisked back to a special room for Very Bad Cases. Instead, I was kept waiting for an hour and a half, which was strangely reassuring.

Glad to find myself clinging to life, I spent the time alternating between trying to read fan fiction, trying to pee (I must have run to the restroom four times), and trying to drink enough water to get the sick taste out of my mouth. None of these endeavors was successful.

Over time, the horrific pain subsided and I got a bit of relief texting with Ina, who thought it sounded like her recent attacks of gallstones. She armed me with a list of questions for the doctor, so as soon as I was called back, I ran the gallbladder scenario by him. He agreed that it was possible and ordered some blood tests, but he seemed more interested in my asking him for a urinalysis due to all my unsuccessful bathroom trips.

When all the lab results came in an hour later, I got the final determination: a) probably a kidney stone – pending another appointment for an ultrasound – and b) probably an ulcer. (?!) Thus began a few weeks of medical excitement ’round these parts.

There was a silver lining to the whole nightmare evening, however. Quinland had been at dragon boat practice while all this was going on, and we hadn’t left him a note or anything when we left the house. I texted him as we were about to leave Kaiser:

I'm Joey

I can’t tell you how thrilled I was that without knowing any of my symptoms, with only the simple phrase, “I am Joey,” my child accurately and immediately jumped to “kidney stone.” I am obviously winning at this whole parenting thing.

I’ve made a few…

Learn From Mistakes

Mistakes, that is. Some bad ones… some not so bad. Either way, my first reaction is to beat myself up, horribly.

This drives me crazy about myself, and it just plain drives me crazy. I know what I should do: I should treat mistakes as learning experiences, as training, as steps on the path of life. I know that babies fall over and over when they are learning to walk, but they don’t beat themselves up about it – no! They just get up again and keep on walking, until soon they are running and dancing for joy.

I know all those things. Yet, when I try to be funny in an email to people I don’t know very well and it seems as though I may have been carelessly thoughtless and hurt someone’s feelings, I feel terrible. And though I apologize immediately, and resolve never to do such a dumb thing again, I am sure that I will… and I may beat myself up yet again.

Perhaps each of these times of beating myself up is a little falling-down of its own, and each time it happens, I’ll get incrementally more adept at life.

Perhaps not.

I’ll keep making mistakes, though. Just watch me.

Image by Search Engine People Blog via Flickr – Thank you!