I have been laboring under the delusion that while Ginger vacationed with her family back home in the South, surely to return to me with a thicker accent and the languid pace one acquires from doing stretches of time in humidity, that I would be welcoming her into my loving arms housed in a cottage brimming with the proof of diligent efforts. No. I have spent the week in a pretty constant state of panic and paralysis. Until yesterday, when I believe I returned to a sane state of mind. Course, I'm open to going a little nuts again, because as it turns out, sometimes the mind just does what it does.
Do your thang, freak.
No parking on the dance floor.
After many butt flexes and core crunches with Kevin, and after the good Dr. Greene cracked the feet, the ankles, the hips, the back, the neck, and everyone seemed to magically dig into terribly tights muscle points, I found myself wrapped in a foot centric ice burrito pulsing with electricity. My torso sported a sleeveless Van Halen t-shirt lifted from Ginger who acquired it on another one of her visits home, each stop at the Wal*Mart producing some kind of enviable rocker shirt. Last time was an AC/DC one I am still plotting to overthrow. A recent phone conversation revealed this trip will provide our happy household with a Lynyrd Skynyrd shirt for Ginger to grace the Robinberg land with. Simple Man. What a great song. Why did Freebird get so famous, when Simple Man simply kicks its ass?
Anyhow there I am, in the Van Halen shirt and these oversized borrowed shorts from the clinic because I forgot my stetchy exercise pants. Not capris. I hate capris. In fact I even hate the word capri, unless someone is telling me I have won a vacation to an Italian island in the Tyrrhenian Sea. The shorts are kind of like scrubs but with elastic instead of a drawstring. and they are enormous on me. Huge. I look a little like a vertically challenged person. I also notice it's already time to shave my legs again. The upkeep is dizzying. So I'm just laying there alone. Looking a little bit unfashionable, as usual these days, and not really caring. Thinking.
I've pretty much come to the place where I've done all the work I can do. I either did enough, or I didn't. I will either make it, or I won't. Dr. Greene says the only job I have left is to enjoy the run. Laurian tells me when things feel like a wall or I can't possibly make it one more step, I just have to melt more. She told me this in terms of childbirth, and if women can make it through that, I can make it around San Francisco. And when I get a message from my friend Sarah in NYC, she tells me I have already won everything. I have taken back my body as the amazing system it is. I have run hundreds of miles I never thought I'd be able to run. And I have an opportunity to run around one of the world's most beautiful cities to do one singular thing that's just mine. Just a stretch and burn, a pyre of all the fictions I ever constructed about the things I was unable to accomplish. My legs are the kindling and my heart is the match. And my friends, along with acquaintances who have cheered me through everything, are the oxygen that let the fire grow.
Upon returning home, I unpack the mailbox containing the new issue of Better Homes and Gardens that the former tenants have not had forwarded yet. A bonus. A nice red envelope from Netflix for me and Gus. We watch Valentine's Day. And a package from Julie, who has become my biggest cheerleader.
I lived with Julie in college through the bong years. Although I don't remember her participating in the bong action itself. The problem with the bong is that it impedes my memory of much of anything. Anyhow, I lived on Trigo in Isla Vista, CA with Julie, Christy, and Rachel. Julie and I knew each other the least. And after we lived together, we didn't see each other for about 18 years. We still haven't seen each other. In the mean time, she collected herself a nice husband, amazing looking children, and a running habit. She's got more experience than me, she's faster and more consistent. It's so inspiring. Even with that whole family, she still kills it out there on the road. And makes time to be right here with me, sending me encouragement almost daily. Yesterday it arrived in the form of an envelope addressed to Sara "I Can Run Hella Far" Seinberg. Partly because in college me and Rach said Hella about everything, especially when we'd work our eyes to a crimson place, exhaling plumes of smoke about the apartment and blasting Mary's Danish while our heads bobbed.
This weed is hella strong.
I know, right? It's giving me munchies already. Do we have snacks?
We have hella snacks.
Awesome. Can you get 'em?
No. Dude. I can't really move.
We're hella hungry. Can you bring us chips?
And partly because it's actually true. I can run hella far. Inside the envelope is a packet of bath salts and one of the nicest notes a girl could ever get from an old friend explaining the necklace. It's a chain with a singular silver bead on it. A cube. A block. Sara's Block, she named it. She tells me it can be a stumbling block or writer's block or whatever. It could be pain or laziness or a bad attitude. But whatever it is, the necklace is about how no matter what difficulty arises, the best way around the block, like the necklace, is through it. I light all the candles in the bathroom and climb into my Julie sponsored arnica bath. My fingers go to the necklace over and over. It is like she sent me ruby slippers. My race day just got a little bit better. My sausage outfit now includes the necklace Julie made me, the earrings my mom gave me, and the rainbow wristbands Christy Schaefer is bestowing upon me.
I finally feel a little peace. My parents are flying in tonight to cheer me on. Ginger gets home too. Friends are making plans to dot the city with good will and screaming for me. I actually took Monday off work. I kind of feel like the luckiest girl on the block. Even with stubble and in a sausage outfit.