Sunday, November 25, 2007

Discontent, diseased, and disgruntled....... OR AM I?!

I came off of my Thanksgiving holiday with a bug.

A big bug.

A hurts-to-move-hurts-to-eat-hurts-to-cough-hurts-to-sleep bug.

I caught it from my sister.

And five pounds, straight to my middle, of turkey fat. Don't ask me how it happened; I ate ham.

I look at the rest of my extended family, and I wonder how it happened that they are distance runners and I'm emphatically not.

Of course, the relatives are also into Cole Porter, as am I. We're not entirely from different stratospheres. (Cole Porter, by the way, inspired the title of this blog post by writing so many conveniently alliterative songs.)

But still. I have half the DNA of a distance-running family. HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN? I very suddenly wonder if I'd be expressing more of myself, my heritage, my identity, if I started running.

I had been signed up for a 2 Mile Walk/Run for charity, unbeknownst to me previous to my arrival in VA. Very well, thought I; one of my relatives donated the registration fee out of pocket, so I can surely amble with ease for two miles. It was a 34 or so minute promenade, meandering with my cousin and her boyfriend. We pretended to be powerwalkers.

But some of my relatives actually ran, or they ran the 10 am 5 Mile Run. One of my cousins is a runner for her university. Another cousin and uncle (not by marriage; my real, honest to God blood uncle) are training for a half marathon.

A half marathon is 13.1 miles. I would be bored to tears, even if I could run for 13.1 miles.

Or would I?

I am suddenly very discontent with being still for the time it would take to run 13.1 miles, which, if you are my 50-year-old running uncle, is still a few hours.

And yet I'm conscious--and self-conscious--that Thanksgiving is for being thankful. Even if, since I am in an ibuprofen-induced state, with sinus headaches, palpable muscle aches, and crankiness, it took a reminder.

Thanksgiving is not about the big turkey (I ate ham anyway) or Black Friday. It's about taking stock and thinking that I already have a pretty good lot in life. Even if I can't run 13.1 miles (yet) (and to run 13.1 miles would mean I'd have to buy expensive shoes and anti-chafe gel and probably an iPod) and I have PLAGUE (gee, thanks, Bethany!). I still have things that make me smile and make me a better person.

So here's to the stuff that isn't rancid in my life--the stuff that will never grow tiring or bitter. Here's to second--and third or fourth or seventieth--chances, thanks to a God who is, inevitably, always bigger than I. Here's to my awesome knit hat with the oversize pompom. Here's to being short. Here's to movies with Judy Garland in them. Here's to my patient parents. Here's to Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers. Here's to dramaturgical, geeky research. And finally, here's to anyone who believes that, with training, I could one day run a half marathon.

Yup. I'm ready for Christmas.

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