Sometimes a news article comes along that is just what you need, at just the right time.
Like this one from The New York Times: “An hour of running may add 7 hours to your life,” the headline practically screamed.
“Seven extra hours for every hour I run?!?” I thought. “Shoot, I’ve already banked enough to live to 307! I’m practically immortal!!! I can start drinking beer for breakfast and eating pretzels dipped in bacon fat, just like I’ve always dreamed!”
As some of you may recall, I recently wrote how I had fallen into a running rut after completing a marathon last fall. And in that column I advised, more or less, to swear off advice columns that promise to help you wake up early or get back into super-fancy exercise regimes. They were failing me as I tried to break my funk and re-engage my lost love for running.
But I want to amend that: Skip advice columns, BUT … in their place, read only the headlines of stories on health studies that make grandiose and overly-general claims. (The key here is ONLY read the headlines, never the full story. Life is best when you gloss over the facts and skip the fine print.)
What am I thankful for this year? Simple things. Some are in the future. Like how I’m going to remember to defrost the turkey early this year. Maybe then I won’t have to stand panicked in the kitchen with a hair dryer as I try to get a leg to un-freeze. Or jam a hand into the cavity of the bird while desperately trying to pry some giblets out. Nothing like getting frost-bite in the process.
I wonder if Thanksgiving is the only time Florida hospitals have to treat patients for frostbite?
I’m thankful there’s a new Star Wars movie coming out next month. If I’m lucky — if we’re ALL really lucky — there will be a new one every year for the rest of my life.
Even though I feel guilty about it — because others I know weren’t so lucky — I’m thankful that my street sits so high up in Lincolnville. That the surging waters of Hurricane Matthew tried, but just couldn’t overcome that elevation. And I’m thankful that as bad as it was, it wasn’t worse. That it didn’t come 15-20 miles — shoot, even 5 miles — closer to the coast. Imagine if it had.
I have come to the conclusion that elections are like marathons: They force you to endure long stretches of misery and inflict interminable pain.
This week I am testing that theory/cliché by running a marathon — the Rock ‘n Roll Marathon in Savannah, Ga. — just a couple days before the presidential election.
Heaven help me!
I do this knowing that the stress of the two within the same week could be too much for my poor body. I could spontaneously combust. I could go insane. I could vote for the green party or write-in “Bette Midler” for president. Nobody knows what will happen.
But I endure it for you, America!
I’ve found many similarities between running 26.2 miles and a presidential election, especially THIS election. For instance, feelings and emotions change over time. When I signed up for the marathon all those months ago, I was giddy, excited and full of optimism. Four months later I am racked with uncertainty, self-doubt, fear and the sense that I have made a horrible mistake. (Plus, I could lose some toenails in the process!)