Monday, December 31, 2007

Under the Wire

A few weeks ago, I was chatting with one of my very first Maggots, someone I ranked up near the top of my Successes list, when she said something that made my blood run cold:

“So I’ve been running regularly for a year and a half now, and I never want to stop … even though I’m no good at it.”

“Say what?”

“I just kind of suck at running. I still can’t run for the whole half hour.”

I was stunned. Here I thought I’d taught her so well, and she’d been ignoring my second edict:
Everyone makes the same mistake when starting out: going too fast. When you start, you need to go SLOWLY. So slowly that you could probably walk faster. So slowly that you will feel humiliated if you see anyone you know.
“You idiot! You’re going too fast!” I said. She looked skeptical. So I slapped her upside the head and told her to start doing it right. And now she can run the whole half hour.

She’s a stubborn sort, but it made me realize that I must not have emphasized this point enough.



Am I making myself clear?

Someone asked if I ever get in a slump, and the answer is, of course – especially during the winter, and especially if I’ve been sick and off my schedule. The one and only solution is to put on my shoes and get my ass out the door. Once I’ve got that first run in, the next one is exponentially less painful. So far this winter it’s happened twice in a row, and it was really annoying to have essentially wasted my first couple of getting back to it runs.

I really hate winter.

Christmas was okay. We had it here for the first time ever, and it was less onerous than I expected to put up a tree. HellBoy was pretty angelic, for him. Chanukah probably helped soften him up. (Yes, we do both. And by “we” I mean me and the rat in my pocket.) My stepdad did crack everyone up when he declared that he’d found HB’s theme song: Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.” HB himself agrees that it’s appropriate, and learned the words after hearing it twice – not that the lyrics are particularly complicated. (Petty doesn’t seem nearly as convincing singing it as HB does.) (Get this: lately HB’s been staying up later than we do. We tell him to stop jumping on our heads and go play in his room, and he goes … somewhere. Not for very long, and he can’t unlatch the gate to the downstairs, so I don’t think he can do much harm.)

My folks came here, which was pretty nice. My parents don’t usually push my buttons, partly because I’m a tad insensitive and my mother is a tad ... vague. However, my mother does have this way of looking at me that I know means “I’m worried you’re too busy.” I know the look means this because from time to time she actually says “I’m worried you’re too busy” when she looks at me that way. And I am, but – where to trim things down?

Here’s a start: we hired a new physician who starts this month, and I gave myself a 20% lighter clinic schedule. I didn’t exactly get permission to cut back my schedule, so we’ll see how long it takes before my bosses notice. Then we’ll see what I’ll do if anyone does notice …

Here’s to less guilt in 2008.