Sunday, August 24, 2014

Pixie Dust

On a lighter note, I would like to note that everything is always changing and yet the same. For instance, I recently dropped my eldest at college. She is a freshman. What got me was not only the devastation (I put up a good front but cried for the first 2 hours of the drive home, then pulled myself together, worried that crying while driving was about like texting while driving in terms of danger to self and others), but also the generally overweight and old appearing parents. I kept looking at myself and thinking, dang am I like that? And I think maybe I am, but it is a hard pill to swallow. And for as long as they have made colleges, the parents of students have looked out of place. It is written in some book somewhere, I know.

Tomorrow, school starts for one of my still-at-homes. Back to school he goes, after a hiatus of independent study. Here is what has changed in my view of education since I started parenting. If you are a new parent or not yet a parent but plan to be in the future, feel free to take notes.
1) Rich people who can send their kids to private schools with a lot of resources, small classes, and a high standard for academics will get a better education. I used to think public schools were where it is at, and I continue to use them, but the harsh truth is they, by necessity, cater to those who are already going to be successful, not those who need that extra something. And I am as about as liberal as they come.
2) Boys are not welcome in public schools, unless they act like girls. I used to think boys and girls were more a societal pressure difference than an actual difference. But boys make guns with hands and sticks before they ever watch a TV show and they make things drive like cars before anyone teaches them to, and they are, in general, bewildered by the rules of school, which largely include keeping your hands politely on your lap and yes-ma'aming a lot. God help you if you are a boy with an engine that needs to stay revved during all waking hours.
3) I love public school teachers. Just to be clear.
4) I had better change the subject as this is no longer qualifying as "on a lighter note".
5) I dropped out of high school at age 16 and went to college. Little known fact.
6) No, I will not be making up those lost PE credits. I burned that uniform long ago.

My other still-at-home has 2 more weeks of summer,  as there is a late start for some of our schools in town. She is off at camp and is generally the busiest human being I know. Anyway, I have 2 more weeks to try to talk her into cross country as the sport of choice. Wish me luck.

And what does any of this, aside from pushing my child into the best sport ever, have to do with running? I have noticed that about 3 months ago I made a goal for myself, regarding marathon times and pixie dust. Actually really it was just about marathon times, but I am now in search of pixie dust because without it I am not sure if I can believe. I am almost never injured. In high school, a stress fracture put my tibia out of commission. A few years ago, my achilles tendon screamed at me for awhile. And for awhile my iliotibial band rubbed me the wrong way. But since I declared a goal for the 26.2, my body has been in full rebellion. Head to toe, actually: depression. Back pain (thank God for Molly, masseuse extraordinaire). Hamstring tightness. Plantar fasciitis. And most recently what was surely, in my mind, a stress fracture, though now I think most likely just garden variety shin splints. It is like the Field of Screams. If you declare the goal, they will make you succumb.

As long as they have made runners, they have made injuries. But they have also made dreams. And spandex. What did we run in prior to spandex?

I want to briefly discuss the iliotibial band, known also as the ITB. I have seen it up close and personal in my anatomy class. It is like a really big, long piece of beef jerky. How can it possibly be stretched? Have you ever tried to stretch a piece of beef jerky? What, exactly, is beef jerky anyway?

Tinker Bell was supposedly created from the laugh of the first baby (Adam? Caveman? Was it a girl? Who came first, the baby or the Mom?), which broke into a thousand pieces and went skipping about, starting the whole fairy thing. The first Tinker Bell model was Margaret Kerry. She had to wear a swim suit for 6 months so the animator of Tinkerbell could draw her and her "slender cute figure". OMG.

All I am saying is that Peter Pan could not fly without the Pixie Dust. And I want some of that.

Modern Day Pixie Dust for Marathoners and other Miscreants:
1) A Coach,
2) Adequate Sleep.
3) Zen and the Art of Musculoskeletal Maintenance.
4) A Sense of Humor.
5) A Dog Who Will Not Tolerate a Day Without a Run.
6) Daily Stretches of the Beef Jerky and Such Tendons.
7) Realization that Being a Master Means You Might Be Old,  But Damn Are You Ever Wise!
8) Knowledge that the Kids will be What They Will Be. Now Go For a Run, For Heaven's Sake.
9) Shoes. Stop Going Barefoot. Unless You Weigh 12 Pounds.
10) Belief.

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