Miracle

I have a miniature version of the movie poster to “Miracle” tucked away on my desk at work, and every now and then I look at it and smile. Partly because I have a big, bad crush on Eddie Cahill, who played Jim Craig (and is a devoted Rangers fan), and partly because the tagline is, “If you believe in yourself, anything can happen.” It used to be I felt that sentence applied mostly to the writing component in my life, but lately it means more. 

I signed up for the Phillies 5K in March. Mind you, I only started to TRY running in September or October, but I found out I loved it and now I’m pushing myself to do more with it. It’s funny because I remember being in my 20’s and reading about varicose veins, and the article said you can combat them with exercise. I told myself, when I turn 30, I’ll take up running. Well, I’m 14 years late but I finally got around to it, and I’m enjoying it a lot more than I expected to. If the day is dragging on, I tell myself, “Tonight’s my running night!” and I get through it. Like last night. 

With the encouragement of some friends, I’m also debating signing up for the Down n’ Dirty Mud Run in July. I’ve heard it’s a blast but I think I’ll see if I survive the Phillies 5K first. Really, 3.1 miles doesn’t seem like much at this point. Maybe in a few years, I’ll work up to marathons. Har de har har.  🙂 

I was invited to join a terrific “foodie”-type blog called Chicklets in the Kitchen, and my first post went up last Friday. It’s been fun! They wanted a vegetarian voice so here I am. I never thought I’d be the voice of vegetarianism. The challenge isn’t just writing the post; it’s in finding new and interesting recipes to share. Most of my dinner fare is thrown together after I make the boys their dinner. (Oh, how I love Market Day Kyoto Blend veggies, sprinkled with lemon! Actually, anything sprinkled with lemon works for me.) 

The only thing I haven’t done enough of lately is write, but given the stuff going on in my real life, it’s hard to think of romance as anything more than a marketing plan. At the bottom of the “Miracle” poster is one word, in all caps: BELIEVE. I want to; I really do. If “anything can happen”, maybe I’ll get there again some day.

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Shh, I’m Reading

I finally started reading “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus.” It’s amazing how many mistakes you can make when you don’t know you’re making them.

Before that, I re-started “Games People Play.” I read it before, 10 years ago, but it’s definitely a re-read. It pointed out that my relationship at the office wasn’t on an adult level; I was working from an adult/child perspective, and guess which one of us was behaving like a child. I much prefer this approach.

And since I also need recreation, I’m reading Hope Ramsay’s “Welcome to Last Chance” when I’m at the gym. I love seeing scenes I critted for her, there on the page in front of me. If you have a copy, my name is in the acknowledgements. This is me, grinning.

Yes, I know that as a writer I should also be writing, but you can’t keep cooking for the rest of the house without eating something for yourself. Otherwise you have nothing to give. So far I’m happily editing, but the idea of writing fresh again…okay, I’m a little nervous. I’m frantically praying the well hasn’t run dry, but what writer worth her salt hasn’t thought *that* at some point?

Now shh. I’m reading, and I’m up to the good part. 🙂

What you weigh

I chatted with Jim Bromley today at Snap Fitness Norristown after I finished my run. He’s terrifically supportive and one of my biggest cheerleaders, especially after I told him I can now run level 3 on the Rolling Hills program without going slower on the high inclines or lowering the incline level. (Let me tell you, incline 6 is killer stuff. I wasn’t sure I’d do it, but I kept telling myself, “Just this once more. You can do it.” And I did.)

I told him how much I’ve lost so far–19 pounds since August–and he handed me a 20 pound dumbbell. Holy mackerel, that’s a lot of weight when you’re holding it in your hands, and that’s what I took off my back, hips, and knees. Actually more. Theoretically, if you lose 1 pound of body weight, you’re taking 4 pounds of stress off your knees; therefore, I’ve relieved my knees of nearly 80 pounds of stress. PFC, huh? (pretty freaking cool, or use the F word of your choice) 

It’s not easy, reminding myself that I do need to give my body a day off now and then. If I don’t get to go to the gym, I get itchy during the day. (Add a B to that and you know what I mean.) But my hip flexor bothered me last week so I took Friday off, and on Saturday I appreciated that. No more than one day, though, or the momentum is at stake. I know myself too well.

I wish I could get back to writing but lately the ideas just aren’t moving. There’s a lot going on at home and it weighs on my mind much more than any story I’ve ever worked on. I’d like to believe there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and it isn’t an oncoming train, though I know it’s going to take more work than I’ve ever put into anything before in my life. We’ll see how it works out. (Sorry to be cryptic but that’s all you’re getting out of me.)

Though while I’m at it, maybe you can help. The problem I’m stuck on is an old man character. He’s a curmudgeon, sort of. He was a 6-term Senator, now retired, and trying to assure himself some sort of legacy, though he has no biological children. (He has two adopted children, one of whom is the hero of the story.) Cold as he appears on the outside, on the inside he’s afraid of being alone, and if he continues in his current path, his adopted son is going to turn his back on him. I’m looking for models for this character. He’s the antagonist, but he has a heart too, and he wants what he wants for a very basic, human reason. Any ideas for models I can study?

Once I get a handle on that, I think I’m going to have one hell of a story. 🙂

Almost

My week has been totally off kilter thanks to having Monday off. Tuesday felt like Monday, and today felt like Wednesday. Thank goodness tomorrow is, and always will be, Friday.

Not much to report, other than I’m now officially training for a 5k. I never thought of myself as a runner, but that was because I was afraid. I’m not anymore. I have no reason to be. Life is too short to let fear rule your life.

Last year I started running on the treadmill at the gym, and I found out I loved it. Maybe it’s endorphins or maybe it’s the cute guy with the dark hair, but I’m there all the time now. In the last two months, I don’t think I’ve missed more than a handful of days I could’ve been at the gym. I don’t want to. It feels too good.

My terrific friend Madeline suggested I register for a 5K so I have something to focus on, and a goal to shoot for. I know of one that I’d like to do, so I’m going for it.

Wish me luck! 🙂