Monday, November 24, 2008

JFK 46

Saturday, November 22 was the 46th running of the JFK 50 Miler and my first 50 miler. My biggest concern before the race was hitting all the elimination points in time, but soon after the first cut off I realized that I didn't need to worry at all. Somewhere between the first and fourth aid stations I made up enough time to remain in the race and to become an official finisher. Kurt was an excellent support crew of one, I survived without frostbite, dehydration or blisters! I'm pleased, but I'm also already mentally working out what I can do differently/better next time.

Yep, next time.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Learning a new language

I am seeing things newly every day. I watched 60 Minutes last night and grinned uncontrollably as Barack Obama and our future first lady, Michelle Obama bantered congenially back and forth. "He seems like a really cool guy, someone you could and would want to hang out with or talk to, " Kurt mused--he read my mind. It still seems a bit unreal/surreal,like everything else these days.

Three weeks has turned into just 5 days and I've been spending the last few trail runs psyching myself out a bit: 12 hours? Just 12? Really? I'm walking a lot--can I really do this? And on and on with the head chatter.

I'm rolling my eyes right now because this is my silly way of keeping myself humble and retaining the proper respect for what I'm about to do. Others--many others--have done this before me and succeeded, but for me this IS a new experience, a new country/culture/language. I'm still teaching myself where to step, what to listen and look for and how to roll with things when they just don't go as planned.

Signs are cropping up everywhere, maybe because my eyes are more open now? Who knows. Dimes. Snakes. ASL. Dropping out of work and into life. Its all there, as it has been before--germinating and growing roots. The last is a note to myself to mark this moment. More, hopefully on this later.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Its a New Dawn...its a New Day...

I've focused here on running because besides work and school THAT is what I do, but my friends also know that I have been watching the election very closely. I'm not going to hide my politics--I'm very excited about the outcome of the presidential election and think this an amazing opportunity for us to move forward in a positive way as a country. More thoughts on that in the coming weeks and months, but right now I am still basking in the spirit of celebration.

This morning I shared a few thoughts with friends and now I share them with you, dear blog.

I am overwhelmed. My mother called me from Seattle in tears. She's just happy her mother who was born in the Jim Crow South has lived to see this amazing turn of events. She and my aunt are making flight arrangements to come out and visit for the inauguration.

Before we went out to see Flobots last night we already knew that Barack Obama will be our next president AND we knew that the state I've grown up in had officially turned BLUE!

Driving to the 9:30 Club we listened to McCain's concession speech and drove through the subdued streets of Crystal City. DC was a whole different story. Every few blocks cars honked their horns to the rhythm O-BA-MA...O-BA-MA! Everyone crossing the streets wore Obama t-shirts, buttons, hats and huge grins.

In the club Flobots finished a song and then took a moment to reflect on change and our president elect. The crowd was small but energetic, buoyed by the spirit of something so monumental words don't do it justice. We all swayed and bobbed together to political hip hop rock Colorado style and when Obama was ready to speak the band took a break so we could all hear the sound of history in the making.

We were all aware that there is still so much further we have to go but we are moving together in the right direction. Yes. We are.

Flobots quickly dispatched George Dubya with a blistering cover of "Final Countdown." I laughed and Kurt and I sang along.

The show ended with a slightly slowed down "Handlebars" that seemed less like the kitschy fun song it once was and more a cautionary tale...

I can end the world in a a holocaust...

Maybe I was the only one who heard it, but I think not. The final song of the night, exhorted us all to "RISE", to be better people to be a better country to be the change we all so desperately seek.

Josh, the doorman with the surgical steel septum horns and the super gauged lobe stretchings bobbed his head slightly and wished us all a safe journey as we floated out the door into the damp night.

"Let's walk", Kurt and I agreed simultaneously.

We dropped down one block onto U Street and into another world. The sidewalks were a press of people high fiving and hugging strangers, wearing Mardi Gras beads and beatific expressions, homeless men in Obama shirts or no shirt at all cheering along with the 6 block long impromptu street party.

Outside an Ethiopian restaurant people bounced and danced to the strains of Kool & the Gang's "Celebration". People sat in their cars, going nowhere for quite some time, but content to share their go go music, to hang out their windows to wave fists--peace signs--flags, and to allow strangers to stand on the roofs and hoods of their cars.

At one corner I joined the real photogs in capturing shots of the blue rainbow airbrushed Vote 4 Barack car.

Amidst the fireworks and flags and people dancing atop bus shelters (ole ole ole ole!) DC Metro police and firefighters leaned on their cars and just watched--a few of them seemed to wish they could join the festivities.

We walked and walked, gawked a little, yelled a lot, high fived more than a few, held an impromptu traffic light rave and rejoiced in what is only the beginning...

Don't you know
They're talkin' bout a revolution
It sounds like a whisper
Don't you know
They're talkin' about a revolution
It sounds like a whisper

While they're standing in the welfare lines
Crying at the doorsteps of those armies of salvation
Wasting time in the unemployment lines
Sitting around waiting for a promotion

Poor people gonna rise up
And get their share
Poor people gonna rise up
And take what's theirs

Don't you know
You better run, run, run...
Oh I said you better
Run, run, run...

Finally the tables are starting to turn
Talkin' bout a revolution