Sometimes fabricated, always real

For almost two straight years I wrote faithfully here at Rant and Roll.

Without exception, I published posts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (and often Tuesdays and Saturdays, depending on when extra inspiration would strike.)

Nowadays, it’s less that I am uninspired to write (in fact I find myself reaching for my laptop more often than not – what with the unending stream of ideas percolating away inside of my brain. Sometimes I actually imagine these conceptions as small nuggets of gold, and my mind as one giant, ever swirl-swirl-swirling miner’s pan.)

It’s just that, I just can’t seem to keep track of days, hours, space, and time – let alone said nuggets.

Flip open my computer on any given day and you will find three or four half-finished posts (as well as three or four half-read Grantland, Jezebel, and Deadspin articles.)

There may even be a Youtube video or two for your viewing pleasure.

So where does that leave me? Where does that leave us?

Pretty much at the same place where I have been treading water for the last six or so odd months.

You see, I just don’t ever remember life being quite this bonkers – always barmy yes, but never to the extent where I feel as though days are simply slipping between the crooks of my fingers and the dips of my toes.

But the crazy thing is (and the big difference from six months ago), is that I don’t feel scared or upset by this.

(At least not anymore.)

Because these days, the warm weather, and fantastic runs, and fabulous friends, and fantastical reads – and all the other magical magic that make up this incandescent, resplendent, and transcendent life of mine – make me want to cut each day up into one million of the finest fragments and carefully sew each one into a soft and sinuous blanket that I may wrap myself in for all of the ages.

And they make me want to share it all with you.

Whenever,wherever the time may be.

Some things.

Sugar (da da da da da daaaaa)

I haven’t eaten junk food in six days.

That is six more days than my previous longest record.

Prior to this almost-week, I am fairly confident that had I ever been the subject of a medical autopsy (as opposed to all of those recreational autopsies), the corner performing the operation (always Dana Scully in my imaginaiton) would have found my corpse to be comprised of 1/3 Rogers product.

However, in a bid to curb my anxiety, up my health-quotient, improve my running (just in case I ever decided to full-on try that competitive racing thing), decrease my chance of familial-susceptible diseases, and just in general TRY SOMETHING NEW – here I am.

The ex-chocolate bar queen.

And you know what?

It’s been the absolute best six days of life.

(It would seem as though in a bid to replace my discarded crown, I am now the queen of excessive use of hyperbole.)

Marc and I have been cooking amazing dinners, eating the delicious produce grown from our very own backyard, and taking the time to sit outside and enjoy our meals.

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I cannot quite explain to you how nice it is to bide my time and prepare a delicious and nutritious dish, instead of eating seven oreos and then complaining about how much my stomach hurts, and then dreading the task of forcing a few bites of a meal down my throat (only to be starving three hours later and repeat the first step which would then ensure a redux of the hurt tummy blahs.)

I think this renaissance (can it be a renaissance if you never remember living the process a first time around?) will be one I stick with.

She was looking pretty beat.

A post-Tough Mudder snap:

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On the plus side, I carried my 180 lbs partner 100 meters and was the fifth woman to finish the course.

On the downside:

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and

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Old friends.

Revisiting this genius:

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So if Bradbury is my all-time favourite author of life, Heinlein is definitely in my top-20. The dude can not only write, but sweet mother of pearl does he ever make you think.

He may not make me quake, and cry, and shake, an die like ol’ Ray, but Bobby A too has a few tricks and treats up his sleeve.

Dance break.

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About a boy.

Look at this dude.

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HE IS SO CUTE I CANNOT EVEN.

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This August will mark eleven years that I have had this brilliant, bonkers man in my life.

That is like – more than one third of my life.

(That is like, MORE THAN A LONG TIME OF MY LIFE.)

How do you even spend that much time with someone and now bludgeon them to death with a pineapple one morning over brunch?

I have no idea.

Good thing we never eat brunch.

Anywho, he’s just such a marvellous person who makes my silly little heart smile all the time, and sometimes I feel like a broken record just waxing eloquent all the live-long day about all of the full-stop brilliant things he is doing with his life, but I don’t care because he is a difference maker and world builder and all of his energy and brilliance shines light into the lives of his many students, and his words, and deeds, and thoughts and passions impact so, so many who come up to him and say “thank you thank you” and those who may not even know it, but who will wake up one morning, on a sun-drenched Thursday morn, and just think to themselves, “wow.”

Because that is what I do.

Everyday.

Sweet mudder of pearl

Guess whose back? Back again?

Ethel’s back! Tell a friend!

WHAT. A. RACE.

Could somebody pass me a washcloth?

The great thing about all of this mud is that it covers the myriad of cuts and bruises that now decorate the length of my body.

It may or may not look like I went ten rounds with a baseball bat.

Actually, what I really want to do is get a t-shirt that says, “Yeah, but you should see the other guy!”

Also, those running shoes did not return with me on the ride home. The mud was so thick in parts of the race that people were actually losing their shoes.

Talk about trauma-rama – at mile three we passed some poor girl desperately searching through the muck to find her long gone runner – arms and legs completely lost in the mire, trying to feel about for her sinking Nike.

(This was also in a section of the course called “Bush Whacking” which had seen us literally carve our own paths down the side of a forested mountain.)

Her incredibly supportive teammate (and by supportive, I mean exasperated as hell) threw her hands up in the air and exclaimed, “Fuck the shoe!”

Fuck the shoe you say?

Oh no no no no no no no….

There is no way in heck that the unfortunate mudder would be able to continue on to finish her race without something resembling a shoe strapped onto her foot.

And by resembling I mean an exact replica.

Shoes – they matter.

Because dudes, THIS was one hell of a course.

Over 12 miles long (of which probably a good two miles were in the snow!), we went through it all: crawling in the mud under barbed wire, crawling in the mud under ever lower barbed wire, scaling ten and twelve foot walls, running up half-pipes (this nearly broke my breasts – small though they are, no word of a lie that hurt like heck), traversing monkey bars over freezing water, ACTUALLY jumping into freezing water, electrified slip and slides, electrified finish lines, WALKING UP THE SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN THAT HOUSES A BLOODY SKY JUMP (at mile ten mind you), more mud (think the consistency of newly mixed cement), more mud, running up hill, running down hill – did I mention the mud?

My number, M’s and my headbands.

And seriously, it was glorious.

Brilliant.

A day of supreme bad-assery, if you will.

M and I worked together like a team on fire. It’s so amazing to see what we are capable of doing as a unit when put into these kind of situations. Neither of us complained, or whined; we continually checked in with one another, encouraged each other, let each other know what hurt, what needed to be stretched out, where we would next take water, whether one of us needed to use the loo.

Actually, funny story there.

After the Arctic Enema – even less sexy than it sounds, let me assure you – I realize that I need to quickly use the john. Well, what with my shorts and my underwear now super glued to my body, it was a hell of a time trying to get those bad boys down, let alone back up again (think removing the wettest, coldest bathing suit (re: speedo), and then trying to put it back on as fast as you possible can.)

It’s practically impossible, right?

Especially when you are trying to move it, move it.

My extremely competitive nature made me briefly consider leaving with just my shorts back in place and my underwear still straddling my upper thighs, but luckily I though better of it and made sure everything was good to go before getting back to business.

Oh, I also did the really classy thing of peeing into the urinal (this being an outhouse it was the easiest thing to access) instead of the actual toilet, because some schmuck had actually closed the lid – and there was no way I was making the effort to lift it back up. Plus, THAT’S GROSS.

Priorities!

Anywho, to get back to the race. What a day – beautiful weather, not too cold, not too hot, sun in the alpine, cooler in some parts but not freezing (that was what we had the water for.) M and I ran pretty much the entire course save the brutal, brutal track up the sky jump hill – the incline was just too much, and at way too far into the race. We jogged probably the first 50 meters before settling into as fast of a hike as possible.

It was pretty cool as we neared the finish line – you could hear the music and everybody cheering – what a way to pump you up to finish the race.

As soon as you crossed that line (after running through a massive obstacle filled with wires, some charged at 10,000 volts) M and I just collapsed into a huge hug, and just held each other for a second to drink it all in.

I cannot say all too much else except that I am so very proud of us. We achieved something pretty amazing the two of us together – 12 miles, 23 obstacles, 2 hours, twenty minutes of madness and glory.

Post-race however, as my brilliant friend K texted me later that day – “That awkward moment when you are scrubbing and scrubbing and you realize that it’s not mud, but a bruise.”

Yeaaaahhhhh:

Pre-shower legs.

Eeeerrrr:

Pre-shower arms, plus my number still written on my forehead.

Ooof:

Next day legs.

Eeep:

Next day arms.

Phew, so there you have it.

Also, the next race is in Seattle on September 29.

I may or may not be able to wait to get out there again.

How about I get the team t-shirts? And will that be a small, medium, or large?