Archive for May, 2013

Life and the Internet.

I got my very first email address my freshman year in college. Two, in fact. One was my official college email, the other was a hotmail address which might even still exist. I think now I have, maybe 8 email addresses. Then there was the “Talker” phase. I was a spod, and double points if you know what that means. I’m on Twitter… a lot. I use Facebook. I’m on Tumblr (as a follower, I don’t post anything.) I can’t even tell you how many various things I’ve signed up for and stuck with or abandoned as time went on.

Through all that I’ve made, and stayed in touch with some awesome people. I haven’t had any of the horrible internet experiences they warn about. That’s not to say I haven’t been reckless at times, just that I guess I’ve been lucky.

I have dated people I met online, not on a dating site. One for four years of every 6 month visits. For my 30th birthday, I took a trip to England by myself, but for most of it I was not truly alone because at each stop I got to meet with people I had talked to for years but most of whom I hadn’t met until I stepped off the train. That trip (in my Dec 2006 archives) remains one of the best things I have ever done for myself.

I met one of my best friends currently on an amazing online community because we figured out that we both lived close and liked to knit.

So there are people out there, all over America, and all over the world that I would look straight at you and call my “friends,” and mean it with all my heart.

The part that has been getting me lately, as I get older, is that there is a chance that some of those people, I might never meet.  Or, what is an even worse feeling for me, I may have met them and will never see them again. That, right there, is crazy. I am a small part of their daily lives. I think of them in passing, as they do me. Maybe I haven’t talked to them in years but when they watch a certain movie or hear a quote, they think of me for a second.

I”m not sure what the point of this post is. It’s just something that I bat around in my head sometimes. I want to buy an island and invite all my friends to come and live on it with me. Any takers?

The Loneliest Number?

My running, aside from in a 5K, has been mainly a solitary activity.  I know not everyone runs that way: running groups, running partners, races, internet forums–running can be very social.  But, for me, the moment other feet hit the pavement around me, the comparisons start. He’s  faster, she’s not as sweaty, they’re breathing more easily. Her form is better, his shoes are nicer, their bodies are less lumpy. They’re real runners. I’m not.

I”ve been asked to run with a dear friend who has completed a few marathons. I’ve been asked to run with a bunch of high school friends who have a lovely, supportive running group. My answer has been the same. No, thanks, I’d hold you back. I can’t keep up. I’d slow you down. (Thinking: You’d find out I shouldn’t even be using the term “runner” to apply to myself.)

When I run alone, I’m free from the comparisons. When I run by myself I feel powerful, strong, accomplished. I put on my gear, pop in my earbuds, start up my tracking app, and go.  And for the next 40 or so minutes the conversation in my brain is positive. I can do this; I can keep going. That’s a little sore, but I’m fine. I can make it. Yes, I worry about pace and improving. But only in line with how I did on my last run. When I ran a 5K under 43 minutes, alone, it seemed like a huge accomplishment. It WAS a huge accomplishment for me. But when I ran a 5K in 40 minutes, and placed 600-something out of a thousand something, it was hard to keep that accomplishment in perspective.

It’s a shame really, because the running community has always been nothing but supportive. During my first 5K last year, when I had strep throat and a bronchial infection, but didn’t know it it yet, two women, who were total strangers to me, ran back on the course to find me (dead last) and run me in, encouraging me all the way. Last weekend, at my first 5K since I began re-training a few months ago, a whole line of runners who had completed their race cheered me along to the finish line “Push it through!” “You’re doing great!” “Almost there!” And they gave me that extra something I needed to sprint to the finish line for my best time ever. The running community is awesome.

Maybe someday I’ll feel legitimate enough to consider myself a part of it.  For now, I’ll listen to my music, encourage myself, plan my day’s to-do list, ponder what to wear tomorrow, and keep running…alone.


Lori

A blog about my life and other stuff.

Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that can never go wrong;
And I am Marie of Romania.

Dorothy Parker, Not So Deep as a Well (1937)