Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Are we there yet?

Yes!  It is July 31st and this completes my promise to post every day in the month of July.  As I lamented, more than once, it was sometimes a challenge to keep myself motivated but having Nancy blogging alongside helped enormously.  So did your Facebook "likes," emails, and posted comments. I am glad I did this; it shook some ideas loose in my head and left some record of the month of July which otherwise might have dissipated into oblivion like a wispy fog of warm breath on a cold winter day.

But, to be honest, I am also glad that the month is over and I am done with daily posting for a while.  I have a lot of other things to do, especially as the next academic year approaches.  As regular readers of the July posts know, I have been gone quite a bit since May and it seems like the summer slow down characteristic of university life has not yet begun.  Maybe you can imagine my dismay when a faculty colleague commented today that we will begin the fall semester 'welcome back' activities in just 2 weeks!  I checked the calendar; she's right.

YIKES!  How did that happen?

This post is both the end of my July daily posting promise and my 100th entry on the Extra-Ordinary Ramblings blog site.  This represents another sort of milestone, I guess, and like the impending start to the school year, it took me by surprise.  Somehow, through all my fussing and complaining and teeth gnashing and fighting with myself over the last couple years, not to mention the constant clamor of  my twin internal critics, Agnes and Agatha, I have actually posted quite a bit of material.  And I humbly confess that I even like some of it.

I don't know about you, but I squander a lot of energy fighting with myself about doing things.  If I made New Year's Resolutions, I should really resolve to just shut up and do what needs to be done. To get over myself and get on with it.

So, here is a mid-year resolution:

A few days ago, I posted about the possibility of participating in the Tawas mini-triathlon.  Completing a triathlon has been a favorite fantasy of mine for a long time.  This morning, I  decided that I am going to do it.  That's all.  Just do it.

I got in the Ryder Center pool today and did a slow, steady, and arm-aching 600 meter swim.  Yes, I have some work to do before I'll be ready for that triathlon, but it was ok, even pretty good, once I got my goggles to stop leaking.

The biking shouldn't be a problem; it is by far my favorite summertime activity.

Running, .... well.  Yes.  About that.

Suffice it to say that biking is much better than running.  This is not just my opinion; I  have indisputable proof.  Michigan has lots of paved trails for bikers, runners, roller-bladers and in the winter, cross country skiers.  When we go to the Pere Marquette Trail, or the Saginaw Valley Rail Trail, or that especially beautiful trail that runs for miles and miles along Lake Michigan, we see lots of other people out exercising. And there is a very noticeable difference in the demeanor of the bikers and the runners.

 The bikers ALWAYS have great big happy grins on their faces and greet others with a delighted "Great day for a ride, isn't it?"

The runners, on the other hand,  tend look like they are completely miserable; they grimace and frown, and seem like they are counting the steps until the end of their ordeal. They rarely acknowledge a passer-by, let alone offer or respond to a cheerful greeting.

You have to admit that the difference is compelling.

Here is where that mid-year resolution comes into play.  I am going to shut up about how much I dislike running and just do it.  I am not a fast runner, but the 5K run will take me just a little more than 30 minutes.  Like 35.  That's all.  35 minutes.  How bad can it be?  It's only 35 minutes.

And like the July promise and 100 blog postings, if I just keep at it, I'll be fine. The job will get done.  And I will be so happy.

I have expressed gratitude for 100 things since I started writing this blog, and tonight I will just reiterate my constant gratitude for Al, Eric, Ellen, extended family, old friends, new friends, and my friends yet to come. And ice cream.  I don't think I've mentioned ice cream!

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