Just do it. I know, it’s an abysmal, mindless cliché of an advertising tagline, but at the same time, it’s simple and it’s true. If you don’t do it, it doesn’t happen. You can talk about writing the book, quitting the job, opening the restaurant or moving to Europe, or you can actually just do it. I only recently figured that out, which is why I have a book. I spent way too much time talking myself out of things, telling myself something was too presumptuous or the odds were against me or I wasn’t good enough or the competition was too tough. You eventually realize that there are the people who storm the castle and then there are the people who sit there and talk about how nice it would be to eventually storm the castle. And if you storm the castle and get an arrow in the eye, at least you tried storming the castle.
Somewhere, a sad, obese man in pristine ASICS scarfs cookie dough over an unopened ‘Runner’s World’, complaining that he needs more “tips.”
I ran tonight in the cold and the wind. To keep my mind off the weather and the idea of slipping and breaking a leg, I novelized the journey in my head.
Kilometer One: As soon as the first blast of wind strikes me, I feel underdressed. I later find out the windchill is -17. My lower arms especially have just a thin layer of dry-fit covering my elbows, between the end of my gloves and my two t-shirts. Even worse, the wind cuts through my shoes, the same airvents designed to keep my feet cool and dry in the summer are letting the cold air bite against my toes, despite wearing thicker/warmer socks. Undaunted, I continue.
Kilometer Two: The wind on Barrington Street continues to batter me and chases me up Inglis. Despite wearing pants and two pairs of shorts, my knees begin to feel cold as well. Ice and snow crack underfoot as I head down Young Avenue.
Kilometer Three: It feels as if my eyebrows and the edge of my toque have frozen together. I imagine myself running with a permanent expression of surprise on my face. My belly feels weird. It’s odd, as lately before I run, there’s a feeling of nervousness and unease. Maybe it’s because I keep pushing myself to do better, go farther, be faster, run longer. But there’s nerves before I leave the apartment. They dissipate quickly. My belly feels different from that, almost furry or numb. A circle of numb. Losing weight is one of the reasons I picked up running with any sort of seriousness, after developing that belly while my ankle was lame. I’ve since dropped from my peak of 200 pounds down to roughly 187. But there’s a belly or a paunch of sorts remaining. Most disagree, saying that they can’t see the difference or that it hasn’t looked like I’ve put on nor dropped weight over the past six months. But I can and it gives me great pride to not only recognize it, but to be able to stop and reverse what was happening. Either way, there’s still a bit of a gut remaining and it is joining the cries of my body that I should return to the warmth of my apartment.
Kilometer Four: I feel as if I were to puff my face out, my cheeks would crack and shatter. I’m cold. All over. I turn off of Tower and back onto Inglis and keep going. Somewhere in my mind, there’s a battle going on between common sense and stubbornness. My body is saying it is cold and I am refusing to listen. In fact, I am heading in the complete opposite direction from home. I am as far away from my apartment as I will get and I am frozen.
Kilometer Five: Spite is an excellent motivator. As is frustration and anger. Cursing loudly helps a bit too.
Kilometer Six: Sprinting to catch a traffic light on Robie, I suddenly realize that I can’t feel my pinkies that well. In fact, that separation extends all the way down the underneath of my arm, to my elbow. It feels, curiously, like I’ve just hit my funny bone and my arm is tingling. I imagine icicles growing from my ears and I am no longer aware of my chin. It fell off a few blocks back. I think of what I would look like, with my expression of surprise, no chin and long dangly icicle ears. Running is making me a mutant. A deluded mutant.
Kilometer Seven: Crossing University Avenue for the last bit before home, a van waits for me to go across the sidewalk. An oncoming car beeps as he enters the intersection, causing the van to accelerate to avoid a collision and I have to quickly pick up the pace to avoid being clipped by the van. I dash across a last pile of snow, flashing my middle finger at the car as it goes by. Arriving at my apartment, I pick encrusted ice from my sideburns, yet still resist the urge to go back out for another eight kilometers immediately after stepping inside.
The NHL Coalition
Having decided that the Detroit Redwings technically won the 2008 Stanley Cup, the Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers and Dallas Stars have formed a coalition demanding a three way ownership of the league title. Rational for their decision revolves around their total combined scoring in the 2008 Semi-Finals, their total share of season ticket holders versus the Detroit Redwings and their horror at discovering the Detroit Redwings are using a more cost effective and efficient but non-union made Silver polish to keep the Stanley Cup gleaming.
The three teams are being assisted in their bid to overturn the traditional results by members of the Quebec Hockey League who have no real interest in the success of the NHL in general but sense an opportunity to demand Zambonis and other critical equipment be manufactured in Quebec. Player representatives, Team Owners and Nike are expected to submit their proposals to Don Cherry in the next few days. Fans and ticket holders are neither being asked or allowed a voice in the final decision
Jack and Gilles
Went up Parliament Hill
To fetch them some power.
Steve fell down
and broke his crown
and Stephane came tumbling after.