Okay, you can stop sending me emails asking where I am. Well, at least one of you was nice enough to do that.
Yes, I’ve taken over a week off from blogging and running. There I said it. Sue me. Chastise me. In the 3+ years I’ve had this blog I’ve never done either one of those things, let alone both of them at the same time. Maybe this is what the Mayans had in mind.
Lest you feel I’ve been cheating on you by writing another secret blog (Shut Up and Make Crafts with Cat Hair!) or taken up a substitute hobby like naked badminton (oh my God – is it really spelled that way? For 45 years I had no clue that badminton had an “n” in it. Thought it was badmitton), rest assured the only action around here has been this:
I’m pretty sure the video’s not contagious. Please tell me we are not the only family who spent the holidays puking, hacking, shaking with chills, popping Motrin, sipping Ginger Ale and watching so much bad TV you constantly sound like your grandmother who asks, “What is this world coming to?” (Sexting in Suburbia on Lifetime was really good, by the way).
One fine thing that came out of this was I read more books than I almost have all year. And, I unplugged from Facebook, Twitter and most blog reading. I told you I’d be doing more of this!!
I started with this one:
What the hell was I thinking? I had no clue when I got his from the library a few weeks ago what it was about. A potential shooting in an elementary school. I almost put it down, not wanting to immerse myself anymore in the horror of that world than I have to, but I read on. I read on mostly because I got hooked into the story and soon figured out it was contrived enough that it didn’t upset me. The writing was just so-so and the story was pretty blah. Not one I’d highly recommend.
Then I moved to this one.
Now that’s more like it. I loved this book, even if there was only one time she discussed pooping on the trail (although you know she must have done it almost daily - 90 times or so? – details please!)
There were so many unintended parallels to running in this book . Pushing through pain. Not quitting when you want so desperately to do just that. Enduring the highs and lows of the experience. The best part was that the writer, Cheryl Strayed (yes, she did change her name to that), was not trying to be profound or to teach the reader something. She was merely relaying her personal experience, and somehow that translated into major life lessons for me.
Yes, this book is about the author’s quest for healing by hiking 1,100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, but it is so much more than that. From the day she first puts on her heavy pack (you never learn exactly how much it weighed – my guess is 60-70 lbs.) and trekked into the wilderness to her bleeding and blistered feet that left her so injured she could only hobble, I was hooked. The beauty of this book was truly in the authenticity of the writing and the humble and real nature of the author. Read it!!
Next up was this book:
I’ve got to admit, that after the adventure of Wild, I had a hard time getting into the flow of this book. For sure, Jurek’s story is a good one with all the elements of overcoming adversity, pushing oneself to one’s limits and going for and achieving goals one never thought possible. He has done this all while on a vegan diet that he swears by (sorry to end with a preposition. Would “by which he swears” sound better?).
I’m not vegan and while I’m pretty open minded, I just don’t envision myself making my own rice milk and using it to mix up pancakes with 6 different types of flour. I know there are many of you who live this way and are probably much healthier than I am (and I do know being vegan doesn’t have to be “hard”), but it is all I can do to just get dinner on the damn table some nights, let alone milk my own cow. Yes, I’m sure like with anything if I devoted myself to it, I could do it and do it well. Just not feeling the motivation at this point in time. Prime rib anyone?
Overall, an inspiring story by an incredible endurance runner (and on sale right now on Amazon Kindle for $3.99). This dude is unstoppable.
Read any good books lately? I’m always looking for new stuff. I am about to start Life After Death, which seems like a compelling read.
Are you vegan or vegetarian? No and no.
Have you or your family been sick? Give me the gory details – make me feel better.
Got any big plans for New Year’s? Yes. My couch and heated blanket with a glass of wine.