Thursday, September 10, 2009

I'm a really good gum chewer.

There's a guy at my gym who I see on the treadmill from time to time. Easy to spot because he juggles as he runs at a pretty good clip. Juggles. Three balls. And I think he also listens to his Ipod and reads the NY Times Digest the whole time. It's way impressive and although I try my damndest not to check other people out at the gym, I fully gawk when I see him. Dude doesn't bat an eye.

Meanwhile, I have a very set routine on the treadmill that would never be conducive to throwing three red balls in the air simultaneously. Ipod goes on the console in front of me and my earbud cord must run underneath my shirt for fear of an inch of it touching my skin as I run. Water bottle in the left holder, sweat towel in the right. If it's laundry day and I had the misfortune to wear a shirt with sleeves (total OCD), I yank those babies up to my shoulders. Oh, and during a morning run? The TV in front of me MUST be on Channel 4 (that's NBC for my non-NY friends). If I am finishing up my run by the 7:00 hour, I must see Matt and Meredith or my whole day is thrown off.

(And while we're on the subject? I am still surprised by the number of people who don't do the "point and shrug" to a TV to see if you're watching that channel before they change it. Don't even THINK about turning on "Fox and Friends" when I'm in the middle of a run. I have a body full of adrenaline and I'm not afraid to use it.)

Once my checklist is complete, I can get started. God forbid the stars are not aligned that day. One tilt of the Earth's axis and I'll find myself ass over teakettle.

Here's my point.

There are some people who can not only walk and chew gum, but can also write a full dissertation on the history of Juicyfruit as they do it. Me? Not one of those people.

I do consider myself quite the multi-tasker. When it comes to my job, for instance, I may be working on a half-dozen stories at one time. But I am also a firm believer in focusing on one thing you want to do really well ... and then killing it.

As I close in on The Day, I find myself in a very busy time at work. I love my job and consider myself fortunate to do what I do every day. I work with great people and every now and again, the stories we do make a difference in people's lives. I take great pride in immersing myself into a story and knowing every facet of it, and for nearly 15 years, my job has been one of my top priorities.

But damned if it doesn't have a little competition right now.

I have become obsessive about my TNT practices and will bounce from the office at 6:00 every Tuesday to make sure I get there on time. I've only missed a couple of Saturday long runs because of shoots, which is really unusual. I work many weekends and have no problem doing so but since I've been training, I've become intensely protective of those precious few hours I have to complete a long run.

With the exception of my wedding, I don't remember an event that has captured my attention like training for October 18th has. It's on my mind constantly. I imagine being in the corrals at the start and I fantasize about crossing the finish line. (I also obsess about what my finish line picture will look like. Do I throw my hands in the air or pump my fists? Shades on or off? What if I'm picking something out of my nose or I have a wardrobe malfunction? What if my hair looks funny?) So yeah, I go through it all. Excitement, fear, anxiety, anticipation, heartburn.

(I threw that last one in. Had salmon with hoisin sauce for dinner.)

On the one hand, I'm looking forward to October 19th, when I can once again pour myself into anything (or anyone) I've neglected these past months. But on the other hand - and it's a big hand with like nine thumbs - I am scared witless about what I am going to do.

(Much to Mike's chagrin, I will most definitely be once-again available to complain about household tasks that may or may not be completed. Sucks to be him.)

Should this little 26-mile experiment be successful, I would absolutely do it again. Maybe in another city, even. I'd do half-marathons to keep my legs fresh. I'll do races in CP, just to get the rush of the throngs. (I will not, however, do a triathlon. Not only would I drown, but those wetsuits are not body-friendly at ALL.)

The takeaway here? I better learn to juggle. Maybe not the "three balls and look at me while I finish the Friday Times crossword at the same time" juggle, but we've all got to start somewhere.

Tomorrow, I am tackling patting my head while rubbing my tummy.

Or is it rubbing my head and patting my tummy?

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