If you’ve been reading my email updates for the past 6 years – or if you’ve just seen me wobbling my way down the sidewalks of Cambridge – you know that for me, running means hitting the pavement in the most literal of ways. For some reason (probably my tendency to ignore oncoming traffic/sidewalk cracks), it’s utterly impossible for me to make it through a season without taking a solid digger. I’ve come to embrace it, and so in that spirit, I present my top 3 nominees for CAITLIN’S FALL(s) OF FAME!!!
1. My first and favorite fall of marathon training. I went down hard and barrel-rolled through Natick Center, but it was all in the service of high-fiving Lucy. I’d do it again in a second.
2. Unfortunately undocumented, one of my finest falls took place last February on the sidewalk outside Wellesley. Mid-conversation with Anna I slipped on the ice and went into a literal tailspin. I’m pretty practiced at the palm-knee prop-up, but that right-side tush hit with a 360-degree spin is one of my proudest moments.
3. Last year’s season started off with a bang (or a muffled “WHAOOAAHHHCH”) when, in the last mile of an 8-mile long run at home, I switched to my psych-up song. Actually, let’s take a moment to set the scene.
Makes you want to just put on your unitard and rev it UP, amirite??? Having been sufficiently psyched, I started to pick up the pace – unfortunately, my feet did not follow suit. I ate it 20 seconds in. Here’s the gory result:
I’m pretty sure, given the state of the Wellesley sidewalks these days, that more Fall of Fame-worthy slip-ups are in my future. So keep an eye out and a Bandaid handy!
But rarely right or left, much to the dismay of anyone who’s ever encountered me in a crosswalk.
January tends, as I believe I’ve said before, to inspire grand, resolutionary plans. Two weeks ago, for instance, still reeling from the effects of one too many “SEMESTER’S OVER!!!” ice cream sandwiches, I became enamored of Martha Stewart’s Whole Living magazine and its January detox plan. I am now in possession of every whole grain known to man and about a bale of kale. Kale aside, I normally spend the first week of January gloating a bit. While the majority of the population is still stretching its collective hammy, we marathoners are well on our way to double-digit training runs. But this January – perhaps as a result of all those Reflect & Renew yoga classes I’ve been falling asleep in, perhaps as a result of seeing my life flash before my eyes during last weekend’s Crossfit cross-training – I’ve been thinking more about the sense of panic that inspires all the frantic goal-setting.
January resolutions generally come out of looking back and seeing yet another year gone by without a Nobel, or that first place in the Interpretive Dance Olympics (my own personal crusade). Is life even worth LIVING without such
accomplishments? Well, yes. We’re lucky enough to have Team in Training to remind us of this every year. See, although something like a marathon or a cancer diagnosis often prompts the same kind of reflection as the end of a year, it generally results in a different reaction.
Our coach Sarad’s second favorite thing to say (right after “That was inappropriate, wasn’t it?”) is that training is cumulative. The dedications we hear each week reminds you that life is, too. It’s not the big ticket items – the 20-mile runs, the successful Middle East peace treaties – that make a marathon, or a life. It’s the stuff in between; the 3-mile runs you squeezed in on a rickety hotel treadmill, or the time you took to tell each and every one of your email contacts about the amazing opportunities available to them through BuyWithMe. By all means reach for the shimmy-shimmy-step-ball-change interpretive dance stars, but even if that gold slips through your outstretched jazz fingers once again, take a minute to appreciate all the grapevining you HAVE done and the people who have supported you in doing it.
Oh, you know what talk of supportive friends and family means, don’t you? That’s right. The fundraising ask. Our first recommitment deadline is coming up on January 31st, which means you still have time to make good on that “Donate more money to excellent charitable causes” goal of yours. And if you can’t donate the big bucks, don’t worry! Take the moral of this email to heart and give whatever you can at http://pages.teamintraining.org/ma/boston11/cdeschenes. It will be appreciated!!!