(a continuation of the 'Why I Run' series)
Sometimes, especially when I'm feeling hormonal, I spend hours on the internet, snooping in on other peoples' lives, wishing I was there instead of here.
What would it be like if I had a barn with cows and goats and sheep giving birth to lambs? What if Jared had set up practice in New York City instead of small-town Maine? What if I worked as an artist? What if I had a good reason to wear old, dirty overalls? What if we had an antique house? What if we had no TV? What if I home schooled on a boat? What if I had a gigantic face tattoo? What if I were somebody else?
Well, the truth is, I can't be anyone else. Good, bad, or in between, I'm just me--and if all goes according to plan (and my meds do what they're supposed to do), I'll never get that face tattoo.
The truth is, I live on a nice little street in Maine. I went to college at a state university. I have two kids, a husband, a dog, and a part-time job. I got a KitchenAid mixer as a wedding gift, I regularly sneak things on my MasterCard, and I have a moderate-to-severe Facebook addiction.
Seriously, who doesn't?
My yard has way too many weeds, my dog has way too much gas, and I just finished off the half-gallon of Overloaded Chocolate Caramel Tango before 10:30 in the morning.
Love it or hate it, this life of mine is all very average. And you know what? Average is fine. It's safe, it's predictable, it's comfortable, and I can guarendamntee that you won't stand out in a crowd.
In my late teens and early twenties, the notion of an average life seemed worse than the idea of a ten year sentence in maximum security prison--at least prison would give me a few good party stories. But as I've gotten older, and now that I'm almost thirty, I've come to realize that average suits me just fine.
Well, kind of.
As long as I maintain a ratio of 85% average and 15% butt-ass-crazy, my happy level stays right were it should be.
I won't bore you with the eighty-five--let's jump straight to the remaining fifteen.
Did you know that seven out of ten Americans don't do any form of regular exercise whatsoever? That's right, 70%! I've used that statistic to develop the following diagram:
AMY'S SCALE OF AVERAGENESS
SIT AROUND IN YOUR HOUSE -- AVERAGE
SIT AROUND OUTSIDE -- NOT SO AVERAGE
WALK THE DOG -- EXOTIC
WALK FOR EXERCISE -- EXOTIC DANCER
RUN -- WHAT?!?!
RUN RACES -- WHAT THE?!?!
RUN MARATHONS -- BUTT. ASS. CRAZY.
RUN ULTRAS -- PART ROBOT.
As you can see, speed doesn't play any factor in the equation. If you run, at all, you're breaking away from the norm--and that feels great.
If I had to provide a conservative estimate, I'd say that long distance running fills 10% of my butt-ass-crazy portion. The remaining 5%? Well that comes in the form of notes and emails to James's teachers:
Dear Ms. Kathy,
James won't be in school today. Personally, I think he's faking. But last time I thought he was faking he threw up all over an old lady's back at church. Didn't want to take that risk.
Dear Miss Nancy,
Thanks for letting me know that James will be observed by the social skills specialist on the 19th. I'll be sure to comb his hair that day.
Dear Principal Lidd,
I understand why James was sent to your office on Tuesday, but I'd like to point out that he wasn't telling a lie. James was in fact uninvited back to violin lessons after he poked his teacher in the schnuts with his bow. I know it wasn't the best choice on James's part, but the teacher wouldn't stop calling him Jimmy. I almost poked him in the gnads myself.
Average is good, but running makes it better. And the notes? Well, the notes make it fun.