Sunday, July 20, 2014

Past, Present, Future

Friday afternoon, I kicked off another husband-solo weekend with the little ladies.  My head typically fills with giant question marks of one hundred awesome things we could do together, but each question mark usually fades away for a number of reasons - timing, cost, travel requirements.  This time, learning from my past failures, I kept it simple.  My kitchen helpers made personal pizzas while I managed to make a pulled pork pizza with BBQ sauce, onions and blue cheese on a cauliflower crust. Yummy!  While I cleaned the kitchen, the girls straightened up the family room (all the while whining) before I came through with the vacuum.  We enjoyed toasting marshmallows on the patio before retiring to bed - all of us.  I tried to crank out a few pages in my book The Circle, but Mr. Sandman got the best of me and I passed out.
I was rudely blasted out of bed at 5 am by the sound of my alarm clock.  I planned to log 15 miles on my dreadmill with the hopes of staying 'in step' with my marathon training plan.  My plan is a little more aggressive than what I followed for Philly (almost three years ago), so if necessary, I could tap out at 10 miles.  I honestly couldn't imagine running any more than 5 on the 'mill.  It took me almost twenty minutes to get set up; Wednesday evening, I spent some time with my PC, the interwebs and all my ANT+ products to get the Virtual Runner application working (check out the website).  I purchased two routes - 7 miles in the Australian Outback at sunrise and 7 miles along the Great Barrier Reef.  I walked down the creaky basement steps, immediately engulfed in the musty, coldness, with my laptop, my water and my fuel.  I had already attached the foot pod to my shoes.  All trial and error, I spent time positioning the laptop (on top of an old TV) closer to the treadmill and the treadmill closer to the laptop.  Yin and yang...a delicate balance...the two needed to come together, but too close and the entire set up would fall apart...literally.  Already sweating in the dank of the darkness, I started the 'mill, launched the app and jumped onto the belt with a brisk jog.  Low and behold, I was running in the Australian Outback at sunrise.  I spent the first few miles getting used to the set up.  "Wow, this is pretty running shadow looks great on the concrete wall...good thing I have water...wonder when we're going to finish the basement...maybe I could start this weekend (one of many question marks in my head)...I don't think I'm going to make 10 cadence is fairly regular given my increase in speed...cadence...what does that really mean?"
Okay, maybe that was only mile 1.  
I decided to throw in the towel around mile 4 of the Great Barrier Reef.  I was close to 11 miles, but the girls were awake, I needed some serious coffee and I started to feel my left hamstring bark at me. Stupid Keurig coughed up a cup of coffee after eight furious minutes.  I stretched, showered and scooped up the girls to take them to breakfast.  I housed a turkey club omelette while I let the ladies dip their french toast and sausage in what looked like a bucket of syrup.  After paying, I followed Ava's navigation to a park in Emmaus.  That little girl directed us to a park I'd never been.  We parked alongside the street and exited the car.  The park was vacant - what a nice treat!  I let the girls run around while I camped out on a shaded bench.  I scanned the area.  Immediately, the question marks in my head were drowned by memories past.  The landscape reminded me of a park that my Mom used to take me to when visiting my grandparents in Jersey.  I remember walking down the street and seeing the metal slides.  I thought I remembered the free standing bathrooms that were positioned to the right of the largest standalone slide.  Whew!  Those slides got HOT in the sun.  

The girls were especially attracted the spin-thing that could spontaneously induce vomiting faster than syrup of ipecac and possibly necessitating a panicked phone call to EMS.  So, I let go of that question mark and pushed as hard as I could.

No Puke Here
The giggles subsided as the puke wheel came to a creeping halt.  I advised the girls to take one more slide before we piled back into the car.  Ava needed new sneakers desperately, and Allison was a close second.  

After the fastest sneaker procurement process, we paused for a selfie (guess it should be called a groupie?) in our (ahem, my) favorite store.

We retired to the center of 'town' each with a tasty treat from Starbucks.  Following the sugar rush, we made way for home where we'd be greeted by...wait for it...QUIET TIME!  The girls napped while I organized some photos and read a few chapters in my book.  
Earlier in the day, Grandma and Grandpa returned home after a getaway to the Bahamas.  Missing her grandchildren, Grandma invited us over for Italian take out.  After a filling dinner, exhausting play and an ice cream treat, we said our good-byes and again, poured ourselves into bed.  I couldn't even muster enough energy to turn on my Kindle.  Instead, I passed out as I rolled onto my side. 
Second morning in a row, I was rudely roused by a foreign sound.  My ears tuned into the earth and I eventually realized that my children were bouncing on my bed, trying to wake me up.  W.T.F.  While I ran the last of the vinegar through the Keurig, the girls cleaned their rooms.  Breakfast was on the line - room not cleaned, no breakfast.  And bacon was supposedly on the menu.  Within 30 minutes, I buzzed through their rooms with the vacuums.  Bacon's on!
Finally, I brewed a cup of vinegar-free coffee and sat down to write this post (which has taken me all day).  Like the whatchamacallit spin-a-ma-do, we whipped through the morning activities to position us at the park up the street.
The weather was so gorgeous, near chilly in the shade.  I came prepared.

I welcomed the opportunity to work on a few yoga poses; the ladies joining in the activity.

Little Yogis
We lunched on the deck, under the umbrella, with Grandma, before the second QUIET TIME of the weekend.  After the kids laid down, I made a delicious salad for Monday snacking.  The rest of the afternoon was used to organize my thoughts around the evening's yoga class.  Yoga on the back deck is glorious.  I settled into a number of poses geared toward opening the hips.  I know I'd be cursed while cueing the poses, but at the end of class, all would leave with smiles on their faces...right???  I mean, look at this face:

My Yoga Face
I'm happy to report that my students DID leave with a similar yoga face.

And now, in the present, I'm at my kitchen table wrapping up my thoughts on the weekend.  The girls are in bed, the husband is en route and I'm two steps from heading up to bed.  I'm not interested in looking towards the future, I can't hold onto the past, but the Now is slipping away.  The best I can do is just live in the Now.  It will always be Now; that's the only constant.