So I had a BIG decision to make today.
Snowstorm? Or dreadmill?
Where will I spend my 1:30 run today?
See, it started snowing yesterday. And just. kept. snowing. Until, like right about NOW.
Poor Matt's battling a bug (not The Bug, but a NASTY bug) and I've been pretty much tethered to ginger ale and my Bug. I couldn't make the trail run this morning, and I really, really needed to get some practice in for next week (since I feel like I'm going to get my arse handed to me on a silver platter) so I really, REALLY wanted to go outside.
But 12-18 inches of snow?
Could I do that?
I looked outside. I looked at both sets of clothes. I looked outside again.
I put the shorts and tank top away.
As Matt and his old high school football buddies would say, "WETSU!" Which, loosely translated means, "We Eat This Stuff Up," although in their 17 year old football tough guy glory they substituted another word for "stuff."
I like snow. I am a runner. Therefore, I like running in snow. (Is that the associative property? I can never remember)
So I put on some tights, a hoody, got the iPod ready to go, the Garmin all cued up, and put Bug down for a nap. Matt was napping, too. So it was go time!
I decided that for a venture this crazy, I'd need my Ironman jacket. I rarely wear it anymore, because, I dunno...I feel kind of silly wearing it. It says FINISHER really big on the back. I just don't want to be "that guy," you know? I akin it to wearing the shirt of the band you're going to see, somehow. You don't want to be that guy. I know this is silly, but whatevs. I was putting on my reflective vest thingy over it, so that I'd be a screaming yellow-striped pink hooded freak to any cars I'd see as I'd most likely need to run in the sidestreets. No one would really see the huge FINISHER thing on me anyway, but it would be my little secret.
The snow was still coming down pretty hard, and I'd be lucky to find more than 2 or 3 consecutively shoveled sidewalks. I mean, I shoveled last night at 9:30 and then my awesome neighbors ran the snowblower this morning, and it looked like I hadn't even done a THING.
So I took off.
And I felt about five years old again. I wished I could have put Bug in the stroller but then I might have gotten child services called on me, but I just knew he'd love it. I was slipping and sliding a lot (note to self: YakTraks are a MUST for next week) and had my arms flailing around like I was Elaine from Seinfeld dancing. But I was having a blast. I ran by people shoveling, kids making snowmen, and even a mountain biker who gave me a knowing smile and hello. We were both a little nuts, he and I. And loving it.
The iPod cooperated, giving me a nice mix of songs that sent me all over space and time. I love how songs have a way of transporting you...like how when I hear Mr. Jones by Counting Crows, I'm instantly 16 again, or when Chumbawumba's Tubthumping comes on I'm a junior in college in Oxford, dancing on the coffeetable of our crappy house shared with 6 friends on 115 North Bishop Street. Sometimes I started to sing, because, really, who the hell was going to hear me today, anyway? And I even got to hear my favorite Beastie Boys lyric, "Because I got mad hits like I was Rod Carew."
(That's the kind of line I wish I thought of first.)
Then, another song came on that took me to the water in Lake Monona in September of 2006. Fatboy Slim's Right Here, Right Now. A song that played as I treaded water and literally was so afraid I peed my neoprene pants. And I was reminded. Of what was on my back.
Ironman is a funny thing. It never leaves you; it changes you. It's a part of you always, but it shouldn't define you. The story of my life is relatively boring and wouldn't sell many books at Barnes and Nobles or anything, but in my own head sometimes I enjoy remembering these tiny moments...these flashes of time where I was laughing, crying, or changing myself forever. What is fast approaching two and a half years ago, for one moment today as I was knee-deep in snow, was as vivid in my memory as the step I just took on the pavement.
And I'm so, so glad I took that run outside today. Because I had that perfect storm of a perfect storm, a perfect song, and a perfect memory.
And when I got home and was stretching downstairs, Matt was watching television and the video for Thriller came on. When the dance break came in, I looked at him, grinned, got up, and did the dance. From memory.
And then, I was seven again.