Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Colder months ignites Frost's message

I try to jog a few times a week. That and my morning coffee are two daily events I know I can count on.

In the summer/spring it's no problem. I have my routine. Change after work. Grab a baggy for dog waste and water for the desert that my mouth becomes. Drive to paved path. Start my workout.

During the DARK AGES however, I have one exercise goal and it doesn't involve burning off last night's burrito. It's Do Not Die. Seriously. Winter workout goal No.1: Do Not Die.

Yesterday, as I prepared to leave my apartment, I told my roommate, "If I don't return, you know where to find my carcass." Then I set out to see if my destiny was lurking in the shadow of the giant maple tree, with a knife and a GLAD bag.

The path lamp posts — all two of them — DID illuminate my way for about .3 seconds of my 30-minute sweat-a-thon. The rest of the time, I couldn't see a dang thing. I couldn't see the tributaries at my feet, or the suspicious man with the hoodie over his head until I almost plowed him over. I couldn't dodge pot holes or other doggie droppings.

Yet I pressed on. I finished the race of my life (and tossed out my sneakers afterwards). I felt like Rocky on the steps of the Philadelphia art museum. Ok maybe it wasn't that dramatic. BUT I did something most females would be too afraid to do.

Afraid is something I've tried to avoid. My mom is afraid of everything. To drive in the fog. To get on a plane. To drink caffeinated beverage after 1 p.m. To fall in love with a dog. To be alone.

I know this isn't a particular thrilling recount, but I share it because I think it's symbolic of the way we should live our life... in a Robert Frost kinda way. Frost is famous for this poem (parts of) that I share below and his words explains why I don't just go out and get a gym membership.

"Two roads diverged in a wood
And I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference"

How do you challenge yourself to take the path less traveled?


Chrissie said...

you are nuts.

i'm not "afraid" of everything, but being alone and vulnerable and female in the dark at night, is something i've always avoided.

maybe it's because my dad even thinks "a young woman like me shouldn't be driving around in the dark," so being on foot seems all the more compromising... but i just can't bring myself to risk it.

although, it may also be because i've never been fond of running and so i'm not very good at it;)

and as for your mom, drinking caffeine after 1 p.m. is something i do with ease!

but after 5 it's decaf for me;)

Sarah said...

You see, I think once it awhile you gotta have that cup of JOLT at 5 p.m., just to keep life interesting :-)

Sarah said...

it = in

sorry for all the typos today and yesterday in my comments. My brain is working slower than my fingers.

tnmiller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tnmiller said...

Pete Colaizzo is not impressed.

But I am!

(That deleted comment was mine. I misspelled Pete's last name and I am very ashamed.)

Anonymous said...

sarah, beware of things that are bold and fearless and challenging, but also foolish.

fear of flying == irrational.
fear of running alone, in the dark, down a dimly lit wooded path, with "suspicious" men lurking in the shadows == PERFECTLY RATIONAL.

many people look at crime statistics and decide, "well, it's so rare, it'll never happen to me."

but we don't really fully grasp or appreciate the fact that it takes only ONE mistake to become buried in those statistics.

i suggest you avoid increasing the odds of becoming someone to whom the insensibility of "it'll never happen to me" is painfully clear.

gym memberships are something like $10 a month at planet fitness. i don't think frost would mind;)

Sarah said...

I appreciate your thoughts ANON. They are very rational ;-) However, I really cherish running outdoors, and will continue to do so until Mother Nature (not creepy men) stops me.

Plus, you can't EVEN grunt at Planet Fitness :-)

I hope others see the symbolism and not the conundrum of 'To Jog Or Not To Jog.

Nothing is easy. Everything has risks, challenges, dangers... But rewards come to those who are willing to take the road less traveled. Now I sound like Rev. Run.

My rewards:
Danger = faster pace. Outdoors = Pets OK. Dark = Alone w/ my thoughts. Fresh Air = Counters 40 hours in "jail." ETC...

Anonymous said...

yeah, i understand the metaphor. but in the literal sense, i really would be careful about jogging at night (unless of course you have a really big dog).

i jog at night too thru the streets of lower pok, and i always thought "eh... i'm a guy, nothing will ever happen to me." but then one time i happened to jog by a drug deal... and let's just say i had more attention paid to me than i felt comfortable with.

after that i realized how it doesn't take much -- just bad timing and crossing the wrong people at the wrong moment -- for things to go very bad very quickly.

but that didn't stop me from jogging at night though... i just changed my route - to one that didn't pass by the local crackhouse.

Sarah said...

my dog is a large size rodent. not very scary. I am working on a Rent-A-PitBull deal tho :-) So until then, I'll avoid the crackhouses.