Running into the Headwinds of Life, Abs Challenge, and Three Films


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As I was out running on Sunday there was a strong wind blowing into me most of the time – it seemed to shift just to oppose me. Because it was warm it helped keep me cool, but it was strong enough to make my run harder. As I was heading home I was thinking of those headwinds as a metaphor. Or maybe I was thinking of metaphors after crying my way through watching ‘The Fault in Our Stars’. Whatever …

Running into the Headwinds of Life

I mentioned that my first run in the new Saucony Kinvara 4 was on Thursday … evening. If you follow this blog at all you know that an evening run is rare, very rare. It happens, sure – just not often. Thursday was one of those days I had given up on – I slept in, ready to take a rest day.

But Thursday late afternoon I left work a bit early to sit home and deal with our health insurance. We had a few bills stacked up, and even a couple of dental bills when all we’d done is basic check-ups. I was on the phone more than TWO HOURS between dental and medical and ‘claims specialists’ and the obligatory couple of ‘hold disconnects’. Given how basically healthy the four of us are, all of those little deductibles and co-insurances and New York’s huge medical bill taxes add up quickly.

Going for a run doesn’t change the money we have to pay, nor the reality of our health coverage and how it penalizes hospital usage just as more of the doctor offices in the area combine with hospital labs to save money … no it doesn’t alter that stuff at all. Nor is it ‘running away’ – the issues have been dealt with, now it is a matter of paying the bills and filing appeals in a couple of cases.

My run was a way for me to clear my head, to get in my exercise for the day, and to just take the time to get my ‘mental house in order’. I released all of the stress and frustration in what has become a great source of ‘active meditation’ for me.

Similarly Laura (I actually stole ‘active meditation’ from her) shared her frustration dealing with insurance and a bank … and live-blogged another run. She discusses how she was THIS close to a food binge – something that when she said it I felt in the pit of my stomach. I haven’t had one or wanted one in the last couple of years, but it is something that I fear – both as the event itself and how I would likely have an extreme counter-reaction.

My point is that it is important to develop these coping skills – I am lucky that I also had an amazing date night Friday and weekend with Lisa that was just so close and connected and wonderful.


The 30 Day Ab Challenge

I decided to do Megan’s 30-Day Ab Challenge … which of course starts today!

Today’s challenge? 20 reps each of:
– Crunches
– Bicycle crunches
– Scissor kicks
– Leg raise
– Hip lifts

Then a 1 minute plank (I chose ‘intermediate’ like a fool). Which is amazingly hard for something that looks so easy. Ugh … now I get to do it all again tomorrow!

10 Day You Challenge

OK, so now I am up to Day 8, and the theme is Three Movies. Lisa and I had a great chat, and she fairly quickly nailed my top three, then we went through each other’s top 10. For me, the Top 5 would round out with ‘Better Off Dead’ and ‘Willie Wonka’ (the real one). Then comes things like ‘2001’, ‘Close Encounters’, ‘Apocalypse Now’ and some Woody Allen stuff. But I had to choose just three! So here goes …

Day Eight: Three Movies

1. Star Wars – For me, Star Wars is an obvious choice. It is amazing to think that in 1977 a movie would stay in the theater long enough to see it a year later. And I did – I saw it a dozen times in theaters between 1977-78, using paper route money and taking the bus to the mall with friends. The movie sparked the imagination of a generation, and took me right with it!

2. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Lisa thought maybe this would be ‘Dirty Harry’, but she knew it was Eastwood. But this movie is more than just Clint – it is a movie with the first 10 minutes having no dialogue, with a good guy who really isn’t. With moral conflicts as well as gunfights, and an intricate plot line that is unlike so many typical Westerns (I am actually not a fan of westerns).

3. Real Genius – Substitute sun for snow and you have my college years, to an extent. I built a laser for a senior project, and so much of what was going on I really identify with. Funny, great music, and just a generally cool all-around movie that eschews the easy paths of so many teen-focused movies.

What are YOUR favorite movies, and how does exercise help you deal with the curves life throws at us all?