I just got back from a run and am sitting, sweaty, on my bed. There is no other space for me to sit I am afraid. Running is terrible and masochistic. I heard somewhere that it is bad from your knees, ipso facto bad for your body, and I feel that justification rotting in the back of my mind every time I fall into a slump of inactivity. Which happens often and cyclically.
My mother once ran a 5k, or 10k im not really sure. It was when she and my father lived in Alameta in an apartment before they moved to nj. I don’t think I was born yet. Childless, poor, and so cool. Anyway my mother is, and I know every person says this, but she really is infinetly interesting. People unrelated to her would say that as well, so even though I am biased by blood I still think this anecdote is worth reading. Your parents are the best things to look at when you are looking at yourself and I often day dream about my mother, especially her youth and her sisters when they wore pastels and high wasted jeans and sweated seasonless summers out on Oahu.
So my mother was signed up for this mini marathon (Excuse my inspecific run-ology I don’t use the word marathon literally; what I mean is that it was a reasonable length that would require some training, at least some cardiovascular preparation). I don’t think she trained, if at all minimally, but my mother is a pretty athletic person and likes to sweat. Who cares! Young beautiful, in love, probably tan, she could do anything. So unprepared, she ran the full amount of miles that I do not know. She was so exhausted that upon dragging herself home and pulling out a carton of ice cream, fell dead asleep on the couch.
My mother has this mantra, and when she speaks of it to me, she always laughs and says her sisters are shaking their heads. She believes, wholly, that she could do just about anything, if she really wanted too. We smile on the phone with one another and list off activities. Go to space. Write a book. Run a marathon. Buy expensive stupid clothes. We fall about at the clichéd and sillyness of these challenges we describe, but beneath our laughter I wait as my mother weighs the process of work and motivation required for each possibility. And then I hear the break, “Well, I mean…” and I almost have to reel myself in because I feel absoluetely radiant. She knows, undeterred by just about everything and everyone else, that her desire will grant her a completion.
My mother is a teacher , a fighter, a lady lunching. She is unassuming and quickly absorbing. She has brown eyes and short hair. But her belief sets her free. Who else knows you better than yourself. I have known my mother for 2o years. And I do not expect to know the vast reserves of strength the moving timeless potential . I feel like she is Wonka’s Factory or the Midsummer Woods. Sublime, mysterious, unexplained, unexplored. I do not wish to try and comprehend these things that she has or is. Why would I dare? But knowing they exist, that they course through her veins and being daily, that she could split a sea after we watch La Cage aux Folles and eat pizza, pull a rabbit from a hat after opening the wine, and then turn said wine into water because I am too young for vintage Merlot, is exciting and reassuring enough. It comforts me when I feel unoriginal. It placates me when I feel frustrated. It makes me happy when I am dull.
Come to think of it, it must have been a triathalon. Smile.