Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Am I even spelling that correctly? Aversions. Maybe I should use something easier, like repugnance. Either way, I have some serious loathings. I was reminded of what they were while flipping through the Walmart weekly ad mag. 3 of my biggest aversions lay on the same page. While Walmart itself is an unspoken aversion of mine (hello? TARGET!), it tends to carry large plastic toys (Aversion #1) - and lots of them. I'm not sure when this particular aversion began, but it wells up feelings in me I haven't experienced before. It must have begun when we moved (downsized) into our "cottage" - or "house" as it is formally called. Since it is hard enough to squeeze humans into this humble abode, the thought of large plastic accessories makes my skin crawl. We've had 3 sets of acquaintances drop off some hand-me-down LPA (large plastic accessories) while we weren't home on our doorstep. Meanness. Kitchens, ovens, refrigerators, you name it. And since they are labeled "tot size", one must not think the amount of room they take up seems much. However, the Akins cottage cannot hold em. I move them from our doorstep directly into the trunk and take them to Goodwill where they belong. I think maybe when we "upsize" to our next home, we'll build a loft filled to the brim with LPA for all the kiddies to enjoy. Just because we can. Until then...

Aversion #2: Clowns. I share this with my sister-in-law. Mom tried to start me a clown collection and all it did was give me nightmares that "It" from Stephen King was going to come after me in my sleep. So thank you, Walmart, for showing off your clown costumes. Only scary Chesters would want to buy them anyway.

And finally, the biggest of them all, Aversion #3: Feet. I don't even like writing the word. I'm serious. If there were medical things hooked to my heart and brain right now, they would be beeping out of control. This might require medication. And thanks to Walmart, I can see how Ashuanda's (store clerk) feet look in the open-toe slippers for $7.99. The closest I've come to a legitimate anxiety attack came on an airplane as a result of this aversion. No, the airplane wasn't experiencing turbulence. No, the oxygen levels remained in tact. No, the smell was manageable. It was Peter Passenger sitting right smack next to me. He was clothed in a t-shirt (acceptable), jeans (acceptable), and some stank nasty brown leather sandals with his toes crawling out the top. Did he keep his toes hidden under Polly Passenger's seat the whole time? Negative. He was a tall man who couldn't get comfortable and thought crossing his legs would help. It was a scene straight out of Planes, Trains and Automobiles and his "dogs" were in my direct line of sight. I already have to use the complimentary vomit bag on most flight occasions, but this one gave me no choice. I was hopeless. I did not get sick; however, some of the preemptive vomity coughs I made after downing a Ginger Ale sat him up a little straighter and leaning over to his other friendly neighbor. Hey, whatever works.

So, for Christmas, I think I'm going to ask for a life-sized plastic clown who's not wearing any shoes. Or maybe some sedatives in case that actually did happen.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Prefontaine Shmefontaine

I'm so over running. During my sad attempt yesterday, the entire fam and I left the house: 1 in a stroller, 1 pushing a babydoll in a stroller, and us parents. I decided to run first. I took off (incredibly unmotivated) and after about 45 seconds I stopped, turned around and yelled back to Carter, "I'm done. Not feeling it." Thankfully, he wasn't buying my junk and told me to get on it. I started back again and began playing my mind games to get me back in the game. I thought about my new favorite show, Last One Standing. A group of ridiculously athletic guys travel around to lots of countries and compete with indigenous tribes at whatever sport the tribe excels in. The last episode they were in Mexico and had to run 27 miles (a marathon) on rocky mountainous terrain in sandals that looked like they belonged to the disciples while kicking a small wooden ball. Yikes. The blisters that these guys endured were ridonculous! So in my run I'm psyching myself up "Come on, Winner...you can do this in your brand new Sauconys, your fancy new Target running gear, your armband mp3 player, your flat terrain...what's the big deal?" I was at about 4 minutes strong when I saw our neighbors who just had a baby the day before. I slowed to speak (as a good neighbor should) and they invited me in to see the little booger. You should have seen the sprint to their door! Sound the winner's bell, I'm done! It was a good run. Should last me a good week or so before I get out there again.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The 6-Minute Hurdle

I have a new hobby. Yes, I know I've said that before fairly recently, and although decorating was a fun hobby for those 2 weeks, I'm on to something better. I'm a runner now (cough cough). One week and one 5K race down. This is, however, more of a revisitation of an old hobby. I used to be a runner. It's easy to run all over Timbuktu when you weigh a buck-o-nine. Not so much the case anymore. Thankfully, though, I am taking many of the lessons I learned in high school with me now...like the 6-minute hurdle.

I remember it well. The first 6 minutes of the run are deadly for me. So bad I can't even cuss about it because they don't make words strong enough. (That's when I start to make them up...like "crapindiculous"...which I said MANY times during the race yesterday..."What the heck am I doing running in this race - it's crapindiculous!" But I know that if I can make it 6 minutes, then I can turn on my cruise control for a while. I look at my watch about the time my breathing begins to regulate, my legs start feeling good, and it always says somewhere in the 6 minute range. At that point, I straighten my posture, put a little more bounce in my step, and speed up - - to just over a snail's pace. Now we're cruisin'.

And this hobby is fancy these days, too...the invention of traveling music! In high school, I never liked running with my 3 lb walkman tapedeck strapped to my umbros (how's that for 90's lingo?). Now I strap that tiny mp3 player to my arm and I've got some instant motivation. Currently it's Dave Matthews Band Live at Red Rocks. Crazy motivation. I kind of feel like I'm on Grey's Anatomy or some movie with this background music to my life.

Running is one of the few times I'm able to get inside my head and make a little sense of things. I can look at it almost from a neutral point of view - God's point of view. He shows me the areas that need a little cleaning (yeah, 'quick tempered' isn't one of the fruits of the spirit...I checked), and I can see the areas that are beginning to grow. By the end of the run I feel like a million bucks. Not only have I gotten my heart rate up and burned some calories, but I've done a little soul searching as well. Next week, I may be on hobby #3, but for now, my middle name is Prefontaine.