Monday, April 16, 2012

Running Rampant

     I don't know how many of you have ever run a long-distance race. No judgement if you haven't. When I ask people if they've ever run a half marathon, the most common answer is somewhere between a guffah and a pitiful whimper at the thought. I get it. Running far enough to make you either throw up or die isn't for everyone. But for me, it's the best way to relax, to take some time to yourself and just be.
     For those of you who haven't run a long distance race, it goes something like this: your brain and body somehow fit a lifetime of emotions and feelings into a span of around 2 hours. How do I mean? Here's a brief play-by-play of my half marathon inner-dialogue that happened this Sunday:

Starting Line: "Alright, Nicole. You can do this. This is what you've been training for."

Gun goes off: "Holy crap, I'm going to puke. Did I put N*ggas in Paris on this playlist? I need my pump-up jam STAT."

Mile 3: "Man, I'm feeling good. This isn't so bad. Only 10 more miles to go."

Mile 3.1: "Oh my god, there's 10 miles to go. I'm hyperventilating! It's freakin' hot out here! God save me!"

Mile 4: "Holy crap, I'm like a frickin SuperWoman. My legs are like jelly. This is so sweet!"

Mile 8:"Hey! I just met you, and this is crazy, but here's my number, so call me maybe."

Mile 9: "Where the f*** did this hill come from? This hill definitely wasn't here on the first loop. Oh my god, I'm losing it. This is the end! Goodbye cruel world!"

Mile 11: "And all the other boys try and chase me, but here's my number, so call me maybe."

Mile 12: "Was everyone else always going this fast? What's the hurry, woman in the purple top? The finish line ain't going anywhere! Geeze, some people..."

Mile 13: "This is it, there's the finish line! I made it! I did it! I can't believe it!"

Finish Line: "This is amazing! I feel fantastic, I feel spectacular, I feel...nauseous. Oh great, NOW N*ggas in Paris plays."

Monday, April 2, 2012

Celebrate the Little Victories

     I don’t know about you, but I’m not one of those people who celebrate epic victories on a regular basis. I’m not a winner of gold medals or Academy Awards. My college essays aren’t earning me blue ribbons and my work at the newspaper isn’t gaining national recognition. But that doesn’t mean that we, as people, don’t crave at least a little special attention. We want to know that we’re important, that our hard work is going to pay off, that we have the ability to win at something.
     That’s why this weekend, at my school’s annual “Dorm Wars” (as I like to call them), I held nothing back. I wore purple war paint, plastered enough glitter in my hair that a shower still can’t get rid of it, and screamed so loud my peers questioned if it was actually possible to tear a vocal cord. My throat this morning seemed to tell me that yes, it felt pretty possible. At the end of the day, complete with tug-of-war, relays, and trivia, my dorm took home the victory. We screamed, chanted, hugged, and God only knows what. We ran around the gym like children, yelling no words in particular, seemingly unable to vocalize the happiness at this victory.
     What did we win? Just a trophy, one that sits in some back room that no one ever walks through. A quiet victory was won, one most people will never hear about. But for those few hours, we were victors. And you know what? It felt great.