Monday, March 29, 2010

Somewhere the Sun is Shining

Somewhere the sun is shining
So honey, don't you cry
We'll find a silver lining
The clouds will soon roll by.

I've been humming this song since I returned home from my run with THR this morning; in the shower, washing dishes, riding the bus, and eating dinner with my family, this song has repeated again and again in my head. It has been my theme for the day. Yes, positive affirmation to myself, the clouds will soon roll by. In fact, they rolled by this morning on my run.

I have always loved 1920's/30's music and I attribute that love to the BBC mini-series Pennies from Heaven (and to a lesser extent BBC's The Singing Detective although I remember that more for bestowing on me my completely irrational fear of moving scarecrows... don't ask) written by the amazing Dennis Potter and staring the talented Bob Hoskins. I loved that mini-series and watched it over and over again on VHS until the tapes finally stretched; I listened to the soundtrack until I had memorized every song and would dance around the house to them. I loved how even the sad songs sounded hopeful. In times of sorrow, I have returned to those songs and they never fail to make me feel better. I am also sure that in some way my need to randomly burst into song is directly linked to that series.

I hit a bit of a funk after my last blog post. I had started to struggle a bit more with running and I was getting frustrated with it; I wasn't meeting either of the goals I had set for myself (although the amount of water consumed and hours of sleep has increased); German study had hit a road block almost immediately out of the gate thanks to a lost textbook. With feelings of failure weighing on me, I headed back to the West African Dance after two weeks off and succeeded in having a great time while pulling not one, but two muscles. Two! The real kicker is that the move was not the 'throw-your-body-around' move I would have expected to hurt myself on, but a rather tame 'hop-from-one-foot-to-another-while-waving-your-hands' move. It was like a complicated dismount from a pommle horse only to pull your hamstring walking off the mat. I was out of commission for a few days and that just added to the funk.

Then I headed out for my run this morning. As I walked to "our corner" to meet THR, I questioned why I thought to start running in the first place. Did I really need this? Perhaps becoming a more active speedwalker was a better idea? Wasn't I just holding THR back? She is, after all, fitter and faster than I am and I appreciate that she goes at my speed, but at what point am I just more of a nuisance? We're supposed to up to five minute intervals this week, shouldn't I just admit defeat now? Having told so many people how much I was enjoying the running, could I just back out without them commenting? But then, then we started running and a great thing happened: I ran faster than I had before. I pushed myself just hard enough and I went further in my three minute intervals than I had any of the other times. We went so far in fact, that I worried we would run out of route to be run before we ran out of time on the clock. Suddenly, five minutes didn't seem so scary. Sure, I'll struggle the first time, but I'll persevere and it will become easier. I struggled with two minutes when we started and I overcame that. I struggled with three and today I ran faster than I ever thought I could. When I parted from THR after the run, I started to hum and resolved to spend this week seeing the silver linings and not the clouds.

PS. It was less than a year ago that I learned of the American remake of Pennies from Heaven starring Steve Martin. I gave it 20 minutes and then I had to turn it off. I could have gone another 29 years without knowing that it existed; it's just wrong.

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