Tuesday, September 06, 2005

As the world turns

Once upon a time it was last year. None of you knew me then (well, except for the people who know me as more than just a blogger-to-the-stars), and this blog wasn’t even a twinkle in my eye.

Not much has changed, and everything has changed.

Last year around Labor Day weekend, there was a day that became The Day. The Decision. I was tired of making excuses and buying bigger clothes. I was going to start exercising, start eating better, and damn it, I was going to like it or die trying.

Anyway, I had nothing better to do.

Now it’s today.

The more things change: I got to the office at 7:15, ran around the Washington Monument and hit the weight room with my work-running-buddy.

The more they stay the same: I followed it up with a chocolate croissant for breakfast and Ben & Jerry’s after lunch.

But today I’m allowed. Because it’s a year since I started living healthy and almost as long since I had either a chocolate croissant or Ben & Jerry’s at all, let alone both on a single day.

Because I ran a half-marathon on Sunday (coasted through, more like, a Sunday stroll at 10:30 minutes per mile).

Because I am two sizes smaller than I was last year on this day. I’m healthier, and a lot happier.

Because on Friday I submitted my application to the Peace Corps, and who even knows where I’ll be next year on this day.

And because today I turned 24, and if your friends can’t treat you to unholy amounts of delicious calories on your birthday, well, then, I don’t want to know about it.

In the book of Naomi, twenty-three turned out to be a far more exciting chapter than anyone anticipated. I started figuring out who I wanted to be, and it turned out to be somebody pretty different than I thought. Somebody a lot more impressive, actually, and interesting. I’m pretty sure I like this person.

There’s still plenty room for improvement. There’s a line from a movie — I can’t remember what movie, but I have a terrible feeling it’s from Look Who’s Talking or some other movie starring Kirstie Alley — that keeps running through my head. The boyfriend dumps the main character over her answering machine, and he says something to the effect of, “I’m in a very self-absorbed phase right now.” He was not meant to be a sympathetic character.

Twenty-three was a very self-absorbed phase for me. I have relied on the support of my family and friends this past year — when they had every reason to dismiss my crazy schemes, they chose to believe I could and would succeed, which, it turns out, was instrumental to my eventual success. In return, I became a terrible correspondent to my friends who were far away, forgot birthdays, and generally sucked. This has been a particularly tough year for several family members, and I have hardly been a model of compassion and support.

So okay, it’s not over yet. But I’m on a roll, and I like the way I’m rolling. Let’s see what 24 can do.


Anybody want to hear about Sunday’s half-marathon?

In short, it rocked. I had been looking forward to it as a birthday celebration, of sorts, to cap off this whole Year of the Runner thing I’ve got going, and it really did feel like a celebration. Unsurprisingly, it brought back all sorts of memories from the marathon (waaaaaaaaay back from three months ago), and this weekend’s race compared favorably in pretty much all criteria.

I sprinted across the finish line in the same second as Jackie and Tim, with a grin as wide as my ears [are from each other], hardly out of breath. That, I think, tells you most of what you need to know about how the race went.

However, for those of you who want more details (and really, it wouldn’t be a running blog if I didn’t recount the entire experience in excruciating detail), I’ll post a full report tomorrow. Today I need to get some work done. And party. Because it’s my birthday. Did I mention?


Anonymous Christy said...

Happy Birthday! My 30th birthday is on Sunday (yes, the 11th), and I'm training for my first marathon. When I started running three years ago I said that I thought I would like to do a marathon by my 30th birthday, (well, one month after my 30th, but still), so here I am training for the 30th Marine Corps Marathon. Thanks for your inspirational and funny posts, it's nice to know others share the same passion, and occasional episodes of self-doubt followed by the episodes of complete euphoria.
Oh, and congrats on the great time for the half-marathon!

4:28 PM  
Blogger Danny said...

Happy Birthday! Wising you many more years of happiness and self fulfillment...

6:49 PM  
Blogger a.maria said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!! having only been doing this for a few months, i cant imagine the pure joy of celebrating Decision Day and your birthday all together. and a half marathon to boot! congratulations on it all. especially Your Year. and also to your decision on the Peace Corps.

23 was great... but i have a feeling 24 will be even better. I wish you all the best!

7:04 PM  
Blogger susan said...

Happy Day!! Would I sound like your mother if I said just wait till you hit 50? It gets better:) Congrats on the half. I hope mine is as smooooooth.

7:57 PM  
Anonymous DREW said...

Alphabetically your blog is the first on my list when I go to check them. What a great post and what a great way to begin my daily update. Keep up the good work (running and blogging).

D-day for me was in October of 2002. It's always fun to remember who you were.

9:09 PM  
Anonymous BD said...

Happy Birthday!

24. I still feel like I'm 24 but I'm a long way from that number now...but I don't mind. I like who I decided to become.

12:25 AM  
Blogger plods said...

Happy Birthday!

1:10 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

Happy Birthday!

1:39 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Happy Biiiirthdaaay dear Nooooames, Happy Biiiirthdaaay to you.

Congrats on the half-marathon and good luck with Peace Corps!

I think the movie might have been "Three Men and A Baby." Not quite "Look Who's Talkin', but equally gruesome. :-)

2:06 AM  
Blogger jeanne said...

Happy belated birthday! (Tried to comment last night. internet uncooperative) and Happy Peace Corps doins'!! that is so fab.

(p.s. can i have your old job? what's that? you're a janitor? ok!)

and finally: Fantastic on your 1/2!!! Rock 'n roll will never die.

11:56 AM  

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