I have something to admit. I have...become a runner. I know, I know. I never thought I'd say those words, either. After all, I hate running! Really detest it. Running without a purpose is just so boring! But for the last two and a half weeks, I've been running regularly. And actually, it's not so bad. Now that I've gotten used to it I've started pushing myself further and harder. I'm looking at ways to expand my route. And it's not too boring, as long as I have my little companion. Pepper LOVES to run. She starts dancing around as soon as I pull out my jogging shoes. I've figured out that her leash is just long enough that I can wrap it around my waist and we mostly won't run into each other (there have been a couple of unfortunate incidents when she stopped suddenly to pee; unfortunate mostly on my end as I fly over her trying not to kick her, while trying to stop in enough time that I don't yank her from her crouched peeing position) but not long enough that she can throw herself into the road, as is her wont. Plus, I think I was starting to develop some shoulder problems from holding her back, so this works out well. And as I said, she loves it.
I'm trying to get in shape. I've been telling everyone that it's because of my brother's wedding and stuff like that, and that is part of it, but really I'm just sick of feeling out of shape. I used to be so skinny and I don't think I have the kind of frame that holds extra weight attractively. (Some people can pull it off. I am not one of them.) Since running is the fastest way to lose weight (along with eating healthfully, of course), that's what I'm doing. And it is working. I feel so much better and I know I've put on a decent amount of muscle.
Even with all of my new fitness, however, yesterday was rough. I've joined a co-ed softball team for the summer, some of which overlaps with Shane's men's team. So we had a giant practice yesterday, working on batting and catching, etc. Simon (the captain and organizer for both teams) didn't really seem to know what to do with me as far as fielding. I did a bunch of catching, which is fine since that's mostly what I did when I played little league eons ago. But I asked if I could try pitching, forgetting that this is underhand pitching and I've never done that before. Anyway, I wasn't actually doing too badly. Well enough that they could hit the ball, and I was prepared to catch anything that came at me between the waist and face. Not prepared for the line drive to the knee, however. I didn't even have time to react. It got me right in the fleshy area above the kneecap (thank God), then bounced off my left kneecap and to the ground. It actually doesn't hurt as much as other people think it does (I was up batting and running within ten minutes) but it sure is swollen. Even after my prescription ibuprofen. (I have it for my tendonitis.) I iced it all last night, took the dog for a walk to keep it loose, etc. It's not so bad. And it hasn't even bruised up as well as I was hoping for. It will, though.
I'm also sore from Saturday's chores. It's been so beautiful during the days (well, not today, which is cloudy) that I finally went into the backyard to see how dry it is. Since the snow has now totally melted, I decided that it was time to start preparing the garden. (This is over a month earlier than I got the garden started last year. Woo-hoo!) I basically dug trenches to turn over the dirt and get out the weeds where the potatoes will go. I don't think I can plant them yet, since it's still quite chilly at night. But in a week or so, if I get those heat trapping groundcloths, it should be fine.
All of this has made me sore all over, from my neck to my ankles. It's good for me, right?
Friday night was a blast, too. First, I went out to the Blue Loon (a bar that shows movies) because there was a cast and crew party for Sweeney Todd. And a showing of the DVD they made. It would have been more fun if I actually knew most of the people there, but my orchestra people were conspicuously absent. So I talked to some of the cast, and that was nice but a little awkward. Oh well. Anyway, the sound on the DVD was crappier than they meant it to be, because it didn't capture the sound coming out of the sound board, it was all the ambient sound from the theater. The strings were barely audible in most of the songs. However, there was one part when my standpartner Thom and I had a little duet, and everyone on stage was quiet. We nailed it the night they did the recording. It sounded so good, and so professional. I was mentally cheering myself on and swelling with pride. Yay! I will always be proud of that. The cast was funny to listen to, as well, because sometimes they'd do something and ask, "What was that? Why would I do that?" Or cheer or boo themselves. The woman who played the Beadle, when she came on screen, screamed at herself, "You bitch!" When some of the men went into Sweeney's shop to be killed people were yelling, "Die, Adam, die!" and stuff like that. It was definitely not a quiet screening.
After that it was the 80's party at the Pub, so I went there to meet up with Shane and a bunch of our friends. I got to see Fiona for the first time in weeks (she's been so busy with her own plays, being a theater/anthropology double-major) and that was great. Almost as soon as I walked into the Pub, though, on came Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'". Ellie and I ran onto the dance floor, with about half of everyone else in the Pub, and started dancing and singing along. There was almost no room to dance because so many people were on the dance floor and everyone was singing. It was fantastic.
The final thing of note that's happened recently is that I've started eating meat again. I had the first steak I've had since I was about twelve. Can you believe it? I told Shane a few weeks ago that if we could find locally raised, grass finished beef (an important distinction, since if it's just grass fed, it's still been given corn at the end of its life and is still not healthy, since that's NOT WHAT COWS ARE SUPPOSED TO EAT, sheesh!) then I would start eating it again. Well, I wasn't really sure if we'd find a place like that, but I looked. And found a store that's close enough, we can bike over there. I was so nervous at first. I mean, I've not eaten beef and pork for longer than I did eat it. And I wasn't sure if I'd get sick. I think having eaten moose for the last couple of years has helped, though. The guy at the shop gave me a little trial piece of steak when I explained some of this to him, and it was delicious. So Shane and I went back and got some actual steaks and cooked two of them up on Saturday. (Shane, of course, is ecstatic about being able to use beef and pork in cooking again.) They were quite tasty. So now, I've joined the ranks of the meat-eating public again. Very odd. But at least there are more foods that we can make now, like beef stew. Yay! And James and Lucy told us where we can get ahold of some locally raised (as in, James's parents neighbors are raising the pigs) bacon. That I haven't tried yet. I remember bacon not being my favorite thing, but breakfast sausage...yum.