Monday, February 02, 2009

next on the agenda

Friday afternoon, I look out the back door and can see that Carolyn has picked up a broom and is trying to strike her siblings with the handle, much like one would try to crack open a piƱata, each time they swung past her on the swings. They would laugh and dodge her blows, but each swipe of the broom had such velocity, it would spin her in a circle and knock her down.

This is a fun new game that the kids have initiated.

But seeing as I am a responsible parent that doesn't want her husband to spend another afternoon in the emergency room with a flesh-wounded child, I dropped the pot that I was in the midst of filling with water and I ran out the back door yelling, "PUT DOWN THE BROOM!! PUT DOWN THE BROAAAARGHARHARGH!!!!"

Just before I could get the second "broom" out, my foot rolled under me and I couldn't recover what with the rapid acceleration and forward momentum. So, I plunged to my knees while it felt like a firecracker exploded in my ankle. Oddly enough, even though I was now in tremendous pain, my mind wasn't distracted from the children's mischief in the least bit.

Instead, it felt like the tinge of frustration I had seconds earlier, morphed in to a raging anger that overtook my entire body.

While the children stared at me with mouths gaping wide, I turned four shades of purple and roared. I actually roared. "RARRARRR!!!!" Then I stood up and hobbled after them as fast as I could while yelling, "GET BACK HERE!! YOU!! GET!! BACK!! HERE!!"

The kids scattered and ran faster than I've ever seen them run. And then they tried to hide. Thankfully, the sight of six little legs, sticking out from beneath William's bed had an immediate calming effect on me and I took pity on their four-year-old plight. Otherwise, I would undoubtedly be typing this from the confines of a cell.

A few minutes later my foot was tingly, but I could walk.

A few hours later, it was excruciatingly painful and I couldn't place any weight on it at all.

Despite the pain, yesterday, Charlie and I loaded up the kids and we drove to Long Beach to stay with my friend and running buddy, Lorie.

Lorie and I met in school in Northern California in 1991. The same school where I met Charlie, and Lorie met her husband, Mark. We all graduated from the same Geology program and when Lorie drove back to Massachusetts in 1994 for our wedding, and then invited me to be in her wedding in 2000, I knew that at a minimum, we'd exchange Christmas and Hanukkah cards for life.

In March of 2004, a few weeks after we rode our bikes together in the Los Angeles marathon, Lorie called to tell me that she was pregnant. Because she knew that Charlie and I had been trying for years to have a baby, she was very nervous about giving me her news. But before she could even get out the words that she was expecting, I blurted out that I was expecting. And suddenly, I had a good friend who was about to become a mother for the very first time, at the exact same time as me.

Our triplets were born the second week of October.

Lorie's daughter was born the first week of November.

This weekend, Mark and Lorie graciously made room for our brood in their house. And this morning, after less than two hours of sleep (because of a little "angel" we'll call Henry), Lorie and I ran the 5K race while our husbands stayed at home and cooked breakfast for the kids.

At around 2.75 miles, I had to stop and take my shoes off because my feet had fallen completely asleep and I was afraid I was going to do a face-plant on the asphalt. But I finished the race. Fortunately, my sprained ankle never did hurt. Probably because I couldn't feel anything from my knees down.

I'll definitely need to find out why my feet continue to fall asleep whenever I run. Because after some soul searching the past few days, I've decided that if Charlie can complete a marathon, so can I.

The only thing that is stopping me, is my mind.

(And a possible circulatory disorder. And diminished lung capacity. And weak legs.)

Together, the two of us are planning to join the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team In Training to prepare for the Rock-n-Roll Marathon on May 31. We'll be raising money for research in honor of our friend, Deana.

Any one that I've spoken to within the past 48 hours, I've asked to join us in this event.

Thus far, adding to our little team, is my cousin Margaret, who will be flying in from South Carolina and expects Deana to get well so she can be out there handing us water.

Also adding to our team is my friend Lorie, who is still on the fence about her ability to complete such an event, but I know she can do it. All of us agree that running a marathon is a walk in the park compared to what Deana, and millions of others that battle cancer, are facing.

In all honesty, for me, this marathon really might be a walk in the park. Albeit a long walk. There are no guarantees that I'll run the whole way. But I'll do my best and hopefully, I'll be off the course before they close it. From what I understand, we'll have seven hours.

(And just under four months to get ready.)

The men in white coats should be coming to take me away any moment now.


  1. Jen - I am a long time reader and occassional commenter and big-time fan! And I wanted to let you know that I completed the San Diego marathon a few years back (notice I said "completed" not "ran" because I'm certainly not going to claim that I ran the whole thing!!). I did it with Team in Training and it was absolutely the best decision of my life. I was with a team from Pittsburgh, and arriving in San Diego to celebrate the event with the rest of the WORLD who came to give to this cause...well, the tears were freely flowing. And they continued to flow as we ran alongside survivors. It was amazing. And it was a beautiful course!! Anyway, this is all to say that I am so excited to contribute to what you're doing and I hope you'll post a link so that your readers can donate. My prayers are with Deana and her family, I sincerely mean that. And what you are doing with your life is just, well, AMAZING!!! (I would be happy to send you my letters that I sent out to friends as well as local companies in order to fundraise...that way you wouldn't have to start from scratch. I can be reached at akmchenry at gmail. Take care of that ankle!!!)

  2. I really thought that this post was going to end with YOU in the ER with a broken foot. Be careful!

    But, WTG you on doing the race anyway.

    HAHA at you getting more mad when you got hurt--I totally do that! lol

  3. Thanks for coming and staying with us. We just wish that you guys lived closer! I'm still not sure about this marathon thing... not only is it 26 miles, but it costs $100 just to sign up. We seriously don't have that right now.

    I want to meet your cousin Margaret. She sounds like fun!

    Also, I love this post! You have no idea how long it took me to get up the nerve and call you guys about our good news. I even called Matt Grandjean for his advice! Glad this all worked out and BTW, your kids are awesome!

  4. I just signed up to do the Breast Cancer 3Day in Washington DC! 60 miles in 3 days! It's a big undertaking but it's totally worth it! I have a little longer to train and raise money though... I don't walk until Oct ;~) Good luck with your marathon!

  5. But they look so angelic sitting there in the nice little row! LOL

    Congratulations on not breaking something when you fell and for completing the run.
    You go girl

  6. Awesome about the marathon! Wow.

    Now, I must back up a bit:

    "I would undoubtedly be typing this from the confines of a cell."

    Do you think there is Internet access in prison? Because if there is, I'll have to re-think living this crime-free life I'm in and maybe make new plans that would include a place to blog in solitary confinement.

  7. I agree, you need a link to have people donate.

    Not to rush you or anything, but I have my needle full of stitches and am itching to learn some more. Not to mention having to put it all in hiding because the yarn is impossible for the kids to resist. :)

  8. Oh my gosh, my sides! I'm certain you didn't mean this to be side-splitting funny, but by the time I got to "Put down the broom!" the tears were rolling down my face. And the roaring - you're killing me. So sorry, it's been an incredibly long day and I feel like my two kids are out to do me in, thank you for the laughter. You have a way with words and I really enjoy reading them. What a beautiful group of children!

    My prayers continue to be with Deanna and her family. Let us know how we can donate okay?

  9. Good Job! With a hurt ankle -- impressive! Marg