Monday, December 1, 2008

Dude, You don't play the violin with your feet...

My fingers were so frozen after "Dude where's the Trail," I couldn't even unsnap my camel-back. I just pulled it overhead. Unzipping my jacket proved torturous. Even turning the key to start the car was a challenge.

I was worried I'd caused permanent damage to my fingers. Fingers that play the violin well enough to pair up with my brother who has a doctorate in music from Juilliard.

My fingers have been this numb before. In July of 2007, I was sitting by a waterfall. Suddenly I was slumped over, my fingers numb. I heard rocks tumbling down below and knew I'd been hit.
"I'd rather be dead than paralyzed."

5 marathons and hundreds of performances on the violin went through my head. I saw my life flash before me. A very good life, full of laughs, friends, art, running and music.

Then my fingers began to move. They weren't numb. It took 15 firefighters and a pulley system to get me off the big hill, or little mountain (300 ft).

An x-ray showed three upper ribs on my left side had been severly broken. Dislodged really. The break was only an inch from my spine.

"I still have some work to do."
My mom had rushed to the ER and was standing there with tears in her eyes. She just nodded.
My childhood friend Heidi's dad was working the ER that day.
"It takes an incredible velocity to break ribs in that spot. An inch over, you would have been breathing through a tube for the rest of your life."

I feel lucky, and blessed every day.

I got laid off from my job, recently. The subject was brought up by Jim M. during the run. Kind of a downer. So I told that story of my near death/paralysis experience.

"I guess you're putting it in perspective." Jim M.

" And you didn't worry that you'd never talk on the TV when you got hit by the rock." Bad Ben.

Nope. And I don't care if I never work in news again. Having a job on television can open you up for a lot of mud slinging . Superficial Bimbo. Self centered. Arrogant. Ego-maniac. I've heard them all. Fortunately, I know what to do with mud. Look inside for the truth. The truth is, I used that job to help a lot of people. And while it's kind of fun to have a few giant billboards around town, I can let it go.

I was feeling really strong running at Dude. At mile 18, I considered jumping ahead with John and Gabe. But I let that go too, and dropped back and ran with Ben, who has been fighting a cold off and on for about a month. My fingers warmed up.
The scenery was stunning. Frosted Neverland. Magic everywhere.

"My feet are still frozen."
"Well Sophia, you don't play the violin with your feet."

Good point, Ben.

Gabe and John were headed towards us, after grabbing a page from a book at the silo.
"It's the snow angel portion of the run!," I shouted.
Ben chimed in.."Drop and give us 5 angels!"

Gabe smiled and laughed. John slapped me with his map when he passed. No one hit the snow for an angel. It was just too darn cold.

I like angels. I know I have one watching over me. The warrior kind. And the protector. Feeling strong that day, I shared my angel energy.

My fingers were numb again, and we were on the nasty unforgiving, hard pavement.

"read any good books lately?"
"Well, I've got the page I ripped out at the silo.. except my fingers are so cold I can't unzip my pocket."

Why is it, that while running in the woods I can come up with a bevy of topics, yet once I get on the pavement, I can't think of shit?

Hangin' with the ex. Pound, pound, pound. Pounds of asphalt. Heavy, flabby asphalt.

"My PF hurts. So does my heel." Ben

"My left hip flexor hurts, but my feet are frozen. The ex is awful today. Awful." Sophia

"This is why Pat Perry didn't finish Leadville." Ben

"Can't blame him. Next time, I'll save a better story for this part."

The conversation turned to Christmas and how external most people make it. Closets or attics (just bigger closets really) overstuffed with ornaments, extra holiday dishes (please?!!) do dads and other things that take up space and need to be dusted.

I've just spent two weeks cleaning out closets. Throwing out clothes that just take up space, that I don't need. It is so liberating to open a dresser drawer easily and see neatly folded clothes. Or an empty closet. Even a basement with very few tubs. There is one small tub with my entire Christmas assortment. But it's going to stay packed.

My fingers are warm again.

This Christmas, I'll give the gift of music. Internal from my soul. I'll play songs of joy, peace and love for my friends on my violin.

Muddy Hugs and blessings.

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