Anyone who has been around me since we announced this venture of running across Kentucky has noticed I talk about it constantly. It has become quite an obsession. I have business cards that fly out of my hands. I put tips for waiters under the card. They fly out of my hands like I am makin' it rain. (Yeah, I got the 4-1-1) They are conversation starters even though they weren’t meant to be initially. They have become the prompt that leads to the Look.
The Look starts with a blank stare shifting to “you are stupid and crazy,” then “oops, I think he realizes I’m looking at him like he sprouted a third arm out his head, “ and finally “He’s serious?” I used to watch this really neat show called “Lie to me.” It starred Tim Roth (I think) and he was an expert of microexpressions, which I had read about in a book by Malcolm Gladwell. The romantic subplots were boring, but the crimes and how he solved them were fascinating at times. It was probably the charisma of Tim Roth, but it was addicting. The Look is a series of microexpressions, but they leave an impression and usually start a conversation.
This weekend we were at a volleyball tournament. If you have never been to one, teams play games, ref, and rest. We had a long break of reffing then resting, so I went to the car to grab my clothes to run. The freezing rain/sleet/snow mix had briefly stopped, so I was primed for a run. I changed into my shorts in the bathroom, but stepped into the hallway to pull on my extra shirt layers, jacket, and vest. A lady was getting water at the fountain and we had a conversation like this:
“Are you going running in this? More power to you!”
“Yeah, I’m training to run across Kentucky this summer. “
“I’m trying to raise money to fight diabetes.”
[The Look ends]
“My parents are diabetic. I want to do something to help.”
“My mom was diabetic. That’s great that you’re doing that.”
“Yeah, my doctor warned me I was high risk for it, so I lost a bunch of weight a few years ago and started running. I run marathons now.”
“I’ve tried to lose weight, but I have so many other health problems that get in the way.”
“I started by walking 30 minutes a day, and cutting back my calories with myfitnesspal.”
“An app that helps track calories and nutrition I found one day. I used to eat 4000-5000 calories a day before I lost weight.”
[searching Google Play] “ Is that it? “
“Yeah. I talked to my doctor, set a calories for each day, weighed in, and exercise 30 minutes a day.”
“That sounds great.“
“Here’s a card. If you have any questions or want to chat about anything email me. It was easier to lose weight when I talked to someone.”
“Thanks. Have a good run. Stay warm.”
And she walked away. Almost everyone I talk to about the run has a close relative that has been diagnosed with diabetes. It’s like a game of Six degrees to Kevin Bacon. The game works with you having another person give you a name of an actor than you have 6 steps to get to Kevin Bacon (using the internet is cheating). For example: Jennifer Lawrence to Kevin Bacon
1. J-Law in Catching Fire with Stanley Tucci
2. Stanley Tucci in Lucky Number Slevin (Great Movie) with Morgan Freeman
3. Morgan Freeman in The Bucket List with Jack Nicholson
4. Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men with Kevin Bacon
Some variations say it has to be exactly 6 steps, but we usually play shortest route wins. Unfortunately the 6 degrees to diabetes is a much closer relationship for me. It seems that I am not alone. If you do a little research you’ll find that the Bacon number average is 3. Bacon numbers create a bell curve with 1 step and 6 steps being least and 3nsteps being the most. (Generally speaking, the bell curve is normal average distribution in math.) I realize my data set is not scientific. It is anecdotal at best, but if nearly everyone I talk to has a close relative with diabetes, it destroys the bell curve. Scary.
I ran through Joe Creason Park for the first time. I never knew there was a big house in the middle of it. I was looping through the park, and bam, big house. I was in my own little world most of the run. I was thinking about the Look and what it means. Do most people doubt I will finish the run? Is the run going to fail? Will we meet our goals? Am I foolish, crazy, or too idealistic? It was an introspective run. Sometimes you have to let the timer go, let your mind wander, and just put one foot in front of the other. I’ve seen coaches rant about “junk miles” but any activity that raises your heart rate is good. If you lock into 24/7 competition, you lose the fun in running. Life goes by too fast in a car. Running lets you see the world around you and take it in.
3 Challenges to you: 30 minutes of activity (walking, jogging, house cleaning, etc), find $5 in your budget and follow the link on the donation page, take a picture of something you haven’t noticed before in your normal day.