Friends Dragging Friends and Absent Words

14 Jun

Even in 2-D, running sucks

Bad Abigail! More than a week without posting? Bad! And what were you doing that whole time? Well? What was that? That’s what I thought–nothing! 

In high school P.E, the teacher used to make us run around the gym for a certain amount of time. (In my mind, it was long, painful hours–who knows how long it was in reality?) Those who stopped, failed. If I recall correctly, the teacher’s rule was that you had to have one foot in the air at all times. Sometimes, to amuse myself while running in circles, I would play with my feet placement. Up, down, up, down, airborne, on the ground. I probably resembled a drunk gazelle, only less graceful. 

Our teacher’s pièce de résistance, however, was that she would idly pick off runners and make them pull over to the side (these teacher-approved stops didn’t count as stopping) while she put two fingers to their neck and counted their pulse rate. If it was high enough, she sent them on their way, back to the running masses. If it was too low–fail. 

I was always picked out for a pulse count. Maybe it looked like I wasn’t running to my full potential (which I probably wasn’t) or the teacher had a particular place in her heart-region that was reserved for me, but there was never a time that I wasn’t obliged to halt my unremarkable-but-still-mobile progress. The uncomfortable wait, with the teacher’s fingers on my neck, usually felt longer than it really was. I never failed the pulse rate test, but it was agonizing all the same. It wasn’t the embarrassment of  being singled out, or the possibility of failing P.E (that was, after all, always a possibility for me). It was that after my heart succeeded in beating the proper number of times, my P.E teacher would tell me to get going again. “Okay, you’re good. Now, get running again and keep running until I say otherwise.”

Now, I may have passed high school physics by the skin of my teeth (and the grace of a teacher who recognized that matter didn’t really matter to me), but I know that a body at rest abso-freaking-lutely wants to stay at rest. To start running again, after being stopped for more than a heartbeat of time? Agh. Commence groaning.

Luckily, my friend Nikki was in my class. She was rarely stopped during these runs, but when she was, her heart rate impressed our teacher–something about the speed with which it dropped. While I stood with the teacher’s fingers on my neck, Nikki enthusiastically kept the faith, running in circles without slowing down. When my count was finished, and the idea of getting one foot in the air again was more than a little daunting, Nikki would actually take a hold of my arm and pull me into motion. You know that Albert Camus friendship quote that goes: “Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” Nikki makes me think of that, only our quote would go something like “Don’t run away from me; I definitely won’t follow. Don’t run without me; I won’t be inspired. Just take my arm and pull without mercy while I struggle behind you…and be my friend.”

I posted more than a week ago and intended to do so again a few days later. A few days later, I claimed to be uninspired and vowed to write the next day. I met a friend for coffee on Monday and Oh My Words! came up in our conversation. I really should post something when I get home, I thought. I had time to watch itty bitty rappers on slightly trashy tv, I had time to see amazing garments made out of paper, and I had time to ponder phobias, dogs, and true callings. But I did not blog. Once you’ve stopped and taken an unintentional blogging break, it’s hard to start again. My words have been absent from the internet universe for all this time because it’s hard to take a hold of your own arm and drag yourself until something good results. 

Except that I sat down to write a quick word about writing, procrastination, and my leave of absence, and now have 700+ words that form a story that form a blog post that breaks my blogging silence. So I guess I can yank myself into action.

I almost wish there was someone around to time my heart rate.

aorta be a law against running

10 Responses to “Friends Dragging Friends and Absent Words”

  1. Jill Swenson June 14, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

    You got me laughing out loud; not at you. With you, at me, too. I always enjoy reading your posts. What week without your words?

    • Oh My Words! June 15, 2011 at 2:36 pm #

      Good–I love inspiring out loud laughter! (With is better than at but both are good–and if you understood that, hats off!)

  2. Kim Pugliano June 14, 2011 at 6:03 pm #

    Best kind of post. From my experience these are the ones that get the most ‘likes’ and comments. You’ll see. AWESOME. And I love love love your friend quote!!!!

    • Oh My Words! June 15, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

      I liked your like and comment and that’s good enough for me 🙂 Glad you liked the quote–Camus ain’t got nothin’ on me

  3. Nikki Brown June 14, 2011 at 6:28 pm #

    I am utterly, completely, and positively flattered to be featured. And, for good measure:


    • Oh My Words! June 15, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

      You MAKE this story! 🙂
      Also–I’ve never seen the music video before and am confused by the metaphor/message. Still the best, most inspiring lyrics though…

  4. Natalie June 15, 2011 at 3:52 am #

    Beautifully inspired writing — I needed this!

  5. WobblyWords June 15, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    Hahaha! Excellent post 🙂 I didn’t like running around in the gym in P.E. one bit, and I actually like running!

    • Oh My Words! June 15, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

      why would ANYONE want to run around in boring circles? craziness

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