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Music influenced me today–I’m not going to lie. I went “running”, which is weak to begin with. I am soooooo not a runner. I run about as well as an 82 year-old couch potato. Although, lately, something has changed. I have been craving The Run.

Granted, 40 lbs off the body makes it much easier to survive a mile jog. Just sayin’.

I have been slowly working up from a “ralk” (run and walk) to a creeping jog. Today, I must say, I had my Rocky moment. “Eye of the Tiger” metaphorically played through my oxygen-reduced brain. Despite seeing spotted elephants and apparently enormous white cranes (which I assure you were quite REAL last week), I hit quite the milestone today in my “running career”.

I walk the Stanford Dish several times a week. It’s about a 4 mile loop up and down, down and up. The terrain actually ranges from 25 feet to over 600 feet high. It varies throughout the loop, depending on either a clockwise or counter-clockwise rotation. I tend to go clockwise. What greets me right away is the Hill of Death. This is after the Hell Incline when I start the entire walk. It takes me about 10 minutes to level off so I can begin running. Well, today, when I started, I ran for 17 minutes. Impossible.

Today I understood the concept of “runners high’. I couldn’t stop. A guy behind me passed by in a full sprint but suddenly fell short. It was 93 today. It’s hot. Granted, the 93 here is nothing like the 93 in Vermont, but I couldn’t ignore the heat, nor could my competitor. But he stopped as if he hit a wall, and carefully, steadily like the tortoise, I won the race. I passed him and up the hill I went. In the three times I attempted this run, I had never gone this far in one motion.

The hill is no joke and I kid you not. As I hit it, David Bowie’s “We Can Be Heroes” thoughtfully came on. I love this song, for multiple reasons. I too knew I could be a hero. Bowie pushed me. The ELO and Elvis Costello before this pushed me as well. Music is an amazing motivator. I don’t care what people say.I wanted to hit the summit. I wanted it so badly, my dehydrated mouth filmed over.

I missed the top by 12 feet. I just couldn’t do it. I wasn’t upset though. Once I walked to the top and recovered, I shook it all out in a happy dance. EIGHTEEN MINUTES. Even at my slow pathetic pace I ran more than a mile UP and Down those silly HILLS! Credit begged for–and credit granted.

Perhaps I am not the hero Bowie talks about. Maybe I am. I know I felt like it today. I got goosebumps despite the 90+ climate.

Last week, the first time I attempted to run at all in my three weeks of walking the Dish, I jogged up a decent-sized hill ironically just as the crane at the beginning of this post approached. This sucker was huge. If someone wanted to tell me that I had an obstacle in my running, they could have been less literal. It scared the bejesus out of me. I had to coax him out of the path. I have been charged by geese and swans before and they were all big birds–how was I to know which differences existed between them?

Eventually the Sooty Albatross or Blue Nosed Crane or Antirunningbecauseiamfinallyinthegroove Bird wandered away and I was free to continue.

Did I tell you that today I was a hero? Just like a successful Sisyphus?! Well, you know…

Hello runners! Here comes Ms. Mo. As Mr. Turner-Overdrive repeats (rather exhaustingly), I am “taking care of business”. Yes, yes I am. I broke through the ICANT barrier. Yesssss.

Waiting on an Angel–Ben Harper

Am I Blue–Billie Holiday

Thriller–Michael Jackson

Every Day I Write the Book–Elvis Costello

Don’t Stand so Close to Me–The Police

Takin’ Care of Business–Bachman Turner Overdrive