Tuesday, August 30, 2005
i've got this thing that looks like a white lego in my pocket, and it makes me stronger than anything you can imagine
(soaked through, spent, and slightly psychologically scrambled upon finishing my run this evening)
I watched scemes from Punch-Drunk Love earlier tonight. Near the end of the film, Adam Sandler has the line: "I have a love in my life, and it makes me stronger than anything you can imagine." If you listen to the commentary track, though, you learn that this wasn't the original line at all, but instead was changed later because focus groups thought the film needed to be more romantic. Instead of "I have a love in my life," Adam Sandler's character was really supposed to say: "I have tenure and an iPod shuffle."
Three weeks ago when I was jogging at night in Madison, I had to run around this construction being done on a sidewalk, and I stepped in this hole and fell. It hurt. I was had just started the second lap around the big loop I was doing, and so it would have been a much closer for me just to limp/trudge home than to try to continue running. However, Kirsty MacColl's "Terry" was playing on the iPod shuffle, with its strangely-genuinely-joggingly-inspiring story of a woman who had a loser boyfriend for years but now finally found a good guy who not only wants to date her but even wants a photograph of her to carry around with him.
I decided I would be jinxing Kirsty's new romance if I stopped and so I persevered jogging as my ankle worked through its minor issues. In addition to that inspiration, though, this was an event toward my odd theory that tenure has given me a much more unthwartable attitude, as I imagined an earlier me just kind of laying there on the sidewalk for awhile, drawing various connections between my having tripped and My More General Failings, and then shuffling home.
Tonight I went out running resolved to go for an hour. It was sprinkling when I began, but within fifteen minutes it was pouring. I was not going to stop, especially since I had songs like "You Get What You Give" (New Radicals) and "Good" (Pizzicato Five) propelling me along. About twenty minutes later, a song starts on my iPod shuffle that I didn't recognize at first. "Wait, isn't that... 'Chickenman' by the Indigo Girls? How the hell did that get on there?"
Then, a few seconds later, allofasudden I tripped on this uneven spot on the sidewalk and fell forward onto the sidewalk. I would imagine that to an onlooker I looked sort of like a baseball player sliding headfirst into home plate, especially if baseball a sport was played by dorky-looking guys on wet concrete. It stung, to be sure, and I scraped myself up a little. But I didn't even think about stopping; I got up immediately and was off again. Me, wimpy me. With "Chickenman" bleating through my headphones in a driving rain. I tell you, whatever it is: I've gotten tougher.