My married friends tell me all the time, "Carole, you could meet a man anywhere, anytime." Mmm hmmm. That's true. I respond, "Yes, losers are abound. It's meeting the quality that gets tough."
Yesterday I sat in the coffee shop, curled up with a good book. I couldn't help but notice as he walked in, his scent a distinctive cologne. He looked ridiculous and cocky; as incredulous as that sounds, in his pale blue Oxford shirt with it's cuffs rolled tightly to the elbow. They appeared to be holding on for dear life, choking the blood supply there and swelling his forearms into great purple eggplants that I had an odd urge to slice and serve up, parmigiana style.
His Ray Ban aviators, relics of the eighties, no doubt, were perched precariously on a shellacked bed of graying hair. I could almost hear him speaking to his reflection in the morning: "You're a silver fox. You've got some miles on you, but ladies love an experienced man. These aviators, they're the ticket. They're the glue that holds this ensemble together. There. Now they're perfectly placed atop my head. I can't slide them down over my eyes or it will ruin the look. I'll squint in the sunlight, but I'll look cool. This is it. The pinnacle of fashion. I'm ready for you, Ladies." He would then glide out the door to his convertible . . .whatever. Porshe, BMW, Mercedes. Something foreign. No Mustangs for the Silver Fox. Something expensive that subtley screams Mide-Life Crisis.
His plaid pants of hunter green and navy blue clashed horridly with his shiny black loafers and George Hamilton tanned ankles. They didn't do much for the shirt either. But they hung perfectly with a crease the military would envy tracing his leg from thigh to foot. He walked with purpose and determination. An important man with places to be and people to ignore. I was surprised when he eased himself into the uncomfortable chair beside me and threw out a cheap line meant to amuse, or perhaps enthrall: "So . . . .come here often?" I sighed loudly as I rolled my eyes heavenward. I smiled at him, thinking to myself, 'this was going to be the longest coffee of my life'....
October 25, 2011
Want to be really humbled? Do an event which is double the distance you've done for many, many months. Good call, Sharpie!
A few days ago I coerced my Denver-based buddies, Rev3 teammate Anthony Beeson ("AB") and my world traveling hero, Kyle Bauman ("KB"), to do a 10-mile trail run race with me. (Readers may remember my previous blog post about Kyle who traveled the globe last year. Check it out here! )
AB is a former collegiate runner, so KB and I knew he'd be done long before us, probably having had a shower with a loofah. Nonetheless, we wanted to have a fun run together in what turned out to be a near record breaking 75 degree day in Denver at the end of October. Love it.
The morning of the race:
I've been looking for a new passion. I'll probably never get on my bike again - I haven't given up but I really think my demons are beyond what even I can tackle. If I never ride again, the world won't end - and it will probably be an even better world. I certainly have had enough of hospitals and broken bones to last me a lifetime. Recently I've tried taking up knitting. The fuzzy yarn is nice but it lacks a bit of the adrenaline rush. So I'm trying to get into trail running.
As we expected, AB dusted us.
My sense of humor remained in tact throughout the day. In typical Carole fashion, I talked to everyone with an encouraging, "GOOD JOB!" whenever someone went by. (I rarely went by anyone, let's get real...) One of the highlights was this view I got for more than half the race. The 3 guys in Scottish kilts cracked me up, and kept me laughing....
I was definitely in the back of the packs, but I was keeping the fun in mind.........
At the end of the run, I did what I truly do best:
AB and KB "weren't hungry" right after the run. ?? pppffft. I dove right into that pizza, uninhibited.
Thankfully I at least have SOME skill in this world!!
October 21, 2011
I've surpassed week 5 of a commitment I made. Carole cynics might claim this is the longest commitment I've made to anything (that makes me laugh at my own slam!); indeed, I am committing to YOGA through December. Perhaps I will continue beyond that - for now, my 12-week exile from normalcy is under way.
I am on a 3x/week mission to loosen up and "lighten", becoming more limber - metaphorically more than experiential. I have a hard time settling in and turning off my brain. This has been a lifetime challenge, for sure.
I've fallen in love with my yoga instructor, Carmen, at Flatirons. She's fantastic with people new to Yoga, like me. A recent Yoga practice was intense. We got to "bridge" pose, which is the precursor to "wheel" (basically a backbend). Carmen got us ready for the pose, instructing us on our breathing and alignment. Then she paused.
"Bridge." she said. "A perfect opportunity to consider the gaps in our own lives. Where do you want to cross over? What do you need to transcend? What could flow beneath you if only you could elevate?" She encouraged us to breathe deeply and consider the implications of the pose.
I hoisted my tired, tight hips in the air and wriggled my shoulders underneath me and took some deep breaths. I thought about the bridges I could create in my life as I struggled and shook.
I want to cross over to new levels of endurance, patience and strength in my living. I want to continue to build solid and sustainable bridges with my friends, even when time apart can cause us to drift apart. I want to bridge across into new territory with my writing. I want to bridge across caverns in my faith life, spanning things like disbelief and lack of trust. I want to stretch towards people I'd like to know better and deepen the connections with the people I dearly love – and I want to be bolder in bridging towards strangers in need. I want to use words and actions to bridge across gaps of misunderstanding and neglect, the passage of too much time and too much water beneath. I want to have the flexibility to lift myself above the current of life when it's moving dangerously fast, threatening to carry me away. I want to have the strength in my core to be able to hold myself steady in this position, whenever the need arises. I want to be able to stretch across to what comes next without losing my traction on the past and my steadiness in the present.
What bridges need some work in your life? Do you have relational gaps that need mending? Do you have people you love who seem to be floating farther away? Is there a raging current you need to rise above? Do you need the strength to be able to hold your ground? Are you being called to stretch past your comfort zone and into new territory? Is there water beneath your bridge that needs to flow more freely? Can you lift yourself out of the way?
Bridges are beautiful metaphors. Like carefully chosen words, they connect us to one another and help us cross over when surmounting the distance would otherwise be impossible.