Sunday, December 12, 2004

Sobering weekend

The weekend started off well enough. I ran 17 miles and followed up with half an hour on the elliptical trainer. I had a bit of pain in my arch at mile 16, but walked a few minutes and was fine running the rest of the way. My legs got a bit knotted up, but I felt strong throughout. As an experiment I rubbed my legs down afterward with arnica gel and Nemidon's black and blue ointment (which is not black and blue, btw). I don't know if it helped or if I was just lucky, but my legs felt pretty darn good the rest of the weekend. Much better than last weekend when I did less mileage. Go figure.

Dan and I went to lunch and then I took a long nap. When I got up I had a message to call my mother. She informed me that my sister's boyfriend of more than five years had committed suicide. He had had a lot of problems and to those of us on the outside, I don't think it was a big surprise. But my sister is a mess, of course. So I spent some time talking on the phone with her. I offered to come over but she said she'd rather I come over Sunday.

So today I got up and puttered around on the computer for awhile. Then I went to Central Market and got some things for me and for my sister and her bunny. After that I came home and did a Spinervals session, then took a nap. This evening I went out to my parents' house and spent some time with everyone. My father is just in from New Mexico, which is great but I feel really bad for him getting all this thrown at him when I'm sure he was looking forward to a relaxing winter break. My sister was as well as could be expected-- sometimes okay, other times not. I urged my mom to make sure the girl gets food, rest, vitamins, and a bit of fresh air and exercise every day, even if it's just a walk around the block. I also stressed the importance of constructive activity. I hope Mom was listening. I've often felt like Cassandra in that family.

It's unfortunate that my sister is having to learn the same hard lesson I had to learn, in the same hard way. You can't save a person who isn't making any effort to save himself. You'll only get dragged down to his level. It's not like taking in a stray dog who will be grateful for your efforts. When you decide to fight for someone who won't fight for himself, he'll only keep taking until you're left with nothing. There's no future in it.

So I hope once my sister's initial shock and grief have passed she can begin to understand that there are lessons to be learned here. As many times as she thought it might be wise to leave this guy, she could never bring herself to do it. It would've been hard. There would have been a lot of complicated things to work out-- things she still has to work out now, so what did she gain? Sometimes in life all your options suck. You just have to pick the option that sucks the least and has the least possibility of even worse consequences down the road. If you sit around waiting for it all to magically get better, you'll still be sitting there when the worst happens.

And so as not to end this on such a dismal note, I scored some Smithsonian magazines, pumpkin bread and dried apples tonight. (The apples came from the New Mexico farm.) My feet feel pretty darn good and I'm feeling ever more optimistic about the marathon, although I'm not letting myself get enthusiastic yet. I have a massage appointment for tomorrow. And my bunny is unbearably cute!

This Weekend's Workouts
Saturday: 17 miles running, 30 minutes elliptical
Sunday: Spinervals 5.0 Mental Toughness

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