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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

We now return to our regularly scheduled program already in progress

After running the Country Roads 5K on 4/24, I stayed in NJ for a few more days to rest, relax, reminisce and run (ever notice I kinda got a "thing" for "r" words??). I ended up flying home very early on Tuesday, April 27th. My plane landed in Manchester at 8:05 a.m. My husband picked me up and brought me home so I could jump right in my car and go back to work.

How's THAT for dedication???

It's always nice to come home; not because I get to go back to work (although things are a-okay on the career front), but I get to see my pals. I had invited John and Ted over to my place for a 6 p.m. run around my fair city (okay, so we're not exactly big enough to be called a city). The three of us went for a 6ish mile run on the main streets and back roads of the lovely place I call home. The run is always fun for us. We enjoy the challenge, we enjoy the fellowship and we enjoy the sheer joy of movement.

But, you know what else we love?

Mai Tais.

And Chinese food that could probably survive a nuclear holocaust.

You only live once, as far as we know, so might as well enjoy it.

After we got cleaned up from our run, my husband came home from a long day of lawn care. We told him of our devious plan to partake in cocktails and crab rangoon. It took a little arm twisting, but he decided to come along for the ride.

The four of us went to our favorite "hole in the wall" place where the lighting is dim and the drinks are strong. We took a booth in the bar area and waited for the bartender to come over.

Now, I must say this isn't the first time that John, my husband, and I have frequented this establishment for food and drink as a group. Au contraire, mon frere. We've been a few times and had our order down to a science: beef teriyaki, some variation of lo mein, scallion pancakes, crab rangoon and spring rolls (John and I are husband, not so much). Whenever we go, we always end up having food to take home (most of the time, we coerce John to take it so he can "enjoy it" for another day or so).

After noticing us, the bartender took our drink order and left us menus so we could pick out what we wanted. We looked it over and then decided to go with the tried and true. If it's not broken, don't fix it, right? Besides, we figured if Ted enjoyed running and our company, he probably would eat what we ate too. So, when Carlos the bartender (I know, an Asian man named Carlos working at a Chinese restaurant...I don't get it either) came back to take our order, we rattled it off as fluently as a military man would recite his name, rank and serial # when asked.

While we waited for our food to arrive, we tried to talk about things other than running. I mean, John, Ted and I are pretty single minded in regards to this particular subject and can prattle on for hours on end. Hubby is a good sport, but there is only so much of it he can relate to since he wasn't training for a marathon, nor does he plan to. Ever. Thankfully, we managed to find more neutral topics of conversation as we sipped our mai tais.

Carlos came back moments later with our food. We ate, drank and talked. Ate, drank, and talked. Ate. Drank. Talked.

And then, the unthinkable happened.

It was gone. All of it. The food. All gone.


Not a noodle or speck of spring roll remained. We sat back in the booth, amazed that we could actually finish it all. For the first time ever, we wouldn't hear that all important question: would you like to take that home? There was nothing to take home!!!

Our drinks were gone as well. It was time to pay the bill and be on our way. Ted was kind enough to drive, so we all piled in his car. The restaurant is only about two miles from our house, so it was a short ride back. We said our goodbyes to John and Ted, thanking them for their company and off they went.

As I reflected on the day's events (and what a long day it had been), I smiled, thinking about how much fun it was. I know it might seem counterintuitive to some who are physically fit to indulge in Chinese Food and mai tais after a 6 mile run. I mean, I can get down with a tall glass of iced water and a grilled chicken salad as much as the next fitness freak. But it's not so much about what you're eating, really. It's how you feel about what you are doing. Okay, I get it: a calorie is a calorie. But, we were laughing. We were genuinely enjoying each other's company. We were allowing ourselves to indulge in some culinary delights that might not even pass as real food in some places.

But, I loved it. Every second.

Because that, my friends, is living life. It's about being present and in the moment. Sometimes, but not always, those moments involve greasy food and fruity drinks that will knock you on your a$$ if you have one too many. And that's okay. It's okay to throw caution to the wind every now and again and say, "screw it".

They say ignorance is bliss for a reason. I don't know how many calories or chemicals were in my food and drink that night, nor do I want to. I am learning to listen to and trust my body a little bit more, knowing that one night is not going to be a dealbreaker. There is a place in life for nights like those. The root of the word "diet" is "die". Coincidence? I think not.

Carl Jung once said, "what you resist persists". The more you push against something, the more you get what you do not want. The more you deprive yourself and forbid yourself to do or have something, the more you will want to do or have it. It's just the way we are. Accepting, basking, enjoying and relaxing seems like a much better alternative to me, at least. If you are going to do something, you might as well do it and have fun in the process.

Tomorrow, I'll gladly return to the land of lean protein, complex carbs and vegetables.

But, until then, I'm going to enjoy my full belly and slight buzz. :-)

Carpe diem.

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