Friday, March 30, 2007

I have a favor to ask...

I've been feeling...flat. I can't really describe it otherwise. Not depressed, not excited, not emotional, just flat. I know that there is something causing this but I haven't really had the time to be quiet and figure out what is going on.

Last week I had a mini-two-hour-meltdown. I had to go to Trev1so for the weekend to work the marathon there. Piero was going to be working in Rome so I had to take Evan with me. Olly was supposed to go to her father's in Milan, but he called at the last minute to say that...he couldn't. So it was me alone having to decide how to single handedly juggle two children and my job. In that two hour window I told Piero that this was one of those days where I just want to throw the towel in. Sell the house which now has an ever growing mortage, move down south where it's cheaper living and just take care of the kids. I know in my heart that I'd last about seventeen minutes in a situation like that, but for sixteen and a half of those minutes I wouldn't have to worry about multi-tasking all my life roles. I tried to have Olly stay schoolmates house but to no avail. Then on two runs everything fell into place within 24 hours. On wednesday, without mentioning ANYTHING Linda asked me if I wanted her to come up to Treviso with me and take care of Evan while I worked. I was so touched, I mean she was giving up three days just to help me out! I accepted right away. The next day I went running with another friend and came up with my own little plan. Since there were two days that Olly wouldn't be going to school (friday she wasn't going on the school field trip and saturday the school was closed because they were going on a trip to the Vatican city) I decided that she could spend the day by herself in the house and then go sleep at Elles' house. They both loved the plan so it worked out for everyone.
I was very lucky to have Linda with me since Sunday it rained for the second half of the race and I absolutely wouldn't have known what to do with Evan if she hadn't been there. The photo above is Ev working the booth at the marathon, he's giving away pace bracelets.

So I have a favor to ask. There's this website that I read everyday, Ali Edwards.
She's trying to raise as much money as she can for her favorite charity, Autism speaks, inc. I tried to donate some money but for some reason the system won't accept foreign payments.
If one of you will donate the ten dollars, I will send you a bottle of my very favorite and expensive Aceto Balsamico. It comes in a beautiful bottle and goes on salads like syrup. It has a delicious cherry retro taste to eat. I could guzzle the stuff but that wouldn't be very ladylike. I do lick the little drip off the spout when I pour it though...that's not very ladylike either and Olly gets really mad at me when I do it. Anyway, the vinegar costs 9,10 euro plus I'll have to pay for shipping so it'll cost me another 8,00 euro to ship it to the States. The ten dollars you spend for the donation will be more than compensated by the orgasmic balsamic vinegar.

I can only afford to send ONE bottle so the first person to leave a message in the comments saying that they donated on my behalf will be the one I send the package to. I'll get in touch with you to get the address where to send it to.
Of course you can donate without the vinegar incentive!

Monday, March 19, 2007

different intelligence

Lately P and I have been having conversations like this:

Me: Did you get that email I sent you about Carlo M?

P: What email?

Me: I sent you an email yesterday about Carlo M, you said you would answer it for me.

P: Who's Carlo M?

Me: He's that runner from Milan...

P: (blank stare)

Me: ...thirty-fiveish, blonde hair, we did a test on him. You wrote in the test that he had a torsion problem with his feet...

P: (nothing registering)

Me: ...You know, last month when we did those tests on the Milan group. I've been training him since January...

P: Who?

Me: (starting to lose patience...) CARLO M!!

P: Who's Carlo M?


P: Oh, you mean the first in the group?

Me: Yes...

A lightbulb had been lit, all was good. Of course he didn't remember what he had said and I had to dig the test out for him to see and then remind him four times to give me the exercise file to send...

I've never considered myself an "intelligent" person in an academic sense. I always gotten decent grades and I never failed a class. I do have one very strong point going for me however that has always served me well.

I remember everything.

I remember situations and conversations and sometimes if it's necessary I can remember mundane details like what the other person was wearing, the jewelry that had on, or what kind of furniture was in a room. I can remember as far back as when I was three years old. It's like I memorize details and surroundings and conversations and feelings. Sometimes I forget appointments and I have to have a list of things to do on a day to day basis in order to remember what I have to do, but once I've done it I can tell you in what sequence it happened and what the weather was like that day. That's why I can tell you at what time Carlo M arrived for his test and what he was wearing and those black sunglasses he had on with the baseball cap on backwards (it was green with white stripes) and how he was running and the questions he asked that day and how soon afterwards he emailed back.

P doesn't remember any of this. He can remember anybodies important PR in any distance from the 400mt to the marathon, but he has no detail for anything else. I know I'm supposed to do something with this gift of mine, I just haven't figured out what yet.

Monday, March 12, 2007

With the wind in her air...

I wouldn't have used that title, but someone did think it up for an all women's race in northern Italy. This group called me in november and asked if I would offer one of my 8 week training courses to prepare the women of Belluno for a 5km race that they were organizing. I went to the first workout in February and gave my spiel on how they had to plan their workouts, take time for themselves and all the good stuff that becomes a habit to anybody that takes care of their body with physical activity. I think this is the one and only time that the group of women grew over time (from 40 to 60 participants) rather than decreasing. They invited me to come and be guest of honor at the race yesterday, how could I refuse?

We left the house at 6.30 am and arrived in Belluno at around 9.30. The whole main piazza was full of balloons. Evan woke up from sleeping the whole trip in the back seat and the first thing he said was...
"I want a blue balloon."

I've been having trouble with my left knee for about three days now, but only when I walk. For some reason it doesn't hurt when I run but it's like I don't trust it yet. Anyway, I was afraid I was going to look like an idiot, getting injured while running (great promo for the sport!) but thankfully all was well and I felt no pain the entire run. It was and up and down and up again route all through the small town. It was really nice to just run in a new atmosphere, mountains instead of flatland. I had started out in the back so I just kept passing women that didn't know anything about pacing themselves yet, right up until the end. About a quarter of a mile to the finish I passed a group of women at a good clip and then as I was coming down the straight I could hear them coming up from behind...No way I'll let anybody pass me at the finish line! (me in black...)

I have no idea how far I ran or how fast it was but I am really happy that I had a painless run, even with the gimpy left leg. Afterwards I talked with another group of women that are from a town near Belluno that would like to organize the eight week clinic for women in their area. While I was talking to them all I could think about was being able to come to the first meeting and bringing my bike so I could get in a really great training session in the Dolomites! Can't wait!Piero was able to capture a lot of positive, powerful images for me during the morning, like this one...

...and this one...

Ev got to play with lots of pink balloons.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Reasons and Purpose

Do you read this blog? I mean, if you're reading this sentence, of course you do, what am I talking about...Sometimes I ask myself what I'm doing with a blog. None of my friends know I have one (except one), I'm not making it specific about anything: triathlon, diet, me, or whatever. So what exactly am I doing here and what do I want out of this?

I started out with the excuse of losing those last 10 lbs of pregnancy weight. Let me announce to you that 8lbs are still stuck there so I might as well just face that I am not here for that anymore.

Part of it is a huge opportunity for me to write in english. That sounds silly, but it's totally true. I know you don't know this but I'm quite an accomplished italian. It's always been that way for me. I have a bachelors in Italian literature and language from San Francisco State. I studied at the University of Florence for a year. But when I had to take the required english classes in college I squeezed out of it by taking the English Proficiency test. You walk in a room, they give you a few white sheets of paper and a subject to write about. I knew enough that I had to have a) a paragraph introduction b) two supporting paragraphs c) a conclusion. Bingo! You don't have to take a year of obligatory english.

I have now lived more years in Italy than the time I spent in the States. That would be twenty years in the States and almost twenty-seven abroad. I still love to read in english and I like to watch television in english (thank God for that language switch button they have now on the remote). I still speak english well of course, but I do have a strange accent and I started to see that I was losing my ability to write here I am.

This has been a strange week. Not good or bad, just strange and different. I need to get back on track, need to get centered again.