Record my Record

Remember those days when you really thought you’d be famous?

I vividly remember being in early Elementary school and thinking that I was destined to be a famous singer, with a possible ‘hit’ that I penned with what I’m pretty sure contained a maximum of five words, repeated over and over. And considering the fact that even my grandma has never complimented me for having a beautiful voice, there was no way I was going to land even 15-seconds of pop star fame.

Luckily, my dream died before I got the courage to sing my “hit” at our Talent Show.

When babysitting this past Monday, I vicariously relived a little burst of “fame.” It started with me spinning Harry (age 2) around and around. One of his new favorite activities.

While I was spinning Harry, Stella (age 7) did some solo spinning. We quickly realized we had discovered a child spinning phenom. Her brother, Ben (age 9), was in awe, and decided to time her. She made it an entire 10 minutes spinning nonstop. She didn’t drop to the floor in exhaustion after that, either. I made her stop (awful I know, but a babysitter must follow family bedtime rules).

We were all in awe that she could spin that long (and wasn’t even dizzy). Ben, particularly, who decided to submit her time to the Guinness Book of World Records (with the token plea: “This is something Stella has dreamed for her entire life.”)

Stella was floating on cloud nine, and convinved she had found her claim to fame—she even asked “Kristin, will I make the Guiness book by school tomorrow? I’d be so cool to be famous by then!”

Like many kids, Stella is a seven-year old who shoots for the moon—but uniquely spins like Saturn. Stella may not become a professional spinner, but at the very least, her hidden human tilt-a-whirl talent is pretty cool.

Slow dancing, sweaty-palms style

Junior High School is full of plenty of awkward moments, but one event takes the cake: The school dance.

It’s a blend of everything awkward: Prepubescent boys, early maturing girls, emotional turmoil, self-consciousness, and peer pressure. There’s storm, there’s stress—it’s even better than a soap opera. Today, I found out that I will be chaperoning this event at Southeast Polk Jr. High next Friday. I am so excited.

The dance may be extremely awkward, but this awkwardness is an essential rite of passage. I will never, ever forget my 8th grade dance. Allow me to share:

I liked this boy (let’s call him ‘Herb’). Near the end of the day, he asked me to dance. I’m excited: It’s a slow dance. We take a spot next to numerous other slightly sweaty, nearly silent pairs. I put my hands on his shoulders and he puts his…

On my shoulders. We are swaying to the music.

Do I smoothly move his arms to my hips? Of course not. That would be sensible (I am in Junior High, after all). It gets worse. During the song, our peers notice our awkward dance and stop theirs. Our classmates circle up, and we become their very own middle school movie. And, let me tell you, from their laughter, it was a hilarious comedy. Does Herb notice, and finally move his hands? Not a chance.

Luckily, they knew that “Herb” was the one who made the mistake—but when you’re part of a pair, embarrassment can’t be solitary. I can’t remember the song, but it felt like it lasted as long as 10 “Stairway to Heavens.”

Moral of the story: Junior High dances are awkward. But  those who have experienced moments as awkward as mine can at least be rewarded by experiencing it vicariously 9 years later. Let’s hope that Beyonce has given the boys some tips for landing “Single Ladies”—sans swaying.

Music By Mood

I know that many say they “love everything” when it comes to music, but I honestly do. (Except heavy metal. Sorry, Lamb of God, you’ll never get a spot on my Pandora playlists). Need proof of my lack of pickiness? Here are my current Pandora stations, which are frequently updated (It’s a good thing I have no shame, because [quite] a few are a bit embarrassing to admit) :

“Let it Be” (The Beatles) Radio; James Brown Radio; Johnny Cash Radio; Bob Dylan Radio; Billy Joel Radio; Beauty and the Beast Radio; “Pinball Wizard” (The Who) Radio; Phish Radio; Will Smith Radio; Taylor Swift Radio; “What I Got” (Sublime) Radio; “Staple it Together” (Jack Johnson) Radio; “ABC” (The Jackson 5) Radio; Kellie Pickler Radio; Jimmy Buffett Radio; Brad Paisley Radio, and, last but certainly not least—Queen Radio.

Whew! Can you see how I can never pick a favorite anything? I particularly love when genres and decades blend. Case in point: I’m currently listening to Michael Buble’s version of “Stuck in the Middle With You.” Ridiculously good!

A professional procrastinator

I’m pretty certain I’m incapable of accomplishing a task unless there’s a deadline. I may be a long distance runner, but when it comes to work, I’m a sprinter. Sure, it the sensible thing is to do a bit of a task each day. I know this. But do I heed this advice? HA.

Case in point: I’m posting about procrastinating, while simultaneously procrastinating.

When I grow up…

Ever since I was little, I’ve hated getting older. Unlike most young ones who add even the most minimal fraction to their age—”I am 7 and 1/8th”—to show that age suggests maturity, my view’s always been backward. I’ve been stuck in a semi-Peter Pan complex for as long as I can remember. Besides turning 21, of course. That’s one birthday I definitely didn’t want to bypass.

But herein lies the dilemma: In education, age is often associated with ability. When you enter a classroom for the first time, you immediately size up a teacher to determine exactly how much you can get away with. If the teacher is: A.) Old B.) Wearing a hairstyle that is decades outdated C.) Wears an ankle length skirt or pantsuit with big buttons D.) Does not smile, you know that you should probably keep your mouth shut or suffer the consequences.

Fit in a few categories? You’ll do just fine. I score a solid 0 of the above (or so I think…). Gimme a heads-up if I need a hair appointment stat.

My Peter Pan complex has worked a bit, though in an atypical way: I may not be able to reduce my age, but I have stopped aging. I’m 22, and look the same as I did at 14. Unless I develop a Jack-esque disorder anytime soon, I’m going to be a high school teacher who looks younger than her students. Plus, I’m not looking into layered bangs and a blunt cut anytime soon, and would prefer to keep my shirt buttons pinkie-nail sized.

If only girls had it as simple as guys:  Grow a goatee, and you’ve gained yourself a few years.

Aches and Accomplishments

I did it! I officially completed the Chicago Marathon.

I never realized how much I took walking for advantage. My legs feel like linguini, I’m popping pills like candy and using both handrails down the stairs. I even have to grab both sides of the toliet after going to the bathroom. Pray I don’t have to use a Port-A-Potty in the next few weeks.

But even though I feel like I’ve been hit by a bulldozer, I couldn’t be more thrilled. I felt great during most of the race, ran better than I anticipated (3:42, so 8:28/mile), and accomplished a lifetime goal.

I’ll be honest: Less than a week ago, I didn’t think I could do it. These last few weeks I had intense periods of self-doubt. My short, easy runs had become exhausting. My iPod was driving me insane. My once relished running “alone-time” was extended a bit too far. Two weeks ago, after another exhausting 70-minute run, I decided I was just going to run a half-marathon. Tweak my goal. Not go home…just not as big.

A half is still a feat, certainly. But then I realized that paring my mission down went against everything I believe. Michael Jordan’s quote—”I’ve always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come. I don’t do things half-heartedly. Because I know if I do, then I can expect half-hearted results”—has been one of my favorites for a decade. I needed to go big or go home. I needed to accomplish what I’d set out to do six months ago…years ago, in fact.

My legs may hate me, but I know that the pain is temporary. The euphoric feeling I have from accomplishing my goal is eternal.