Tuesday, February 12, 2008

If I were a diva, my name would be Ferosh

Me: Chloe, I said put on a scarf, that is a feather boa

Chloe: But it's warm and soft, I wanna wear it

Me: Fine, but when you get to school you have to take it off

Chloe: But Mommy, I have to wear it, I want to be cheetalicious

I dropped the kids off early this morning so I could vote.

I walked into the voting room which doubles as the school gym 364 days of the year. One table was set up for Republicans and the other was set up for Democrats. As a testament to the type of people congressing from my neighborhood, I made a mental note of the line that had formed across the gym floor, and curled out of the door. All these folks were waiting for one thing. A Republican ballot. Those in line for a Democrat ballot? One. Me.

The ballot was fairly straight forward, but I had to read it 4 or 5 times because, as the only apparent Democratic voter for 5 square miles, I did not want to make a mistake. I nearly broke the ink pen pressing down hard to make sure the entire oval was filled.

The man by the ballot-collector-machine leaned way over to read which bubble I had filled in. I saw him peering, so I stopped feeding the ballot, held it up close to his nose and said "Hillary", then I fed the paper through the counter. In retrospect, feeding the 8 ½" by 11" paper ballot into the counter felt a lot like shredding a document_

After successfully completing my civic duty, I called hubby to remind him that if he would like to vote for Clinton, the voting booth was open until 7pm at Payton's school, otherwise, if he choose to vote for Obama, he would find that the voting booth location had changed, and was now located somewhere in the Appalachian.

With my spare 15 minutes, I went for a run in the park. (Oh man am I gonna be late to work today). The weather? A cloudy 22 degrees. I tightened my shoelaces with numb fingers, grabbed my iPod shuffle with the little clippie backing (too cool), and set off to conquer the mostly flat course at Rockwood Park.

Somewhere between mile 2 and 3 my pace slowed and I knew I would soon be walking. My joints were achy and my heart was racing too fast. So I made a deal with myself. I would run the entire song, whatever it was, just one song, and then walk the rest of my course.

Dear reader, you will never believe what song was next. The soundtrack anthem from Rocky. You know, the one that's playing in the background in the movie while Sylvester Stalone runs across the Brooklyn bridge, and up some monumental steps, and through fields of grain.

So there I am, pounding the pavement, and this song lifts me up, tall and gazelle-like. Off in the distance, on queue, a flock of birds takes to the winter sky. And the chorus of women sing "Getting Stronger".

I'm running, and drooling, my ski cap fell off my head about a quarter mile back but I leave it where it fell.

"Getting Stronger" the chorus keeps singing, and I feel like a real superstar. My heart is racing and I'm thinking, um, maybe this isn't a good idea, I'm probably hitting my 90% heart rate max. But I just can't stop, after all I'm "getting stronger" and you know what? I want to be Rocky. I fucking become Rocky. I am running, and it hurts, and I've never been more ferosh.

FYI, I happened to download the extended orchestral version of this song. A full agonizing 7 minutes long.

Around minute 6, I forgot the pain and my heart rate steadied. My body said "Okay girl, I'm done trying to stop you, you ain't quittng are you?" I shook my head. Hell no.

And I didn't, until the song was over. And when it ended, and I slowed my pace, shot my arms up into the sky and said right outloud "I'M GETTING STRONGER. WOOHOO!"

"Alright!" said a little black man who I hadn't noticed sitting on the curb. He gave me a big warm smile, as if to say "You go girl." And I smiled back and said "Thanks!"

No comments: