Friday, July 22, 2011

Reflections of a Book Worm

I am a bona fide book worm.

As a kid, I would spend hours in the library and take home as many books as my arms could carry.  I read anything by Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, Ronald Dahl, and yes, even the Babysitter Club series. I love the smell of books and the stillness of the library.  Big comfy chairs that ate you up as you let yourself get lost in a book.   I fondly remember strolling the shelves looking for another treasure yet to be found. Bookstores were my favorite layover past time. And used book sales?  I am like a kid in a candy store.

I received an email last night informing me Borders is going out of business.

I feel like I did the day Jim Henson died.

Is this the end of bookstores?  Is this beginning of the end of the printed book?  Is Barnes and Noble next?

I know I am the first to embrace technology and I love my Kindle.  It is nice to have hundreds of books at your fingertips without walking like a hunch back.  It nice to have open wall spaces with less clutter.  And I like saving trees.

I had a hard time letting go of film photography too, as I came into the field just as digital photography was skyrocketing. It just took me time to get used to the idea, as I am sure that I too, will adjust to the electronic book era.

Oh, but how I will miss the simple beauty of a book.

There is something magical about opening an older book.  The yellowed pages with the unique fonts. The smell and feel of the pages. The gentle sound of turning pages. The mark of a coffee stain, a tear or a raindrop. It is the cornucopia to the senses and it is something technology will never capture.
The bookstore will soon become a memory of the past. The inviting lighting.  The smell of coffee.  The rays of sunshine coming through the window.  The mutual respect of silence.  My haven of happiness.

Sometimes it is not the actual medium I want to hold on to but the feeling it evokes or represents.


Cheers to you, beautiful, cozy Borders bookstores.  You will be missed dearly by this book worm.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Watching Water Boil

When it is time to get new running shoes, don't mess around. 

I usually buy running shoes when my body starts having little aches and pains after a run.  When you are in tune with your body, you will get messages. This time around the message came in blisters.  So I went to my favorite little running store a week ago and they were closed. 

So what is one more week?  Right?

I ran 7 miles Saturday morning and I was punished with 3 inch size blisters on my arches of both feet.  But really, when you are a you really whine about blisters?  You suck it up.  I ran on them so long that they eventually busted while running.  Again, really, this is not a big deal.  They are kind of like battle wounds.  I poked at the flabby skin and showed them off to anyone who did not have a weak stomach.

After the run, we headed out to Cold Springs for a bike ride and a picnic.  The hills are something I want to come back to, but not the day before a 55 mile bike ride.  I only rode for 30 minutes before my legs started protesting quite loudly. I listened.

Then we went out to the lake to practice open water swimming.  This is where I think I picked up some unwelcome guests in my busted blister. Thank goodness it was not the flesh eating bacteria kind. One thing I learned from this ordeal is that flesh eating bacteria only thrive in salt water.  (Yeah...I imagined the worst.)

The Katy Flatland ride was my first bike ride last year. Last year I rode the 26 mile route and this year I picked the 55 mile route.  It went well.  I rode alone but met some pretty cool people along the way. I have come a LONG way.  Last year, I rode my red 10 year old Walmart bike.  It was exhausting.  I did not have cycling shoes.  I did not know all the bike rules of the road.   I finished and did not know a single soul.  I left with a yearning to do more..and wishing I knew more people who like to ride. 

Quite a different story this year.    This time I had rider friends to eat with at the end.  One of my favorite parts of cycling is the hypnotic feeling you get when you ride with a group and focus on staying up with them.  I would haul butt and then draft behind anyone who would let me.  Less than a mile to the finish, I saw a truck pull out and almost take out a rider.  That was scary.  Luckily, no one was hurt.  It was another pleasant ride.  Something tells me, I will be doing it again next year too.

So it wasn't until Sunday night when the pain began.  I thought I had a supernatural immune system and I would beat it.  Charlie finally dragged me to the clinic yesterday evening and sure enough, an infection had started in my left foot.  3 days after an amazing bike ride and now I cannot walk. 

Talk about appreciating your feet and walking again.  I am struggling with not being able to keep up with my workouts and it is taking a toll on me mentally. Each day has felt like an eternity.  Hopefully I will be up and running by the weekend.  (No pun intended, of course.)  I want my body to heal faster!

It is as painful as watching water boil...sigh.