Heavy Heart on times of hate

It’s been four days since the Orlando shootings. There are still tons of articles and news and interviews about the subject. Despite having had a lovely Sunday and not being able to catch up with the news, on Monday the news hit me like a brick. My heart was so heavy and I felt like I could break down in tears any moment. I was asked by a friend what kind of a shock it was for me and I really didn’t know the answer. I just felt pain and wasn’t sure why.

Just a couple of days before the shooting, I went out to catch up with a friend that’s a Trump supporter. He is a very nice person, and although I knew he was leaning towards Trump, I thought we could still be friends (well, I still do, in a way…). I believe his speech was moderated by the fact that he cares about me, but I could still listen to the anger and the hate in between the lines, specially when he was talking to others in the group. But listening things as “Diversity is nonsense and doesn’t bring anything good to anywhere” or “Now if I care about the rights of my kind, I’m called racist” were really tough to swallow. That whole conversation would make me angry if I didn’t know that person so well, but in fact it just made me sad.

This morning I read the Storify of a Trump rally in Greensboro. Two things cough up my eye:

That’s it. This last incident was result of so much racism, misogyny, homophobia, and just plain ugliness. I’m not gay, but I’m a latina. I’m an immigrant. I’m a woman. It causes me extreme sadness to think that there’s this amount of racism and hate among us. Even if Trump doesn’t win the elections, Trump supporters will still be out there, with their hate, their anger, and their racism against anything that’s “different” from them. Even if some gun control regulations are made, those people will still be there. Hating different people just like me. 

Things like this make me wonder about my security in this country. It makes me question my decision of moving to this country to begin with. And it just makes me sad.

Advertisements

Data and running junkie

Science and research requires a lot of discipline and careful management. One of the things that gave me more pleasure during my years in academia was getting a fresh raw list of results and plotting it along the different groups and graphing them. Running consistently also requires a lot of discipline and management. So when I saw this blogpost from the lovely Carly about plotting her runs, I decided to do the same for mine! I also used Excel and Powerpoint (a real copy cat…) and I was so happy to find a clear increase trend on my running mileage!

Running trend

I don’t remember exactly when I started to run, but I guess it was around the time of my ‘divorce’* on 2011. I used to be a heavy smoker, and started with intervals on the treadmill. I remember first time I was able to run a full mile! Slowly I was able to run a little bit longer, until being able to run 5k.

 

It was only on 2013 that I started tracking my running activity using MapMyRun, sporadic runs along the year. There were probably some treadmill runs that I didn’t know how to log at that time. On 2014 I trained hard to complete my first 15km race in November, what helped increase my mileage. 2015 was a year full of personal ups and downs, when I left academia and I was unemployed for 4 months. Even without any running plan or management I was able to almost double my mileage run of the previous year. I guess that’s when I became addicted to run and running became an escape valve for all my problems!

In 2016, the year started with our #200kChocoCardio twitter challenge (run 200k in 40 days, until Valentine’s Day), and this really motivated me to be more consistent with my runs. I set up a running plan on Excel, and it made me log carefully every run. As a result of that, January and February are the top two dots of my whole graph, when I was able to run about 2.5 miles/day (about 75 miles/month). Those months were followed by my vacation trip to Brazil, when I nearly run zero miles. Clearly motivation and goals are, albeit not essential, very beneficial for my running. I joined a challenge to run 1000km in 2016 (#YouVSTheYear) and this is keeping me going so far – 449 km until today – and I believe I can do it!

Even though I run consistently, I still don’t like to call myself a runner. Although I love to run, I’m such a night owl and super lazy person in the mornings. Almost all the races are set to start around 8am on the weekends and I HATE TO WAKE UP EARLY, even if it’s for running. So I haven’t really ran many official races, probably around 5 or so. I’d love to be a morning person, be able to sleep before 1am and wake up without the annoying alarm. After I quit smoking and started working from home, I gained a lot of pounds (about 15-20) and as I’m quickly approaching my 40s, those pounds are stubbornly not going away easily. I hate doing XT training. And I know I should work more on my core strength. And more interval training…

In the end, I don’t run because I want to run faster, or better. I run because I love it! I’m simply addicted to the way my mind gets away from all worries and my body feels a nice runner’s high every time I run. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep it up for a while 🙂

 

*’divorce’ is between quotes because although we were never legally married, it was difficult and painful as if we were…

 

The purple hat

This morning I shared an article on Twitter about 24 THINGS WOMEN OVER 30 SHOULD WEAR. It reminded me of “Chapéu Violeta”, a Brazilian poem from Erma Bombeck. Here goes my amateur translation of the poem:

“At 3 years old, she looks at herself and sees a queen.
At 8 years old, she looks at herself and see Cinderella.
At 15 years old she looks at herself and sees a horrible nun.
At 20 years old, she sees herself too fat, too lean, too tall, too short, too straight, too curly, but decides she doesn’t have time for that and she goes out out anyways…
At 40 years old, she sees herself too fat, too lean, too tall, too short, too straight, too curly, but says at least I am a good person and she goes out out anyways…
At 50 years old, she looks at herself and sees how she really is… she goes out and does whatever she wants
At 60 years old, she looks at herself and remembers all the people that cannot look themselves in the mirror anymore… she goes out and conquer the world…
At 70 years old, she looks at herself and sees wisdom, laughter, skills… she goes out to the world and enjoys life
At 80 years old she doesn’t bother to look at herself anymore… simply put a purple hat and goes to have fun with the world… Maybe we should put that violet hat earlier…”

You can read the original poem here.