Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Marathon cycle of life

Marathons used to be for elite runners only. No one else would even think of entering.

Today, marathons are packed with entrants of all abilities, as competitive runners lead the ever-growing pack of serious runners, casual runners, joggers, and walkers.

Even pregnant women are completing marathons, just hours before giving birth. Such was the case at the Chicago Marathon, on October 9. Amber Miller had many previous marathons under her belt; for this one, she had a ready-to-pop baby girl under her belt.

No footage of Amber’s finish exists, so Conan O’Brien called upon his Peanut Players to re-enact the marathon baby drama.

Yes, marathoners can be a little nutty.

But the unusual experiences of any number of marathoners don’t detract from the serious endeavor of running 26.2 miles. It can be a fatal experience, and many runners have died during races. In fact, two have died during the Chicago Marathon: one this year, and one in 2007.

Some people make “running a marathon” a line item on their bucket list. But no one wants it to be the last thing they do on this Earth.

For me, running a marathon is the last thing in the world I would ever choose to do. Except for running a marathon...and then giving birth.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

ROTFL in a fuzzy way

I heard it well before I saw it. Something, somewhere was laughing out of control. In a mechanical, but infectious kind of way.

Then I saw it. A gaggle (flock? rookery? herd? colony?) of stuffed animals rolling on the floor laughing (literally ROTFL).
I first thought: Another cute but cheesy marketing idea. But something about the laughter drew me in. As well it should. Apparently laughter is good for you, whether it's real and spontaneous or faked and forced:
These days it can be hard to find something that makes you laugh out loud. But do it anyway. I did, right in the middle of the Fort Myers (Fla.) airport. And that made other people laugh -- either at the Giggle Buddies or me, it didn't matter which. We all walked away feeling better for it. At least that's what the experts would say.