Friday, November 24, 2006

getting away on thanksgiving

Written for the USC Triathlon Newsletter 11-24-06:

Yeah, it's Thanksgiving. Yeah, it's Turkey Day. Yeah, your local granola is yelling "meat is murder!" Yeah, it's munch time. Yeah, by now you're stomaches are full, you're sitting languoriously on a couch, you've got leftovers rotting on the counter and a turkey-and-ham sandwich calling your name, and the you never ever want to take a physical movement on this earth again.

Great, isn't it?

Hangin' with the friends and relatives. Sharin' some love at the table. Throwin' victuals to the holiday spirit. And opening up the season for the drive to the end of the year. It's all good and fun and righteous and in some ways downright sanctified, by golly!

But admit it. There's some things about it you just can't stand. The obnoxious relatives. The annoying friends. The bratty kids. The smelly babies. The tensions over cooking food and setting tables and making sure everybody's happy (because, *after all*, we're all going to be HAPPY, even if it means making ourselves miserable doing it)...and God forbid anybody isn't happy....ooooooooh noooooooo, we wouldn't, couldn't, *will not* accept that. Even if the reward for making it through the big meal was a distended abdomen, gastric distress, and the misfortune of being dragged out into the rampage and melee of the Friday holiday shopping spree.

Ah yes, nothing like having a meaningful, spiritual, and deeply reflective time of year anointed and blessed by crass commercialism, obscene gluttony, superficial obsession, and passive-aggressive pathology.

It's enough to make you want to shut everything out and seek some privacy.

You know, solitude. Like the kind you sometimes dread during those early morning and late evening training sessions, but now suddenly find yourself secretly, compulsively, longingly thinking about. Swim, bike, run. With nobody around to bother you.

And all those times you hated being alone. It's all you want now. To get away. Just like you did when you were a kid. Except then it was outside or a playhouse or a treehouse or a shed or a wood or a street or a path, anywhere but somewhere, just someplace, very very...very...far away.... And now it's become a favorite swimming hole or a favorite route or a favorite trail. Miles and miles and miles and miles and miles and miles from here and today, leading anywhere but somewhere, just someplace, very very...very...far away...

If you're looking for some places to go, these might help:

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