Let’s give you warning: you are about to read what I sincerely hope is the first and only instance in which the holiday season is linked to R Kelly’s “Bump N’ Grind.”

My friend Brian was giving the tune his best – and given the set of pipes this guy has, that’s saying something – last night at karaoke while I chatted with friends. At one point, I glanced over at him and did a doubletake at the sight of a long necklace of lit up holiday lights.

“When did he get lit up? Did I miss that?” I asked.

“That’s how it goes when you look away for a moment,” was Dave’s response. Wise words proven even more right when I turned back a few moments later and realized that Brian had acquired himself a backup vocalist. I laughed as they conveyed their special message of love, perfect for the holiday season upon us.

I didn’t think about this again for a bit, as I was too busy gearing up to cross “Part of Your World” off my To Sing karaoke list.

(Yes, that happened.)

In many respects, however, I feel like the last few months and the arrival of the holiday season are similar to watching Brian sing “Bump N’ Grind.” I turn away for a moment in October and the next thing I know, I’m welcoming November during my trip to Chicago. I look away again and suddenly it’s December, a whirlwind of a month that periodically threatens to force me to adopt “Christmas Wrapping” as my theme song. Now here I am, realizing there’s a rink at Fenway (which I saw for the first time last night – amazing) and a crazy hot stove season underway. I’m thinking about the New Year and the Best of Lists I should be and will be putting together.

2009’s almost over and it feels like it just got underway.


“Wait, so let me get this straight. You ran a 5k when you were waiting for MRI results on your knee?” I could just see my friend shaking his head as he typed the words into the chat box.

“I hadn’t planned to run the whole thing. I’d signed up prior to all of the knee issues and I figured I’d rather walk than waste the bib and registration fee. So I just figured I’d jog until the knee felt sore and then I’d walk.”

More head shaking. And I deserved it. It was just that it felt amazing to be lined up with all of the other runners waiting for the start. And then it was just that the knee never started to hurt.

Besides, the results came back and the knee’s OK!

For the first time in months, my knee wanted to run. The rest of me, based on the way I felt the next day, was on a slightly different wavelength, but I’ll take it. How it felt, coupled with the test results, means that I might finally – FINALLY – be on the mend and able to start slowly making my way back into running life.

It’s a Christmas miracle!


Top Five Songs I Never Would Have Dared Sing In Front of People a Year Ago
or “How Karaoke’s Helped Me Come Out of My Shell”
(in no particular order)

  • “Superstition” – Stevie Wonder
  • “Use Somebody” – Kings of Leon
  • “Roxie” – Chicago Soundtrack
  • “Pour Some Sugar on Me” – Def Leppard
  • “Total Eclipse of the Heart” – Bonnie Tyler