I would live in Lakeview, in a simple one-bedroom apartment with high ceilings and warm yellow walls in a sunny shade I picked out myself after copious sample examinations in a nearby hardware store. In the evenings, after my sunset runs up the bike path past Montrose Harbor (skipping the actual boardwalk paths, as they do nothing more than lead you everywhere and nowhere at once), I’d make my way over to Guthrie’s, my neighborhood bar of choice, for a bottle of Original Sin (or two) some playful competition over a board game (or two). I would fight a constant battle against the cinnamon rolls at Ann Sather and wish each day that just once the barista at Intelligentsia would make life perfect and say, “Skim milk in your latte? Sure, no problem at all.” I would consider giving tours of Wrigley Field, pointing out that while Wrigley has been the home to baseball since 1914, it’s only been home to the Cubs since 1916. I would find a quality karaoke night and make friends with the people who embrace the weekly turns at the mic. And while the winters are vicious and the summers can be cruel, I would embrace this quirky, charming big city that feels like a place I could happily call home.

I could do all of these things …

… if not for the things and people who have made Boston not just the city in which I live, but the home I love.

But sometimes, it’s nice to think about.

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I went through the whole weekend thinking that something that is supposed to happen next Sunday was going to happen this Sunday.

Um.

Note to self: Think about investing in a book. In this book, you will write down the dates and times of adventures that await you. We shall call this book … a datebook. And it shall help you from looking and feeling blonder than you actually are. It shall be glorious.

It’s not that people are lying when they say that skydiving feels just like flying, it’s just that they’re not exactly capable of expression the whole truth.


See that expression? That’s me. Screaming loudly. Very much aware of the fact that I am falling.

Falling simply didn’t feel like I’d expected it to. My stomach didn’t drop. I didn’t feel like I was in trouble, not even during my screaming bout. I was surprised by the sensation of looking around and realizing that, for the first time in my life, there was absolutely nothing I could reach out to hold. I was plummeting to the earth – but it wasn’t a bad thing.

I was very much aware of the fact that I was traveling down at a high rate of speed, but I was also aware of what felt like a whole lot of wind just trying to hold me up – wind that was slowing my fall.  I used to be skeptical about just how much like skydiving indoor wind tunnel facilities could possibly be, now I get it. I felt wind. I heard wind. My skin was rippling in the wind.

And with all of that energy seemingly committed to the single act of slowing the fall, it wasn’t scary. It was the hugest rush ever. Absolutely epic.

Added bonus? If you skydive and there’s a videographer with you, it gives you a glimpse into how you would look with Jennifer Garner dimples:

For this venture, I placed my life in the hands of Wellington, a Brazilian man who kept me chuckling as he checked out my harness, went through the safety instructions that would keep me from being killed, led me to the plane, and strapped me to his body. And it was thanks to him that I didn’t even stop to consider whether or not stepping out of the airplane was actually an example of poor decision making. It was just what we were going to do and it was going to be awesome.

And it was.

Once the chute opened and we were chatting above a stunning New England landscape, he returned the favor and handed me the reins. With a parachute strap in each hand, I navigated a new gentle twists and turns before he took back over and unleashed a tight set of corkscrews. We chatted about his years of diving experience, my couple of minutes worth of experience, and whatever else one talks about a few thousand feet in the air.

And then, what feels like ages and mere seconds later, we landed and I wanted to go up again.

Soon after, however, I discovered something that no one had warned me about. Everyone talks about the adrenaline rush. What they don’t mention is the fact that all that adrenaline keeps on pumping through your body once you’re back on solid ground and trying to do simple things. Like walk. And communicate. I felt as if I’d stormed a Starbucks and had downed a couple of triple espressos: buzzy body, jittery brain.

But a few post-jump jitters is totally worth that view. Without a doubt, skydiving is one of the coolest things I have ever done.


Operation: Supergirl
Mission Accomplished

I was reluctant to get out of bed this morning, but I knew that I needed to up my marathon training. Last week, a crazy and wonderful crush of social engagements kept me away from my regular training–and while I was still able to enjoy my long run on Saturday, I needed to work in more time for the smaller, utility runs.

That’s why my alarm went off at 5 am. That’s why I got out of bed, fired up the iPod, and took off in that soft gray early morning light to log a 5k.

And that’s why I found myself sprawled out on the sidewalk just around the corner from my house–hands bleeding, shoulder raw, and knees a mess I haven’t seen on my body since probably the time I was first learning how to ride a bike.

The good news is that I was close to home when I decided to trip and launch myself through the air. I limped home, winced my way through a shower, and bandaged myself up before heading into work early.

The sad news–and I won’t necessarily say bad here–is I realized a reality about being an independent person. There was no one there to pick me up, dust me off, and tell me that I was going to be OK. I just had to do it myself. I didn’t realize until after that while this hurt–and still hurts an awful lot–the thought never even crossed my mind to cry. I didn’t have any reason to.

Oh, and morning running can suck it.

Back in November, I offered myself a challenge:

I believe in giving myself challenges. As such, I decided that I would end my tenure as a 28-year-old on a high note so as to challenge my 29-year-old self to bring the A game. And how much higher can you get than the 103rd floor of the Whatchu Talkin Bout Willis (nee Sears) Tower? … OK, 29. You’d better figure out how to top the top of the world. You have 365 days to do it, so get to it.

Dear Self:
I think I figured out how to do it. Stay tuned.
See you on the flip side–quite literally.
V

While waiting to hear what John Hynes, head of the MBTA’s Red Line, has to say in response to my email on Monday, I decided upon an interesting way to keep score of all the fun.

Since Monday:

  • Email responses from MBTA: 0
  • Times Red Line delays have appeared on front page of Boston.com: 2
  • Text alerts from MBTA regarding Red Line issues/delays: 20