Thursday, January 02, 2014

Have I lost the will to blog?

Only the pundits can say for sure. But scores of recent evidence suggest my blog is among the detritus of a growing disinterest in lots of things on my part.


It’s a new year. Resolutions must be made. Attention must be paid. Blogging must be gayed. (I don’t know what that means either; it just had a nice rhythm to it.) And I’m trying to will myself back into a state of blogging enthusiasm.

First, let me catch you up on the interesting things that have happened since I last blogged with any semblance of intent:

I ran the New York Marathon! It took four years to get in (it’s based on a lottery system with a brutal curve) and it was a tough run (New York City is WAY hillier than you might think) but I did it and loved it and am officially counting it as my last (and most glorious) marathon. Limping my last few miles through a shadowy, late-afternoon Central Park – where the temperature abruptly dropped exponentially and I was still in my relatively skimpy running garb – is truly a cherished memory for me. I finished in my worst time ever (5:14:35) and I hadn’t packed any warm clothes (or cab cash) in my gear-check bag but I was positively euphoric as I limp-shivered over a mile back to my hotel on what turned out to be the wrong side of Times Square, given the location of the finish line. And – contrary to my normal policy of never wearing a marathon medal in public once I’ve taken a shower – I proudly wore mine on the plane home the next day.

I ran two Disney half marathons! My I.T. bands and I may be done with marathons, but I can still limp through a half marathon or two if I put my mind to it. And if you run half marathons at both Disneyland (in California) and Disney World (in Florida) in the same calendar year, you get a third finisher’s medal – officially called the coast to coast medal, but since neither park is on a coastline and you actually run through the iconic Disney castles in both races I think it should be called a castle to castle medal. But no one asked me. Of course, both races were filled with Disney magic, whether we were running through empty parks at dawn (Disneyland) or after dusk (Disney World) or stopping to pose for pictures with myriads of costumed Disney characters or just hearing Disney songs blaring over loudspeakers along lonely stretches of road. And the Disney World race, which you may recall from the previous sentence was after dusk, ended in the Epcot Center parking lot … and culminated in three more hours of private access to all of Epcot for the runners and our guests. Which translates to NO LINES. But lots of gamey park guests. Still, if you run and have even a modicum of fascination with all things Disney, I heartily recommend running a Disney race. It’s well-organized and fun and entertaining and magical … plus you’re at freaking Disney! What’s not to love? What’s especially TO love is the big yellow buttons I pinned to my red running shorts, which made me look EXACTLY LIKE MICKEY.

I got another tattoo! I’d been holding myself to the one-tattoo-per-marathon rule for quite some time. But the year I ran the two Disney half marathons I also ran a third half marathon. And three half marathons = one tattoo, right? Right?. This one is in a place that could spark a morality riot if I showed it to you in its entirety, but I’ll give you a peek and let you fill in the blanks mentally. To help you picture it correctly, I’ll give you a hint: It’s over a foot in diameter:

I rappelled down the side of a 30+ story hotel! It was terrifying and I can't even say I'm glad I did it. Do you see the happy smile I have in this picture? It's a LIE.

I’m single. After six and a half years, the boyfriend and I parted amicably and are maintaining a friendship that I sincerely hope continues to grow stronger.

I’m bipolar. I forget when exactly I was diagnosed, but the diagnosis was applied retroactively to a large number of years, given the history I presented to the psychologist who diagnosed me. So I’ve been a mess for quite some time. At first I was embarrassed and actually quite ashamed to have a mental illness. But it slowly became a kind of cool secret I told to only select people. And then I couldn’t turn my filter off (which I don’t think is a symptom of bipolar disorder but I’ll blame it on being bipolar anyway) and I started telling everyone. And now it goes a long way toward explaining my manic swings (which are intense in a 100 mph kind of way, though they only last about four hours) and my depressive dips (some of which quickly become depressive collapses). And at least I finally have a name for my long-time adversary and I know what I’m up against when it makes an attack. To make my medical problems even messier, I also have a pituitary adenoma (a tiny benign tumor on my pituitary that causes marginal problems with its performance) and hypothyroidism. And at my peak, I was on 10 medications to control everything. I’ve since been downgraded to my current level of seven daily meds, and I hope if I demonstrate good behavior I might soon get paroled down to even fewer.

I’ve run outside in December in a Speedo and a Santa hat! Three times! My picture was even used in the promotional materials for the second annual Most Fabulous Santa Speedo Run.

Whew! I think that’s enough catching up for now. Check back soon; I hope to make this blogging thing a regular habit and there just may be another post when you visit next.


Colin said...

Yay! Glad to hear you're back blogging! Looking forward to more posts! Keep up the good work.

ScottinIowa said...

Glad to see you back, Jake.
Hello from Cedar Rapids.

SEAN (The Jeep Guy) said...

Welcome've been missed!

Mick said...

Welcome Back! Here's to 2014!

Timmy said...

Welcome back! I took some time off from blogging over the past two years and slowly started getting back into it over the past few months. Congratulations on getting back into running. That's another hobby that I have been ignoring.

Pac said...

Count me in the "glad you're back" crowd. The wit and humor you show in your blog always leave me wanting to see more. It's much like your new tattoo that way.

Davar98 said...

Hi Jake - Missed you lots. So glad you are back blogging. Sorry to hear that your relationship has ended, and glad to hear that you have a diagnosis. Look forward to many more posts that make me laugh, or at least grin. Thinking of you there in the cold, as I am here in Sydney Australia, about to welcome a heatwave. Climate change - I'm having none of it.


Anonymous said...

Wow! So glad you are back, Jake. I've checked regularly over the past year and some, and I've missed you terribly! Looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts!

Josh G said...

So glad you're back! Your blog is one of my favorites. I suspect your new tattoo would be too.

Jamie said...

So very glad you are back, I've missed your wit and wisdom. Looking forward to frequent posts to read. All the best to you in 2014!

Blobby said...

I am glad you're back too. I'm ashamed I took you off my blogroll assuming you gave up the blog. Welcome Welcome handsome man.

Anna said...

I am so happy to see your blog active again. I know this was written a while ago now, but I hope everything is going well.