Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Yelling at Books

Warning: The introduction to this post contains spoilers on the literary pieces known as The Time Traveler’s Wife and The Game of Thrones. If you’re the kind of person who hates spoilers and are highly interested in reading either of these books above, I suggest that you skip the first section and head to the second. Having said that, Snape killed Dumbledore and it was a good thing. Also, Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father and Leia is Luke’s twin sister while Vader never acknowledged that he had a daughter.

When Literature Physically Makes Me Angry
The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger, is more about the Time Traveler and less about the wife. For some reason, this dude has a condition that sends him to various places and times at random. And, probably because the book was written by a woman (semi-intentionally sexist but I really couldn't come up with another reason), he couldn’t travel with his clothes. Along the way, he grooms a girl into loving him because he seemed to warp into and out of her life. Basically, she knew him at all stages of her life. She becomes the wife. Honestly, I am indifferent to this line of prose. So why am I bringing this up?

The time traveling dude was a runner. See, showing up at random places at random times, naked, meant that he needed to run away from a lot of people. (Because if a naked dude magically popped into my front yard, the first thing I'd do is chase him.) It’s possible that he became a nude runner after reading Born to Run and misunderstood that they didn't wear anything only on their feet. What ground my gears about the book was that the author dumped him into winter on one of his jaunts. Then gave him frostbite. Then cut off his feet. Which left him a bedridden and wheelchair bound invalid. Which is what got him killed on a subsequent bounce. How's that for romance?! When I read that foot-cutting scene, I was screaming at the book. Stephen King hasn’t written a bigger nightmare than that. That includes the hobbling scene in Misery, because that guy didn’t turn into a helpless idiot.

Apparently, they made TTTW into a movie, which I haven’t seen. There’s absolutely nothing in the book that I’d want to watch on screen (except, maybe, Rachel McAdams). 

Contrast this with another novel that I’ve read and yelled at the book itself. George RR Martin is famous for a few things. For one, he likes his sex scenes. For two, he likes killing off main characters to whom you got attached. For three, he seems to be interested in torture. In the Game of Thrones, there was a badass knight named Jaime who had a penchant for sleeping with his twin sister (no, not Luke and Leia). Instead of killing him off, George did something worse. He cut off the knight’s sword hand. Once again, I found myself screaming at a book, “You just don’t do that!” George did provide some redemption, since he left the other hand intact leaving the knight with an opportunity to return to badassness instead of a driveling nothing. George gets it.

How does this apply to anything?
In case you haven’t read any of the backstory of my recent blogging life, I’ve been giving my crotch a lot of attention. But, before that, I was an injured runner. Mind you, I’m not that good of a runner. Never have been. Unlikely that I ever will be. That doesn’t mean I hate it. In fact, quite the opposite, I absolutely love running.

So, when an injury takes running away from me, I physically yell. Only this time, it’s at my feet instead of a book. I was grumpy with my athletic state of being for quite some time. I feared becoming the naked guy who turned into a useless idiot because running was taken away. The fear was centered about the not running, since I’m already an idiot and may or may not be wearing clothes right now.

I would rather have the mentality of the one-handed night. No, I do not wish to do anything with my sister (I can’t believe you went there- ewwwwwwwww!). I’d like to believe that even under the worst of circumstances, I’d find a way to get back on my feet, literally and figuratively. It’ll take a nightmare of female-romance-author proportions to stop me from running forever.

So, after 7 long weeks of not running, I braved the treadmill and did a test run. This is a double whammy. The treadmill isn’t that exciting, quite the opposite. Running could have been potentially painful. The result- It wasn’t that bad!

I’m not going to attempt to call it ‘good’. I mean, I was running slowly on the treadmill and excited about it. Obviously there’s something wrong with me. It’s clear that I’m not 100% fully healed (in the foot or in the head). It’s also clear that the running isn’t making the injury any worse (jury's still out on the brain). I've run several times since then. I’m doing my due diligence in taking it easy on the mill. My times are, for me, insultingly slow. My ‘long’ runs are shorter than my short runs pre-hurting. But, I’m slogging my way back onto the road.

And when I get there, look out multisport world. No, seriously, look out. Otherwise, you’ll likely plow me over as you run by on the last leg of the triathlon course. Which might re-injure me and make me that groveling idiot in a wheelchair who can’t run again. Don't subject me to that fate. Please.

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