4th of July Run

Happy Independence Day, everyone!  Hope you’re all having fun and staying SAFE!

My birthday is on the 5th, and when I was a small child, my dad used to tell me that everyone did fireworks because I was getting ready to be born…lol.  (FWIW, yes, I actually believed him.) Later on, I would really come to appreciate the real meaning of such celebrations.

Although I didn’t fully understand at the time how lucky I was, I grew up in a very small town in Iowa, where patriotism was an absolute priority for everyone.  Our elders always took the time to instill in us how fortunate we were to be American, and the price of freedom.

This appreciation stuck with me as I served on active duty during Desert Storm with the U.S. Air Force, and later on as the first female veteran to march in my hometown’s Memorial Day parade.  I also had the honor of being a member of the firing squad for the 21-gun salute to the unknown soldier (see this post).

Today, it seems many of us tend to lose sight of what this day is about.  For many, it merely means a day off, so they can barbeque and have a party.  Not going to lie- there’s nothing wrong with that…lol!  I just hope that while we’re enjoying these activities, we can all take the time to remember the price of the freedoms we have.

As for me?  I eat a high raw vegan diet, so no barbeque for me- although I’ll likely “cheat” and eat some grilled fish tomorrow!  Jerry, indeed took the day off, but he’s had a headache, and I woke up late due to having a horrific allergy attack late last night and early this morning.  Arrrgghhh…!!!

But… life goes on, and I went for my regular run.  Thankfully, I didn’t have to run in 100 degree heat like I did on Monday!  It had just rained, so it was down to a “chilly” 91 when I headed out today.  But, good grief, the humidity!  Being in Louisiana, it’s already humid AF all the time, but in the summer heat, just after a rain, dang…   I felt like I was covered in sweat the moment I stepped out the door.

I had been doing 8-10 miles a day, but due to plantar fasciitis and sciatica, I’m now only doing 5-6 miles.  Started doing yoga to help with the aches and pains from weightlifting, and it’s really starting to help with the running pains, too.  Hopefully I’ll be back up to 10 soon!

Anywho, I guess if I’m having to cut down my distance, this is the right time, given how hot it is.  And that bit of gratefulness reminds me of something else I’m thankful for- MUSIC!  That’s what gets me through tough runs and workouts.  And I’m thankful I have Jerry to load my iPod because I have no clue how to do that…lol.

I have a lot of somewhat heavy stuff in my “Angry Run” playlist- i.e. 5FDP, Godsmack, Disturbed, etc.  But, Jerry knows my heart is with 80s rock- it never fails to put me in a great mood.  On my last mile today, I was really feeling like crap.  It was hot, humid, and I was still having some breathing issues from my allergy attack.  No pain, no gain, right?  Then at that moment (my iPod is set to randomly shuffle on the Angry Run play list), Faster Pussycat’s Bathroom Wall came on.

I immediately had memories of earlier times, of happy days growing up, and my mood skyrocketed.  I swear, it was like the mugginess in the air departed, I was no longer as sweaty, my lungs and head cleared up, and I was about 50 pounds lighter, and I just took off, pounding out that last mile like it was nothing.  Many thanks, Faster Pussycat, you guys are the bomb!

So, after I finished my run, ate a salad, and drank some coconut water, I knew that despite not doing anything “exciting” today, that our Independence Day was going just perfectly.  While we’re not grilling, doing fireworks, or having fun out on a lake somewhere, we’re acutely aware of what this day means.

I’m fortunate to have had the importance of freedom instilled in me right from the start.  I’m fortunate to have had the honor and privilege of serving this great country.  I’m fortunate to be healthy enough to do physical activity.  And I’m fortunate to have Jerry, and some great music to instill happy memories that remind me of how lucky I truly am.

Happy Independence Day!