Longer than a School Day

I walked my endurance event in seven hours, 13 minutes, and 24 seconds. However, those afflicted with incurable illnesses are the true examples of endurance. I lift my hat off to them!

This week’s photo challenge is about endurance. Here is my finish line photo of my marathon (June 6, 2010) and an excerpt from my marathon training documentation. Saturday, May 15, 2010.

finish line photo

It felt as if I had just gone to bed when I was startled out of my sleep with the noise of the radio at 3:06 A.M! I quickly sat up, rubbed the sleep out of my eyes, and sprung into action. My clothes for today’s training were already laid out since Thursday night. Yes, Thursday night. Hey, it was my first 20 miles of walking (at one shot) ever in my life. Armed with my bag with all my gear, peanut butter sandwich, and my coffee, I left home for Kennedy Park (Coconut Grove, FL).

The 20 miles training was a character building experience for me. It took me 5 hours, 49 minutes, and 54 seconds to complete the distance. This time included: bathroom stops, water stops, stretching, shaking tiny grains out of my shoes, and rubbing my covered cheek with biofreeze. Oh my goodness, I didn’t know that someone’s behind could experience such intense pain.

At about mile 14, my left cheek started to hurt so I began massaging it- yes, in public. We stopped. My coach showed me a stretch which I did on the bench at a bus stop. We walked on some more but the pain just won’t stop. I stretched myself out on the sidewalk and did the “glute stretch” that I know works. It didn’t. I applied the biofreeze on my cheek while someone gave me cover. The biofreeze cooled the cheek, but the pain still radiated down the hamstring. The only thing that stopped/eased that pain was a light jog.

Although the sun was hot and it felt like 125 degrees, I did not give up nor did I think about how much longer I had to walk. I simply put one foot in front of the other. It was when I saw the “Montys” sign I knew that I was almost there. Strange, I didn’t feel tired at that time. I was on a “total high”. My cheeks (the exposed ones) were toasted, the sweat washed off my hair color (just kidding), I smelled like a goat, but I did it. Yes, I did! I now know in my heart, for I have experienced it, that training for a marathon is more mental than physical. I truly have to let my body travel along with my mind.

For those who are afflicted with blood cancers, my 20 miles of training pales significantly when compared to their daily battle.

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Early School Days Memories

It has been a hectic beginning of the new school year for me and it would appear that I’ve forgotten how taxing the first few weeks can be on my body and my mind. As a result, I’ve taken a step or two or several away from blogging, but I’m hoping to catch up with my reading and writing soon.

Since all I seem to think about is school, today’s post is about some early school days memories. Before I started “big school”, my mom took me to a “bottom house school” for a few months. The “big school” was the Primary School and the “bottom house school” was held at someone’s home. It was made up of a small group of children and was run by a mom. It got the name “bottom house” because of the structure of the house. In those days most of the houses were on posts (stilts) and the open area under the houses was used for various reasons. The teacher placed jute bag mats on the mud floor and that was where the children sat with their slates and slate pencils.

I have only one memory of the Bottom House School. It was time for my brother to pick me up because I saw the children from the Big School walking home, but the teacher told me that she won’t let me go until I did my sums. I started to cry bitterly because I couldn’t do the addition. I doubt that I got the correct answers. I can’t recall how long she kept me back or what state I was in when my brother arrived. I’m glad I don’t remember. 🙂

On my first day of Big School, my mom gave me one cent to buy a treat during the morning recreation (recess). The little tents with treats were outside of the school yard, on the street. I suppose that my mom told my brother to take care of me because he made sure that he took me to get my treat. There were only about three or four tents. Some of the vendors sold plantain chips, tamarind balls, sugar cake, fudge, fruits etc. The item that caught my eye was a red fudge. I was hesitant to buy the fudge because the vendor was the same “teacher lady” from the Bottom House School! However, I must have felt safe with my brother because I bought the red fudge with my cent!

Do you have some early school days memories to share?

Here is a house on stilts. The Bottom House School I attended was definitely not as pretty or as big as this house!

House on stilts Credit: Bing Images

House on stilts
Credit: Bing Images