Monday, May 21, 2007

Day one - three miles

Oh. Man. Yesterday I woke up early; 6:45 on a Sunday, early. I laced up my running shoes - ok, so they're really just old Pay Less tennis shoes that I'm planning on running in till I can buy an actual decent pair of shoes - and started driving towards Riverpoint Sports and Wellness on the West Side. It was my first day for training with TNT. I signed up last week and this was the first training event I could go to (since I missed the first last Sunday). We all met in the parking lot and talked before we started our run. There must have been about 30 people there of all different ages.

And then we ran. We ran 3 miles yesterday, and today I'm paying for it. My body is definitely not used to running and I'm out of shape. My legs are aching like they've never ached before. It's a good ache. The kind of ache that I know will go away and I'll end up feeling strength instead of pain.

My homework for this week is to run 2 miles three times this week...the problem is that I'm still working at Flying Star and I'm leaving for Florida on Thursday. I'll have to find some time to fit it in.

I have to say that the best part of yesterday was driving by the New Mexico Cancer Center. It made me realize that I'm actually doing this for a reason. It made me remember how scared I was the first time I went to see Papa getting chemo. I remember literally shaking before I walked in the doors because I didn't know what to expect, but then feeling calm after I saw him there and talked to the nurses. I'm doing this for the people still sitting in those Lazy-boys with drugs being pumped into them. Drugs that are making their hair leave their body along with their energy. I'm doing this for them.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

College was neat.

I took a trip down memory lane a few nights ago. Actually, I guess I took a trip down the internet archives, because I was reading all the blogs I wrote. So much has changed in as little as two years. The floods of memories came back to me, I forgot about a lot of things - it's true that you only remember the good out of situations until the bad are reminded to you. Two years ago my dad had cancer. Reading that again was hard, I felt the same ache in my heart now, as I did back then. He's been in remission for a little over a year - thank God for modern medicine.

When I was in high school I thought I would be best friends with those people forever (Heh, well, I guess that is true in some cases!). But then I moved three hours south and went to NMSU. Living in RGH was the best decision I ever could have made. From there I met so many more friends. Thank you all for being a part of my life.

A lot of my friends are moving away after they graduate this Saturday. It's starting to hit me that we are growing up and moving on with our lives. No more late nights just sitting on the floor of our dorm room (or cheap apartment/house). No more last minute parties on a Monday night. No more BBQs during the perfect New Mexican nights. No more laughing about stupid stuff, or coming up with inside jokes that will last us the rest of our lives. Peppermint Patties for the girls, themed parties and Taco Bell runs five minutes before they close on the weekends will be a thing of the past. People are moving - the times are a changin'.

I guess we'll always have the memories - the good memories.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Why I do what I do:

They say that eyes are the windows to the soul. Does that hold true if, say, you're blind? Today I had the privilege of interviewing someone who lost his sight years ago. The first thing I noticed when I walked into his 15th floor apartment was the astonishing view of New Mexico's west mesa from the heart of Albuquerque's downtown. The second thing I noticed was that this man would never see the complex colors that make a New Mexico sunset. "If I had known I wouldn't be able to see when I bought this place I could have saved a lot of money," is what he told me when I mentioned the view!

In my line of work, it's my job to make people talk. I've learned a few ways to egg people on:
1) Smile. Make them feel as though you are enjoying what they're saying.
2) Make eye contact. Make eye contact while jotting down verbatim the words coming out of their mouth while at the same time remembering in what context they are saying it.
3) Use facial expressions to let them know what you are thinking.
4) Make use of filler words at the right moments: "oh yeah?," "really?," "wow," and so on...

Today I could only use words to let him know that I was still there and paying attention. I could have sat there, bored and just let my recorder do all the work, but instead I saw him as someone who wasn't blind, but as another person with a story to tell.

The thing that made him so unique was that I genuinely had a smile on my face the entire time. Even though he couldn't even make out the lines of my face, his eyes were on me the entire time, engaging me in his life. I smiled and spoke to him with my eyes...hoping that in some way he would catch onto my energy and attentiveness. I walked out of my interview with my cheeks hurting and I loved it!

Check out Albuquerque the Magazine's July or August issue to read my article.

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