During Lloyd and Diane's first date at a graduation party, one of Diane Court's academic rivals thanks Diane for the competition which helped get her into Cornell (whoa!) and then asks a question about Diane's choice in Lloyd Dobler.
I'm not sure I have it exactly, but she says, "How did that 'happen'?" And the woman did the air quotes. THE AIR QUOTES.
I can hear the cadence of her voice and see the slight contraction of the first two fingers of each hand in the air. I hear her asking me the same question, but I'm not dating Lloyd Dobbler.
Instead I'm planning on courting marathon number 2. How did this "happen"?
I would never have admitted any of this in my twenties because your twenties blow, but now that I am firmly in my thirties, I can say that I am pretty good at a few things. I'm fairly intelligent, intensely curious, and generously analytical. I am a decent writer (if my piece I'm submitting for publication gets published, I'll upgrade "decent" to a better adjective). I'm excellent in my profession if you look at that data (but I'll never get a ________ of the Year nod/nom because I'm too independent, informed, and opinionated).
I am not, however, good at running. In fact, I'm pretty bad at it. I'm just stubborn and convinced that I can do better. So I plan on doing better than my first marathon showing back in May. This time I'm running the California International Marathon because after Big Sur and San Francisco, I'm quitting hills.
This will be a long courtship. I'm starting late. I should have started two days ago. Eighteen weeks of dates with running five to six times a week. It is going to be pricey. I'll need another pair of shoes, if my calculations are correct.
JUMPING GIGAWATTS!!! GREAT SCOTT!!
How did I become the girl who will have run two marathon and two half marathons by the end of this year? This is not how I envisioned myself.
I'm so glad that I push myself beyond my conception of myself. More people should.