Thursday, January 6, 2011

The 20 minute sprint

I’m a runner.
Though you wouldn’t know it from the number of miles I’ve actually run in the last…um…year or so? But we won’t go there. Oh man, let’s just not go there.
But I ran a lot in high school and it’s still my favorite form of exercise. I was a mid-distance runner then, though I’d been roped into running sprints as well as distance on occasion. Usually when Coach needed someone to fill a spot. Which is how I probably ended up doing hurdles as well. I don’t remember. All I know is that out of everything I ran and placed in…the hurdles were my best event.
But it’s a killer on the knees.
Well, today I found myself facing innumerable hurdles and subsequently thought about my poor aching knees. My house needed some work. Badly. Especially considering the serious neglect it had suffered over the last four months. On top of that was all the Christmas decorations I’d been trying to put away–though it was really nice to have them out for an entire month. Then there was the laundry, the kitchen, the shopping, the laundry, the school papers I needed to throw out (the kids, not mine…well, yeah. Mine too.) and did I mention the laundry? Multiple times? Well, I have multiple children, so…. Anyway, there was lots to do. And one major problem.
I was tired.
And there’s something awful that happens when you’re running and tired. You fall down. A lot. And when you’re running hurdles and you trip? Well, let’s just say I still carry around the battle scars from such a thing happening to me. Multiple times.
So don’t mind me if I’m a little hesitant to start jumping over hurdles again. Give me a sprint. Nice and sweet. I don’t even care if I come in last. I just want to get it over with quick. And that’s when the light went off. Or on. Or whatever it is the lightbulb does when you get a great idea.
Today I’ll sprint. 20 minutes. Each room. That’s it.
When the timer goes off I’m done. Because folks, there’s another race to be run and if you don’t get out of the way…well, it can get kind of ugly. Just like my mood when I spend all day in a room and STILL don’t feel like I’ve gotten anything done. And then I look around at the rest of the house and realize I’ve made no progress there either. Makes one not too enthused about running another race.
So I set the timer and attacked the kitchen first. Well, attacked is the wrong word, because I tend to break dishes when I get in a hurry. But I knew that the timer was going to go off so I found myself working a little faster than normal. And enjoyed it, because I knew that in 20 minutes I’d be done. One way or another. And after twenty minutes the timer indeed went off. And I wasn’t done. And I didn’t care.
Next room. Another timer. This time I tackled the Christmas Houses, figurines, and all that wonderful stringy fake snow that I added for ambiance. Well, that ambiance cost me a few extra minutes in my attempts to detangle it from the figurines, but my kids loved it so…. And I was putting the last few figurines into their papers when…
Beep. Beep. Beep.
No. Way. I was so close. No way was I giving up now. I needed to keep…
Beep. Beep. Beep.
Grrrr. I kept working during that annoying timer on the oven, which pressed me to move faster so I could go turn it off. But I wasn’t going to turn it off until I finished wrapping the last–DONE! I ran into the kitchen and reset the timer for the next room.
See, that’s the beauty of a time limit for me. Don’t know why I haven’t put it to good use before now. I mean, hey I’ve used it on my kids before so why not with myself? Because when I know someone’s coming over to my house I can clean it lickity split. But when there’s no pressure? Well, I just kind of…don’t care. I moved back into the kitchen feeling refreshed from my break in there and almost started humming as I finished the rest of the dishes. The timer went off about a minute later and I moved onto laundry, finding myself oddly at peace.
Now I’m taking a break. Because folks, you can only sprint for so long before you have to stop and get a drink. Or use the restroom. Or blog about the wonderful time you’ve had sprinting. And I can see by the clock that my 20 minutes are up. So you know what that means…


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