asthma? what asthma?

self discovery numero 3.

I am apparently a very stubborn person (sh! don’t tell my parents). Tonight, on the treadmill at Ghena’s I suddenly found myself unable to breathe. You may laugh and think I’m joking or making an unremarkable quip about the lack of oxygen in the mile high city. And while the latter may be true, the former certainly isn’t. I was on my third sprint, trucking along, thinking to myself: back straight, feet tight underneath, kicking back, look forward, look forward [oh but what joy to watch the speed of my feet!] look forward! elbows in, back straight dangit!”

When quite suddenly I found myself a little short of breath. And then, I couldn’t seem to get much air into my lungs at all. It was like an impasse had been masterfully constructed just below the bronchial tubes, blocking my lungs from recieving the air my nose and mouth so greedily stole from the basement. I watched that dial click around the corner of the “track” on the treadmill and hoped the feeling would go away. But it didn’t.

Craaaaaap. I didn’t take my inhaler.

But you know, I glanced to my right, and watched a motion picture reflected in the water heater. My shadow was dancing, up and down; my pony tail swished side to side and my heels flicked up towards my rear with beautiful form. And I thought to myself:

Screw my exercise induced asthma.

Stop? Slow down? Go from 8 to 7?

No. In fact, we’re going to speed things up, run an extra sprint and slap another mile and a half onto the whole night’s run. Take that! See if I need my albuterol now! Becuase I’ll be damned if I’m going to give up now and limp off the treadmill to ice some narly shin splints and nurse a worn out knee. I’m taking off my shoes, I’m running farther and I’m running faster and I’m turning up my music. Someday, I”ll have hearing damage. But I’ll humbly buy myself some hearing aids and tell the grandkids of hte days when granny ran a 9.50 minute mile. Because I’m only young once but I’m old for a long time and then I go to Jesus who heals all things: from broken hearts to hearing loss from the incalculable damage I do every time I put those headphones on and spin the volume till the drums make my ears ring.

And most of all: I am not going to stop running.

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not a one track mind

self discovery number 2:

well, it’s not so much a discovery, because I’ve known this for a while. But this is something that I lately have found more troublesome and am struggling to find a cure for. (as though all things can be cured like bronchitis, yeah..right…)

I struggle with prayer.

Probably  because I’m not a one track mind kind of person. Right now, I”m thinking about the lighting, whether or not I should turn the air down and wondering if Ghena and Jonathan would mind that I’m still at their house should they come walking in the door right now. I’m also considering moving that bread dough to a better spot so it’ll rise faster. And in the midst of this, I’m wrestling over Holly, Nick, David and maybe even Brett. I’ve been trying to pray for them all afternoon, and I keep saying the same words, over and over and over.

And I’m so easily distracted!

Today, the only time I seemed to ba able to focus was when I was mixing that dough, rolling it out, digging through cupboards for rosemary and thyme in a poorly thought out experiment. Maybe because the house is silent and somewhat dim, my mind wasn’t running over ever toe print on the wood floors, or the water stains on the counter. I just measured, sifted, mixed and pounded out those frustrations while I kneaded. Maybe it is because making bread is rhythmic and I was alone so I spoke aloud. Maybe because David Crowder was playing a few minutes before (and then I reluctantly returned to the deafening silence) and he thanked Jesus for finding him. For loving him. For saving him.

Maybe, sometimes, in my struggle to pray, I simply try too hard. Maybe I just need to rest a little bit, ask the Spirit to slow my mind and calm my fluttering heart and remind me that I am loved. I’ve made mistakes–a few more recently might be considered almost monumental–but I have been saved, I am loved, I have been found.

And now, I can scrub counters, match socks and ask Jesus to find a few other people too.

But I’m still thinking about where I could put the dough and socks! shoot son! My laundry’s probably done. I should go check on that…

Speed

self discovery/reclamation/admission #1 :

I really like motor bikes. I like them so much that I once fell head over heels for a boy on his bike.

The first time he came into the bank, he rolled into lane three, with sunglasses and no helmet. He wore faded blue jeans that hung just too low and a white undershirt that clung to his arms, hiding the half sleeve on his right bicep that curled around with few gaps left to be filled in. He looked up at me when I greeted him with a mischievous grin that is common to such young men and sent in the tube, asking for a deposit slip. “Oh my gaaawww,” I said to my manager and fellow teller. “This punk kid is ridiculous! Look at him, thinking he’s too cool to wear a helmet. What a fricking idiot!” And then, over the microphone, “alright, my name’s Sara, and I’m glad to help when you’re ready!” as though I hadn’t been trashing him while the deposit slip flew through the pipes and out to the windy drive through. Of course, being in the drive up is a privilege not often recognized by many at the bank. While motorcycle boy filled out the spaces of that deposit slip and scribbled his signature on the back of his check, I had the convenience of a wide window and well angled sunlight with which to make a cursory examination of the lone customer–all while pretending to be busy at my computer.

So a couple months later, when that boy had gone from “Mr. P____ro” to “Nicholas” to “Nick,” and we were almost friends, I was sort of okay with the fact that he stubbornly refused to wear a helmet. He came in a truck sometimes too, white but stained with mud splayed up the sides, and he always had those sunglasses on. Jessi would always let me do his transactions, sort of an unspoken agreement, and Amanda always tried to have me write my number on the back of receipt. And then one day, he pulled into our furthest lane and asked for a balance on his account. It’s not so unusual, people often want to know balances before withdrawing money. But this kid, he didn’t want another transaction. I sent that tube back out to him, asked if htere was anything else I could do for him and I was startled with his response. “Um, actually, you wanna go out some time?” *

The second date was lunch at a nearby park. He brought his bike and a backpack full of supplies for a sweet picnic in my hour away from the branch. I tugged that extra helmet on as he apologized for being late–said he’d done “a buck twenty” on the highway in his rush to get to me. Because that makes a girl feel confident when she’s climbing on the back of your bike. But I did it anyway. My face was squished up in the helmet and I was nervous, but I climbed on, wrapped my hands around his tightly woven chest and held on as we sped down the road.

I love motor bikes. I don’t ever want to drive one. I just want to be on the back of one. I love the feeling of the wind on my skin, the world streaking by as though I’m  breaking the sound barrier and everything has gone to blurs of brown and green across the open prairie of Colorado. I can feel the force against my body as he clicks into the next gear and I know I have to hold on tight or risk being thrown back into the traffic behind me. But it’s so freeing. To sit behind him, to be holding tight to him in his brown shirt and scooting closer with each shifting gear as the speed dial climbs. It feels free to be out–to move at such speed but without the confinement of four doors and a bumper. Leaning as we take hard curves and thinking that I could scrape the rough paved road with my fingertips if only I had the courage (or stupidty) to let go.

I love sitting at a stoplight and having people stare. I love being that awesome. It’s so ridiculous, but it’s so true. I love being able to drop the low wave to other bikers as though we’re apart of some community that the outside world doesn’t know and can’t ever belong to. I love smacking my helmet head into Nick’s and then laughing because we can’t hear a word that the other is saying, but we’re having a good time watching the sunset, dodging cars and weaving through traffic like a snake slithering across the desert and leaving no trail.

I love the way it takes my breath away, the way it calms my soul, the way it speeds up my heart rate and makes my hands sweat.

I love speed. But more than just speed, I love the freedom of the bike. I love the way I feel like I’m apart of the world that I’m riding through.

But to fall for a boy on a bike? Well, that was perhaps, not the wisest of choices my heart has ever made. I should have known, that it would be like the speed of that bike ride: fast, furious and over sooner than I should have liked and disappointing the moment the high is gone.

And yet, my heart still jumps when a white truck pulls into the drive up and my gaze perks up when I watch bikes race down I25 as though they havne’t a care in the world and the police will never catch them.  So, despite what some may call a mistake, I would have to say that I’m almost happy (though now sad and disappointed) that I dated a boy with a bike. Because it led me to the reclamation of self discovery #1.

I have a thing for speed and crotch rockets.

_________________________________

*this is, of course, the abbreviated version. the real one is a bit longer, a bit more awkward and quite a bit funnier.

An Invitation

On Saturday, I psuedo-dumped someone who I was psuedo-dating.

On Sunday I was confronted with an incredible amount of hypocrisy in my life, a lack of clarity and most of all:

a deepening realization that I don’t exactly know who I am or what the hell I want in life (other than Jesus).

So, I would like to invite you on a journey of self discovery with me. I don’t know what it’ll look like.  I don’t know where it’ll go. I don’t know what we’ll find. But I think it’ll be grand and lovely and I think that you should come along with me and Jesus for the ride. Will you?