Chasing my shadow…again

Chasing my shadow…again

A five month hiatus of laziness, too much wine, humid days and a host of other excuses too ridiculous to write, sabotaged my jogging career. Months of adhering to the Couch to 5k turned into months of undoing the thirty minutes of sweat, tears and jogging accomplished.

Gone are the:
The bask-in-glory feeling when time goals were achieved
The graduation to Asics running shoes with Superfeet insoles
Rising early, putting in the time and feeling physical and mentally great all day

 Obliterated are the:
The sweat-wicking clothing purchased at Target
The running bras which took two hours of trying on to find the perfect fit
The Garmin GPS model of two years ago

I turned off the motivation switch.
It happened just like that. No questions asked. The switch done turned off and broke.

Dormant, I existed, until a 180-degree change of perspective on why I jog turned the switch back on. Instead of jogging to lose weight and berating mí alma when the weight refuses to leave the comfort of my stomach and hips, I now jog to eat. The more I run, the more I eat.  The less I run, the more I eat (still working on that thought pattern). Weight loss no longer controls the motivation switch; eating does. What better way to get through to a person who eats too much?

Of course jogging to eat requires food portion control supplemented with other forms of exercise. If I choose to eat a large piece of Junior’s cheesecake I will need to burn off the calories consumed. Caloric wise, a slice is approximately 543 which, translates to jogging for about one to two hours plus an elliptical workout with calisthenics and weight lifting.

Simple to calculate and not so simple to execute but if my goal is to jog to eat, calories must be sacrificed in order to make room for food intake of the most cautious kind.  Caution in the foods that come through my mouth meaning salads, vegetables-things that grow in dirt-less consumption of carbs, especially wheat.

My jogging label as a self-proclaim, bona fide, “penguin” has not changed.  I still waddle proudly during a jog but my pace has changed.  Instead of a pace “akin to a penguin’s walk, having one too many krill on a good day”, my pace is now akin to a penguin’s run towards one too many krill on a good day,  on a plate, a mile away.

Off to jog!  

My Space…

My Space…

I ride the NYC subways.

Not by choice, by necessity and a bit of convenience.

Personal space is hard to stake out and defend during rush hour ride in a NYC train because…

I have serious issues with personal space especially when it is invaded by humans or objects, not dogs or cats but definitely waterbugs!

My personal space is an invisible fortress equipped with an imaginary psychological alarm system installed along the diameter. It sounds off when someone or something (pocketbook, backpack, umbrella, shopping bag or unruly child) crosses over.

When that happens, feelings of suffocation and entrapment follow. Every muscle in my body tenses with pain. Relief appears when space is restored to my personal, for as the room to breathe grows, muscles unwind and relax.

Yes, I can walk the two miles to work. Quite often, I do, weather permitting but time constraints, pouring rain and slushy snow can redirect my walking to the train.  I’d rather drive my car but parking is non-existent or expensive at the parking lots where I work. I’d rather ride a bike but I’m afraid of riding with cars who don’t like driving with bikes.

Yes, the imaginary psychological alarm system works great alerting me to those or things I’d rather not have near me. Unfortunately, the system does not physically prevent those or things I’d rather not have near me from being near me.

I don’t have the space problem outside on the streets because

Walking on the sidewalks of the city within large crowds presents no threat to my personal space. My invisible fortress becomes pliable, shifting shape and thickness, folding in, bulging out. The imaginary psychological alarm is LOW or at times turned OFF. Body is in motion, weaving in and out, dodging a bike, bumping slightly into a pedestrian (and not saying I’m sorry), steps bouncing as fresh air circumvents the body and kindles mí alma.

At home amongst my clutter and neglected Spinet my psychological alarm lies disabled, plugged into my brain recharging for the next day usage.

They Come Up Sometimes…

They Come Up Sometimes…

I entered the world at 11:48pm on January 11, wailing like a banshee within the sterile fluorescent lit delivery room at the now defunct Brooklyn Jewish Hospital. What triggered the wailing? Was it the forced expulsion from my warm human swim tank home of nine months or exploding hunger pangs stimulated by the first nasal draw of air?

My rejection of breast milk confirmed the forced expulsion as the incentive for the wail. Food and I were not initially destined to bond so easily. I wanted nothing to do with it and only succumbed to the formula bottle after hours of belly rub coaxing.

Mom’s strict pregnancy diet resulted in low pregnancy weight gain for her and I assumed in some way I as a fetus was affected. My eating habits were cemented in the womb. I emerged into the world with an eating disorder while mom quickly dropped to her pre-pregnancy weight of 125 lbs.

I refused to eat during the formative years of 1-7 and inherited the middle name of “fussy eater”.  Processed food  gained favour with my taste buds in time but Lipton Tea with Pep milk (condense milk in a can) and spoonfulls of Domino sugar became my staple. Lipton tea in the morning, in the afternoon, but not before bed for the sugar and caffeine highs by then had run their course and no sense refueling while the Sandman cometh.   

Mom could not get me to eat.

Breakfast was the biggest battle, as I abhorred the usual milk and corn flake cereal unless it was loaded with mounds of white sugar. Occasionally, Frosted Flakes would appear on the table-I guess my Domino consumption turned into an expensive habit. I won on ‘Food Wars’ on a continuous basis until Mom started to think.

“Elenita, turn off the TV and eat your cereal.”

“Where’s the sugar?”

“We don’t have any left.”

“I can’t eat it then.”

“Bubie, come here I have something very important to tell you. You’re old enough to know this and it’s important to know.”

“Sure mommy, what is it? Did J***y do something again? I saw her do it. She did it on purpose too.”

“Oh no Elenita, this is about the worms.”

“In the backyard?”

“No, in the stomach.”


“Little one, did you know worms live in your stomach?”


“Oh yes. Did you ever wonder why your stomach growls? It’s the worms!  And when your stomach growls they are telling you they are hungry.”

“Mommy, is that true?”

“Oh yes. And you know what happens if you don’t feed them?”

“No, what happens?”

“Well if you don’t feed them they will crawl up your stomach to your throat and choke you!”

My eating disorder miraculously disappeared.

Food was no longer a problem. Forget refined sugar. I ate my Kellogg’s corn flakes and milk without it. I was ‘food reborn’.

In time my food taste became refined. Chef Boyardee, Spam, Vienna sausages, pizza, hot dogs, bologna, went into my mouth while broccoli, spinach, lettuce, peas and just about any vegetable that grew in dirt, went behind the apartment’s steam radiators. Going to the bathroom with a mouthful of food to spit into the toilet was so cliché and easily sabotaged by an older sibling’s squealing. Disposing of unwanted food behind the radiators was my dirty little secret, my statement of protest, which worked well, until the rotten decomposed ordour summoned all of Brooklyn’s roaches to dinner which led to mom’s discovery.

To say Mom was amused would be inappropriate. She was perplexed and unsure what the crime warranted in terms of punishment. The brown belt on the legs would have been severe. While thinking through her options, she sought relief by informing everyone in the immediate family of my crimes against vegetables. Of course, she didn’t realize the family’s laughter and ridicule for a month would be sufficient punishment in itself.

Eventually the need to punish faded as did my dirty little secret as the memory of the food behind the radiator became a constant source of laughter especially around Thanksgiving.



“You talk too much…”

“You talk too much…”

You talk too much, you worry me to death.
You talk too much, you even worry my pet.
You just talk, talk too much.
—Joe Jones

You know who they are and avoid them whenever possible but most times, AVOIDANCE IS FUTILE. Imagine having one as a colleague who must be worked with in order to close that lucrative deal. Or worse yet, you live with one and the connection cannot be easily severed and frankly, you can’t complain about this because you knew about the talking too much beforehand.

A person who talks too much is self-absorbed and fixated upon expressing thoughts and viewpoints, listening only to their voices. At times their words are harmless fluffs of letters and vowels. Other times, their words, especially the words which begin with capital letters are fueled by hate, feed off unhealthy gossip and revel in criticisms of the MOST NASTY KIND. Attempting to get a word or two in is impossible because a person who talks too much has an overwhelming amount of words to expel. Overdosing on one’s own words is possible although I have yet to witness it.

After a hardy session in the company of a person who talks too much, when my ears are finally free and able to breathe, compassion sets in. I realize loneliness instigates the need to be heard. To be lonely and not heard is emotional damage. I make a thought promise to give more of my listening ears next time, knowing in truth, I will avoid that person at all costs. And I should know better.

As a KID, I was a person who talked too much.

Refusing to subscribe to the ‘children should be seen not heard’ train of thought, my mouth rambled on producing coherent and incoherent words which flowed from morning to night. Only sleep afforded my mouth rest. My demand to be heard was carried out regardless of feedback or television volume turned high.

Granted, I was annoying but my motivation for talking too much was the result of abrupt life changes: parents’ separation, siblings marrying and/or moving out, and cousins moving to Jersey. These changes left empty slots on my social calendar. Social verbal exchange was greatly reduced-in other words, no one to hang around with or annoy. No one to spy on to later retell the events to another with acute attention to details while munching on a bag of Wise potato chips.

As an ADULT, I do not talk much (I don’t) and maybe that is the reason I attract persons who talk too much.

“Sorry seems to be the hardest word…”

“Sorry seems to be the hardest word…”

1. feeling regret, compunction, sympathy, pity, etc.: to be sorry to leave one’s friends; to be sorry for a remark; to be sorry for someone in trouble.

2. regrettable or deplorable; unfortunate; tragic: a sorry situation; to come to a sorry end.

3. sorrowful, grieved, or sad: Was she sorry when her brother died?

4. associated with sorrow; suggestive of grief or suffering; melancholy; dismal.

5. wretched, poor, useless, or pitiful: a sorry horse.

What does it mean to feel  Sorry, to say you are Sorry or to write you are Sorry?

 If I say I’m Sorry do I admit guilt, admit I’ve done wrong? Am I trying to correct a grave mistake or pacify hysteria? Does it matter if Sorry is said immediately or two years later?

Sorry is said for loss, for someone else’s loss or when a physical or verbal slight is unleashed. I bump into someone accidently, I say sorry. I bump into someone on purpose, I don’t.  I feel sorry for abused and/or neglected animals. I do not feel sorry for those who did the abuse and/or neglect.

When I say I am Sorry, it seems as if redemption takes hold, the negative vibe releases and closure is complete. When Sorry is said to me, I forgive automatically (at least I convince myself I do) even though the residue of the slight lingers.

Sorry can be complex or simple.  One may have to repeat it several times for its effect to take place while others undo the damage in one take. “I’m sorry- I’m sorry too.” Did you say sorry because you meant it? Or out of an automatic response like in “I love you- I love you too.

How about the “I’m not sorry” which opens up a new level of writing possibilities filled with vengeance and strife, great for a blog piece but not one I care to venture into-well just a sample.

 ‘Yes I ate the last piece of cake and I’m not sorry because you ate the last piece of sausage I was saving for breakfast and in order to feel better about that offense for which you have yet to apologize, I in turn, ate the last piece of velvet cake specially ordered with organic ingredients,  from,  Dean and Deluca. ‘