Mission: Slay the Dragons

I can’t believe we’re almost at the end of June.

It’s scaring me. So much has happened and the last two weeks have been nothing short of stressful and traumatic. At the very least, busy.

I soared in graduate school. Straight As for my first semester and summer school. Made a lot of new friends.

Work is going shockingly well, even if stressful at times.

The relationship between my mother and I continues to deteriorate. The criticism of my lifestyle gets harsher, and an imposition of her values through the action of a so-called family friend has started to take an ultimate grip on my ability to breathe.

Last month I fled my old hood to remove myself from that situation. I’ve been compromised and I feel rotten because the situation I’m in is something that I have read in Time magazine and other mass media, and I never imagine it could happen to me.

My new one, although nicer, feels like a prison in some ways. I’ve been told I haven’t come to grips with my situation, as I am where I am solely because of my situation; absent that, I would have stayed.

My grandfather is getting much sicker, and I’ve been told he won’t live much longer. I will visit him very soon. It’s just that he’s 10,000 miles away and 10 hour difference.

Sometimes I feel so helpless.

At the same time, I am moving on.

For what I lack of family relationships, the friendships I have, have been invaluable. Running partners, old friends from school and newer ones from graduate school, and extended family, have all been invaluable getting through the last several months.

I told another coworker of mine (apart from Sergio) that the move represented a total loss of control in my life. That I was there because of my situation. To which she said “no you have it backwards.”

The move, she said, represented, my taking back control of my situation.

I never looked at it that way. Until she mentioned it.

I’ve thought of the past month since I moved here. A lot of things have shockingly fallen into place. I do now, in some aspects, feel I am reclaiming the lost few years of my life after college to some respect.

To top it off, a friend of mine from school and I have been spending more time together. But he’s also made it clear he wants more than just friendship. I’m surprised because there’s a part of me that wondered if I’d ever find someone close to what I was looking for in a partner. But shockingly, he has a lot of traits I am looking for. Work hard, play hard, career first, die hard urbanite, physically active, and die-hard traveller. We’re taking it slow, but having fun in the process. We’ll see what happens.

I’m counting my blessings. I’m taking the good with the bad. I am taking the good to (when possible) help me get through the bad.

And with running cohorts in tow, I am starting my quest to slay the dragon.

The MCM Dragon of Doom.

I’m weightlifting more recently. I’ve gotten into spinning. My knees feel stronger, and I’m running more intervals faster. Workouts that scared me before, now I have the confidence to take them on.

I nearly freaked out when I saw myself running sub-9 minute miles. I remember when 10-minute miles were pushing it for me.

And I’m communicating with other runners. Training tips, and plans. 5am workouts. Post-training brunches and gelato runs on 20th Street. (NB: 20th Street off Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square is dessert row, at least 2 ice cream places, and 3 cupcakeries abound…)

More camaraderie with each run. I like it that way.

Vee's training plan from Runner's World.

Slowly but surely, I am picking up the pieces. One at a time.

And I am looking to rise like a phoenix from the ashes on and off the pavement.

I’ve been compromised, but I have hope, more hope and support than ever, that I will survive, and things will turn out alright in the end.

And I’m becoming more and more confident that I can slay that dragon 30 October. Even with a hill at Mile 25.

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