by Serena Burla on December 21, 2011
“Let’s do the advent calendar.” That’s what my alarm, aka Boyd, has woken me with almost every morning since December 1st. As we work on number recognition, talk about the days in the month, the purpose of the calendar, etc., I can’t help but be reminded of the countdown to the Olympic trials as well. Perhaps it’s the fact that both events carry so much anticipation, preparation, hope, wonder, and awe. In any case, I’m busy preparing my heart, soul, mind, and body for both.
Running has brought about a different phase in the training cycle, letting me know the marathon I’ve been preparing for and once thought was so far away is near. I am fine tuning and getting ready mentally for the 26.2 mile opportunity January 14th; still growing daily on my running journey. A man recently asked how long I have been training for the trials, my answer, “Since I began running twenty plus years ago.” I feel like I am the product of all these years of running, each molding me into the person and runner I am today.
Boyd’s helping me stay balanced with his clever antics. He recently changed his name to Cement Mixer until he turns four years old, and then he’ll switch it to Fire Truck. He dictated his first letter to Santa and suddenly thinks baby Jesus hatched out of an egg since he was lying in a “nest” surrounded by animals. He reminds me of my sister and I as kids as he plays with all the Christmas decorations. I am pretty sure I have trimmed the tree with ornaments at least 15 different times already. Outdoor Christmas lights are also a source of admiration. Neither my husband nor I are Clark Griswold, so we enjoy our neighbors’ exterior decorating skills. I’ve promised to take Boyd on a run around the block at night to see the sights, and I think I am just as excited as he.
Often people ask me what I think about while I run. On many occasions I have answered, “I sing Boyd songs in my head.” Boyd is currently quite the caroler. He picks up the lyrics after hearing a song twice and can really carry a tune. He sings all the time and I love it! So for those of you wanting to know my recent playlist, it includes: Jingle Bells, Feliz Navidad, What Do you Want for Christmas (a school song), Jingle Bell Rock, Away in a Manger, and a song about a gray squirrel with a bushy tail.
Yes, the joys of the season. It was a joy to watch Boyd unwrap an entire new roll of wrapping paper and cheer for the cardboard roll inside- what a great gift (although I must admit, while he was unwrapping the entire roll I was questioning what he was doing in my head). It’s also a joy to watch fellow runners, bundled up in the cold, still hard at work enjoying the gift of fluidly putting one foot in front of the other. For me, craving and attempting to bake my Grandma Udovich’s tricky peppermint kiss cookies, or tearing up while listening to Silent Night, lets me know the Holiday season is here. (Grandma when we meet again someday I am going to greet you with a hug and find out your secret to getting them to turn out just right).
The nostalgia around Christmas reminds me of how we runners reminisce about our running stories, memories, training, and our common bond. Let’s face it, all runners have a story, or a million, and it is fun to share all the memories and how far we’ve each come on our personal running journeys. Not to mention all the common issues or traditions we share.
So, as we keep opening the doors on our Advent calendars and welcome 2012, I want to wish you all a season filled with joy, laughter, health, and love.