Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Running, Rolling, and Romance: My Long, Weak-Knee Weekend

I sustained the first assault to my knees when I ran three miles in the cemetery earlier this week. I try to do this at least once a week, but as it is getting colder and darker earlier, it’s been getting harder to do. The pounding of the pavement in the cooler weather seemed to really make my knees ache. Is it because my synovial fluid is too cold and therefore more viscous? In any case, any knee pounding should not be immediately followed up by tap dancing where cramp rolls are the order of the evening. By 9:00 PM, my legs were toast!

Looks easy enough, right? (Who needs coconuts?) Now do 4000 of them!

Over two nights this weekend we watched one of our favorite movies which my husband once cheekily referred to as “six hours of foreplay.” Yes, I'm talking about A&E's Pride & Prejudice with one Mr. Colin Firth. In addition to a great, pretty-true-to-the-book adaptation, the movie contains one of the best knowing look exchanges in movie history. When Elizabeth sharply jumps to Georgiana Darcy's rescue in order to change the subject of conversation from the vile Mr. Wickham, Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth exchange tender looks of appreciation and understanding which quickly turn to looks of love that make my knees go a little weak.

At 3:00 minutes, you’ll see the six seconds I’m talking about. (And in this video from 2:43-2:49 in case you want to see it again in another video compilation with different pop music. Or in this video, from the miniseries, at 6:30 to 7:10 if you want a little of the back story to Elizabeth’s slow look up toward Darcy.)

Sometime later, within the sixth hour, Elizabeth delivers the best line of the book which inspires back that lost strength (delivered toward the end of a terrific scene at time 4:42 – 4:52):

“I am only resolved to act in that manner, which will, in my own opinion, constitute my happiness, without reference to you, or to any person so wholly unconnected with me."

Elizabeth Bennet to Lady Catherine de Bourgh

You go girl.

And now, for something completely different: On Saturday night, we fulfilled a lifelong dream of mine by attending the Roller Derby. Okay, I got a hankering to see it only a week or so ago (I haven’t yet seen the movie with Ellen Page). But I was delighted to find out that not only does the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association have a Boston team, The Boston Derby Dames, but also its last bout was Saturday night about a half-hour away. We went and it was pretty darn entertaining.

The set up of the game is a little like quidditch in that there are three chasers and/or beaters (blockers), a seeker (jammer), and a keeper (pivot). Instead of broomsticks, however, they’re on quad wheel roller skates, and the only balls in the game are in the bearings in the skate wheels. It’s campy and fun, but it really did seem to require some athleticism. (They’re currently looking for some new talent, so if you’re interested, just send a digital photo of yourself and copy of your health insurance card to fresh meat.)

I freely admit that I find the entire idea amusing and found the event and even the tattooed players and audience completely benevolent. Yet, somehow, when I mention it, I feel as if I just admitted to going to the Roman Coliseum, and not as a contemporary tourist, but rather as a spectator during the fall of the Roman Empire!

I love to rollerblade, and am always looking for new ways to be active without boredom, but even if I were I big quad skater, I’m quite sure the preferred method of stopping, a knee slide, would kill me. Maybe I’ll just wait until I reach the age where I would be just as likely to break my hip as to successfully skate around the track once to try it out.

Sunday morning, I rode my bike (with the brake slightly rubbing the front tire) for 22 miles on a local rail trail. It was cold, but beautiful along the trail. I am now determined to make myself leopard print toe covers so that I can withstand the heat-sucking wind generated by my riding like the wind. Oh, all right. We ride pretty slowly, but not slow enough to negate the wind­-chill. In addition to suspected frost-bite, my knees once again bore the brunt of my activity.

Later that afternoon, we watched sadly as our beloved Red Sox were swept out of the American League Division Championship series by the Los Angeles Angels. Even watching Jacoby Ellsbury fly magically through both the infield and the outfield offered little consolation to the heavy hearts in our house. The Globe’s 10 Ways to get over the Red Sox also did little to distract me from my disappointment.

Finally, as I reported yesterday, we spent the entire morning relaxing while enjoying the Fox TV show Glee, on hulu. Watching TV or movies on a laptop from the cozy comfort of my bed on a cold, long weekend morning with my own Mr. Darcy is a just about one of the most fabulous things in the world.

I’m a simple girl, really.

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