9/11/2001

September 11th, 2001, I was a freshman in high school at Providence High in the southern part of Charlotte.  I remember waking up that morning, flipping the radio to News Talk 1110, and thinking, “Hm.  Today is just not a good news day at all!”  I try to never let that thought creep into my head.  My superstitious fear is that when I think that, that something bad will happen in the world.

Let me back up.  So I was born in Brooklyn, New York.  My father worked for Lehman Brothers (which isn’t a thing anymore), and my mother worked as an admin.  Except they used to call the admins secretaries which is kinda rude and not PC anymore I don’t think.  Anyways, my parents worked in the city.  Some of my earliest memories involved my dad taking us to his office.  They must have looked at him like he was crazy, a young 20-something with three kids, at least two that would come to his office, enamored of Jacqueline, a pretty lady who was nice to us and let us color and gave us snacks while my dad did work things.  Daddy took us to the office sometimes.  We rode on the train.  Once we moved to Long Island and he started commuting into the city for work, I remember driving him to the train station, our footie pajamas shoved into our sneakers.  On weekends, my mom would go into work, and my dad took us to Taco Bell, to Chuck-e-Cheese’s, to play tennis, and apple picking.

I remember when Daddy went to interview for First Union in a place called North Carolina.  We left all of our friends in the city behind, and started a new life in North Carolina, where people were friendly and had really funny accents.

We settled in, and since this was before a time of email, LinkedIn, and Facebook, when you moved, you moved, and hoped to see friends at weddings, or years later when you returned to New York to act like tourists (which we did in 1999).

So back to it, on September 11th, 2001, Mr. Greenleaf, my second-period biology teacher said something to the effect that we should turn on the TV because “something’s going on.”  At this point, none of us knew how serious anything was.  But he wheeled the television in, and among the clearest, bluest skies I’d ever seen, was the horrifying sight of thick black plumes of smoke cutting the peace in the skies.

I don’t remember the second plane hitting.  I know I must have seen it, because we watched it happen real time, and papers gracefully fluttering to the ground, juxtaposed against the soupy smoke.  But I remember the horror of realizing family and friends were near or around ground zero at the time.  My grandmother, who died on September 11th two years ago, was shopping.  A little old lady shopping, and no one could get a hold of her.  My Uncle Gregory, a street vendor, wasn’t in touch.  Friends of my fathers still worked in the towers.  And because the phones were jammed and no one really knew what had happened or what was going on.  Who was alive, and who hadn’t made it.

A few weeks later, my father dug out a tape, Stevie Wonder’s album, Characters, and told us that his friend Jim, who’d given him the tape, had died in the towers, leaving behind his pregnant wife.  My uncle, a firefighter, lost not one or two, but many brothers that day.  And that was the day that many of us realized that the world was not such a friendly place.

I wish I had a message here, that I could dispense to you some nugget of wisdom.  But what happened was horrible.  Disgusting.  Hateful.  And I think that sometimes it’s okay to not have the words, the answers.  Because I think when something like this happens, maybe there isn’t an answer, right?

9.11.01

Never forget.

PC Time Machine

Thank you God for Austin Samples, because my girl over at Olive to Run posed this question on her Facebook page.

What is the WORST injury you’ve ever had? [running related or not]

As i described my worst injury to her, I began on a quest to find the photo that would explain the injury.

  1. First, I called my mom, who allowed me to break into her email to see if I’d sent her the photo from my Elon email, since I’d been at Elon when the injury had been incurred.
  2. Then I logged into her email.  No dice.
  3. I emailed my Dad at work.  Except Papa Cheri would not be at work til like 9am.  Okay.
  4. I tried to log into my Elon email, knowing fully well that they’d shut us out of our email like 60 days after we’d graduated.
  5. And finally, I tore through my house, looking for an old PC that I hadn’t booted up since maybe 2010.  The thanks to Austin comes in where I realized I had no cords and no mouse to use the thing.  I got all of those things, and finally booted it.

photo 1

Time machine much?

photo 2

AIM was still on the desktop.  And Marilyn was asleep in the background.

But the main event, the only reason that I booted the PC in the first place?

Knee Injury

The worst injury I ever got.  

::clears throat::

I played rugby for a short time my freshman year.  During this particular game, where my boyfriend at the time was watching from the sidelines in horror, a girl tackled me from pretty high up.  Now take a close look at my right knee without getting nauseated.  So when she did this, I heard a loud crack, and went down.  I remember the coach asking me what was wrong, and I couldn’t tell her, all I could tell her was that I was in horrible pain radiating from my right knee.  It swelled up immediately, and what ended up happening was something called a tibial tuberosity, meaning that a bone that sat at the bottom of my knee had been pulled up and off by my ACL, accounting for that crack I heard.  I spent the next, like 8 weeks in an ACL brace and on crutches, and to this day, that knee gets sore from time to time.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASee!

Okay, enough of me walking down memory lane.

What is the worst injury, running or not running related that you’ve ever gotten?

Taking my show on the road – Charlotte Runnings.

Having a sick parent totally blows.

My mom’s been sick since about March, and I had to make one of my first real grown-up decisions, leave my job for a few weeks, and come home to take care of bidness.  A lot of the care-taking was falling on my dad, and that’s a lot for one person to deal with.

I packed up my stuff yesterday, and hit the road to Charlotte, a place I haven’t really live-lived since the end of high school.  So I’m taking this time to take my running thing on the road, try a few new classes, meet up with some old friends, and document the whole tour! (All the while taking care of my mama!)  Can I do it?  Ya darn tootin’!

So after I peeled myself away from this face…

Mini

…and I headed back to the neighborhood where I spent the majority of middle school, and some of high school, Willowmere in Matthews, NC, for a little tempo run, and to go see my childhood home.  I wish I’d snapped a pic, but I felt like a neighbor would come and beat me if they caught me taking a picture of a home where children dwelled.  I had to play it safe.

So I ran down memory lane.

I ran down the strip of grass where two little douchenozzles on the school bus held my bookbag, and I flailed around, turtle style, as I missed my stop.

I ran down where the bus would usually let me off and I had to carry my bass clarinet allllll the way home in 7th grade. (I was a weird kid.  I literally get embarrassed when I see people from my childhood because I don’t want them to recall how strange I was.)

I ran past the house where the late Fred Lane, a football player for the Panthers, was murdered during a dispute with his wife, a less happy memory.

I ran down the cul-de-sac where we lived, and tried to steal a peek to see if our playground was still up.

I ran past the kid’s house who I had a crush on, but who moved away to like Ohio in 8th grade.

And I ran down to the track where my Daddy, no lie, woke up early for freezing morning track workouts so I’d make the track team.

What a weird and cool feeling to literally run down memory lane.