I heard a story last week on the radio about the cement used in the BP oil spill. Apparently, Halliburton--and BP--knew it was flawed, but used it anyway: a decision which may have contributed to the blowout. Given how our world seems to function currently--corruption and cash reign--I shouldn't be surprised, but the story made me sick to my stomach. Using potentially unstable cement below a platform on which workers will be living and working? Really? What kind of person makes a decision like that?
Eleven men died and future pelican babies may have two beaks, but that will hardly register as the situation proceeds. Call me jaded, but let me venture a guess how things will go: nobody will step up and take the blame. Instead of Halliburton saying, we really screwed up and we're incredibly sorry, what will follow will be more hearings, more investigations, more releases in ridiculous language denying responsibility, more excessive spending of man power and millions to finally determine who is at fault. (Full, possibly ignorant admission: to me, Halliburton = Cheney = evil.)
On Election Day, a day where I should feel empowered and patriotic, I feel kind of -eh-. I know there are snippets of good everywhere, but it's hard to see the light when stories like that are sandwiched between inane political attack ads that make me want to vote for the candidate that comes closest to Snoopy: wah, wah, wah wah wah. Nothing offensive in his speeches--and I'd bet The Red Baron is about as effective as most politicians.
I'll step off my soap box now--and apologize to any staunch Cheney fans out there--but suffice to say, as a mom who doesn't have enough hours in the day as it is, my mood is a bit hopeless and helpless. How could it not be when I can barely keep things together around our house? The amount of dog hair floating around our floors is out of control. I hope to get to the grocery store before we have only tortillas and cream cheese left. I'd like to get my files from 2000 cleaned out before 2011 hits. Just thinking about bigger issues and problems beyond my basic to-do list makes me feel as tiny and influential as the furballs floating under our bed.
Until I run.
When I run, I am accountable. When I run, I pick a route, I trace it with my feet, I get it done one way or another.
When I went out for my (tenth?) maiden voyage on Friday, I was feeling as ambivalent toward running as I do toward politics. I have so much form and focus work to do so that I can run, say, 5 miles pain-free, I was wondering do I really need this? Towards the end of my run, I still didn't have a solid answer. Then I crested a hill that often stops me. As I started walking at the summit, I honestly felt a jolt through my body and I had my answer. I felt so freakin' powerful.
Every step: forward. Every step: progress. Every step: closer to my goal. Every step: pure. Every step: stepping up.
And I knew I had to fire it up again. The usual reasons--wanting to fit in with the awesome RLAM tribe, fighting the blues, fitting into my jeans, defusing my energy so that my offspring don't take the brunt of my frustrations--certainly contribute to my motivation. But these days, when I feel like it's going to be an impossible task to leave this world in better shape than when I got here, I have to run for one simple reason: to lead by example.