Where have all the cowboys gone?

Does anyone remember this touching duo circa 1984? We watched this movie with the kids on tv the other night, and I gotta say…it’s fantastic. No, really. Funny, touching, relevant (well, except for the whole karate theme…) and very family-friendly. The kids enjoyed it about one-tenth as much as Derrick and I did. It’s a valentine to the eighties, and I’m tellin’ ya, those were the days. Derrick still has the hots for Elizabeth Shue, and I tried, unsuccessfully, to convince him that I had her exact hairdo in highschool, except mine was twice as big. (I grew up in a small town, okay? Spiral perms were the rage.)
As so often happens in life, this seemingly unimportant piece of fiction took on a profound meaning in the days to follow. As my three faithful readers know, I’ve spent the last six months training for the St. George Marathon coming up in October. I’ve trained hard, stayed injury free (you may recall my unfortunate foot incident from last year) and have gotten incredibly excited about this fateful day which is now less than three weeks away. We’ve booked plane tickets and hotel rooms and I’ve had my jitters and the whole nine yards. So, the other night I’m out running, feeling great, and out of nowhere–whoosh!–a sharp, searing pain shoots up my left knee. I try to run on it–nope. I stop and walk for a while then try again. Nope. I walk the rest of the way home, ice it for awhile, it feels better, and I go to bed, not daring to think I may be truly injured.
Woke up the next day–sore. Ouch. Didn’t run, iced it, ibuprofined-up. Have stayed off it for two days. Am not even considering the possibility that it won’t heal immediately. But what I am wondering lately is this: Where is my Mr. Miyagi? If you want to know how I feel, what I need, just take a look at this:

Daniel-san’s pleading to be healed, and oh, how he’s healed. Mr. Miyagi simply claps his hands together high in the air, rubs them for awhile (remember the cymbals?) and magically heals Daniel-san’s poor, victimized knee. Daniel-san then stands up and strides out to become the champion of the All-Valley Karate tournament, besting his enemies, winning his true love, and proving himself to the world.

I don’t ask much. And I’ve quite a bit in common with Daniel-san: I dress five years behind, am kinda broke, and rely way too much on my mother. So, again, I’m asking the reader and the fates alike: Where is my Mr. Miyagi? What gives? I need his warm guidance, quiet strength, and pearls of wisdom. But mostly, I need that cymbal-crashing, hand-rubbing, far-eastern magic to fix me up real nice for this marathon. I need it bad.

In the unlikely event that Pat Morita* does not read this and show up on my doorstep, does anyone have any other ideas? I’m a hurtin’.

*and I just read that Pat Morita has died. which kinda ruins the story. sorry. to Pat’s family. and about the story.

And WHOOP, there it is

What could have inspired my husband to make such an outlandish, uncharacteristic “whoop whoop” gesture in the above photo?  Well, last weekend, Derrick and I enjoyed one of the most scenic, exhilirating and exciting weekend getaways of our married life. Where could we have gone, you might ask? What did we do? Well, I’ll start by telling you what this exotic vacation did not include:

  • First class airfare (or any airfare)
  • Tropical destination
  • Luxury hotel (or any hotel)
  • Luxury rental car (or any rental car)
  • Showers. As in, we did not shower. At all.
  • Running water.
  • Flushable toilets.
  • Sleeping in late. Or any sleeping. As in, we did not sleep. At all.
  • Attractive (clean) clothing.
  • Attractive (clean) hair and makeup.
  • Fresh Breath
  • Basic Personal Hygiene
  • Time alone together (which was probably a good thing, considering the above three items that were not included in this romantic getaway.)

Our exciting weekend did include the following:

  • Cramming into two borrowed, oversized vans with eleven other sweaty passengers.
  • Multiple trips to outhouses, cleverly euphemised by the race sponsors as “Honey Pots.”
  • Multiple shots of hand sanitizer instead of soap and water after Honey Pot use. These were usually followed with the handling and consumption of finger foods, like power bars, bagels or crackers. (I’m still trying not to think about it.)
  • Driving and getting lost for 24 straight hours (did I mention, with no sleep?) through enough windy roads to require additional visits to the Honey Pots
  • Running three legs of 3-7 miles each: uphill, downhill, in the dark, on the freeway as semis zoomed past, and through scary downtown Portland alone at midnight (where was the security, for the love?)
  • Talking, laughing, crying (one of our valiant runners had an unfortunate encounter with a pothole in the dead of night), yelling, cheering and praying (to finish with some sort of dignity.)
  • The curious, aforementioned “whoop-whoop” gesture, which Derrick is still at a loss to explain. (Please don’t judge.)
  • Wondering what lifestyle changes we should make when this really is one of the best weekends we’ve ever spent together. (Please don’t judge.)

Yes, it was Oregon’s very own Hood-to-Coast, also known as the “Mother of all Relays.” This race begins at beautiful Mt. Hood and ends on the equally beautiful beach of Seaside, Oregon. 1500 teams of twelve runners each take turns running for a total of 179 miles. Here’s a few highlights:

Despite minimal training and a knee injury, Derrick runs really well and brings our team across the finish line at the beach. (Classic Derrick, procrasting and then pulling it off at the last minute to hoards of cheers and applause. I’m not bitter about my own training for months ahead of time, really.)

Sporting my wickedhot neon vest just before a midnight run on the freeway. I was terrified, in this order, of a)the long uphill route, b) getting hit by a speeding semi, and c)getting attacked from a psycho in the neighboring woods. I survived all and actually had a fantastic run. (And by the way, I think my upper arm should be alot thinner and more toned for all of the freaking running I’ve been doing. But that’s another post.)

What Derrick will be wearing next year.
How can a weekend involving all the glamour listed above and Captain Underpants not be romantic? Forget Hawaii and the Bahamas…we’ve found our Happy Place.
And all kidding aside, this race was inspiring in every way. 18,000 runners cheering each other on, beautiful scenery and most of all, a truly great team to do it with. Great job Chi, Paul, Dan, James, Derrick, Jason, Jenny, Meg, Amber, Michelle and Rachel! I’ve never had so much miserable fun in my life. Let’s do it again next year!