This will not be the book cover of my next book “Cranky Superpowers: Life Lessons Learned from the Common CrankaTsuris Chronicles. It is not a bad first try, but it was not what I had in mind.
I started out with a picture taken of me from the New York City Half Marathon in March.
This was me running up Broadway and Times Square and heading towards Central Park. It wasn’t just me. It was everyone. It was becoming a celebration.
And, that is what I want this book to be. It is the celebrations we create after a whole bunch of crankiness. Nothing epitomizes this more than training for a half marathon or marathon, and then getting there, and the post-recovery sometimes. There is a lot of crankiness before you get to the finish line.
I decided to take on running about 35 years ago, and about 70 pounds heavier. It became a normal for me. I always prefer the word “normal” to the word “habit. When you decide on a new habit, good or bad, you are parking your car. However, when you choose a new normal, you are building a home. The normal creates some permanency.
Getting back to running the New York City Half this past March, there is a whole bunch of crankiness even before you start to run the race. There is the training. I get questions all the time. “Isn’t it too cold to run?” “Isn’t it too hot to run?” “Shouldn’t you rest that injury?” “Why don’t you just take a day off?” “Can;’t you just decide to sleep in?”
And, those are just the questions that my head and body are asking me.
I wake up 4AM. The reason I wake up that early is because I need to be in Brooklyn at the Wave Start at 5:45AM. It is below freezing at 25 degrees Fahrenheit, and with the wind chill, it feels like 15 degrees. I wear the sweatshirt that I do not want to throw away as my throw away shirt to keep me warm. I wear light gloves that do not really keep my hands from freezing because I do not like the bulky gloves when I run. I drive from Hoboken to Lower Manhattan, park my car, and head to the Subway. I get on to a packed subway car, and take the half hour ride to Brooklyn. After I get out of the Subway, and walk three blocks, there is a 20 minute line through security to enter the Athlete Village. Then, there is the half an hour line to get to the bathroom. People spend extra time in the stinky Porto Potty just to keep warm from the elements. We all have to pee really badly and everyone is doing the waiting to pee on line dance, jumping up and down, trying to stay warm.
We then have to be in the Corral before 6:45AM when the Corrals all close. We are standing for another 15 minutes till we can begin to move towards the starting line. Now, we all have to run 13.1 miles.
There ae the hills you do not expect. There are the potholes to avoid. There are the traffic jams at the water stops. There is always the person who looks like they should be really slow but they pass you anyway. There is the person who bumps into you because they have to run with earbuds listening to music, and they do not know who is next to them so they bump into you. There are the Pace Running Groups racing past you to remind you that you can’t run at that speedy pace.
But, when we make the right turn at Times Square, and head up Broadway, all that crankiness I just described disappears. We are a mile and half to the finish. The celebration can soon begin. It becomes like a dance party in the streets. We are all superheroes showing off our cranky superpowers.
This is what I mean by “effective crankiness.” This is what you can accomplish from a lot of crankiness. You develop your own unique cranky superpowers, whether it is running or anything else in life.
The book is about finding your own personal journey to this wonderful celebration.