Thursday, July 28, 2011

Of Musicians and Marathoners

In the process of brainstorming for my fundraising letter, I had a thought.

When I played in my first violin recital, I was four years old. Despite a healthy desire to learn to play REAL music, and the beginner's love to practice, I could barely draw the bow across the strings without making a sound like a creature dragged straight from hell. Despite Mom and Dad's enthusiasm for my new undertaking, that can't have been entirely pleasant for them, but there they were, ushering me into the group of other beginners and taking their seats.

When your child can only play the rhythm for Mississippi Stop-Stop on the A string while the piano tinkles out the melody, a violin recital can be a long, drawn-out affair. It's a LOT of time watching other people's kids and clapping politely, followed by three or four minutes where she takes the stage to play the same screechy notes you flinched your way through at home. You cheer wildly, taking all sorts of photos. Then...more watching other people's kids. More polite clapping. You think, "Wow, she could actually be sort of good if she only practiced more." Then it's over and she comes to you and asks how she did, and you ask her how she feels, take more pictures, and tell her she was wonderful.

Dad was there for those early violin recitals, and he'll be in the crowds lining the streets of New York City when I run my second marathon. And really, after raising a violinist, the experience probably won't be all that foreign to him. After months and months of hearing about not-so-pretty training runs, some at a pace that could barely be considered running, he'll take his place on the street around the time I'm being dropped off at the starting line. It'll be a long, drawn-out affair, even if I finish in my goal time - 4 hours and 15 minutes. He'll spent a lot of time watching other people run past, clapping politely. Then, for a few moments, I'll be in his line of sight and he'll be able to cheer for ME, take pictures/video, etc. Then...more watching other people. More polite clapping. He'll probably be thinking, "Wow, she isn't that bad, but she could be pretty good if she trained more."

Beyond that, I can't really project what'll happen. With any luck, he'll be able to see me more than once on the course. Brian will be out there too, and my friend Elizabeth, who's pursuing her master's degree at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. She's promised me signs. I've never had anyone make me race signs before, so I'm REALLY looking forward to that. And with her talent and sense of humor, I'm sure they'll be awesome.

And then, there will be food. Some of the best food in the world, in fact.

100 days to go!!!

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