T.I.L.T. Things I've Learned Thursday XXVIII

I can't remember my 28th birthday, and in time I'll probably forget this 28th edition of Things I've Learned Thursday. Until I do, here's the latest knowledge fresh in my unique and disturbed brain:

* Sons will eventually be somewhat like their fathers, even as daughters will sometimes be like their mothers, and in some cases the role models may be reversed. “Like father, like son...” is a common phrase in my mother's lexicon, and while it occasionally refers to something good like my musical ability or figuring out how to repair something, she uses it just as often for stupid things, like getting lost or not wanting to speak on the telephone. We all inherit behaviors and even incidents. A friend at work was telling me how, while hammering a stake into his garden, he shattered it and pierced the skin, nearly puncturing it all the way through. I was so engrossed in the details of fatty deposits spilling out as he pulled it free, I didn't remember until hours later that, not long ago, his father partially sliced off his fingers on a table saw. Are we all fated to carry on such legacies? Is accident prone part of our genetic memory?

* I tend to be accident-prone myself. I'm currently pushing myself in the gym, trying to run 4-5 miles every night in preparation for a big race at the end of July between all the companies on Long Island. It will be the first time I've participated in that event in about 2-3 years, and my old coworkers will probably be among my competition. I forgot how much energy I have after a real workout, and I realize I've been taking it easy for some time now. I felt so confident and alive driving home on Tuesday night, that I couldn't bear to wait for an SUV to make a right turn, especially since the light had been green for a while and it was just sitting there with the blinker on. So I gunned it and cut around it, suddenly feeling the warmth of flashing lights to my left and hearing the wail of a siren. I made it through the intersection and cut to the shoulder, breathing heavily as I watched the ambulance soar by in my rearview mirror. On Wednesday night, I was less aggressive after my run, but didn't take into account how much of my energy boost was psychological. Standing in my entranceway, I got one of my head rushes, and moved to lean against the wall. Of course, me being me, I missed it by a few inches and only grazed it, nearly tumbling down a flight of stairs to my basement. I grabbed frantically and caught the wall before I went too far. These near-misses are warnings to be cautious when I'm tired and don't realize it.

* Psychology and exercise have an interesting relationship. Aside from the intellectual and emotional clarity that comes from getting the blood pumping, I'm also remembering how the mind can be an obstacle and how important distraction is. Sure, there are times when a pretty girl might cause an accident if we're not watching where we're going, but distraction can be a positive thing when it comes to running. Specifically, I need to turn off my sense of time. If I watch the clock on the treadmill, a minute is an eternity. If I watch the television, or let my mind go blank and ponder the day's events or the challenges of the future, 15 minutes or more can elapse at a higher speed than I'd be capable of if I stopped to think about it. A treadmill is particularly more challenging than running outside since the changing scenery when you're actually running somewhere can provide the proper visual interest. It takes time to hone that zen state of mindless momentum, but I think if I keep this up for about two months I should do okay at that aforementioned race, even if I don't match or beat previous performances.

* In other, non-running related knowledge, my wandering brain lead me to check into the origins of the F-word. I find I've been substituting ”Frak” a lot lately when things go wrong, usually under my breath if uttered aloud at all. For whatever reason, this triggered memories of something a priest at my old high school once told the class about the bombastic F-bomb. In an effort to quench the use of the word, particularly as a substitute for intercourse, he informed us of its origins as an acronym in prison, something guards would put in their paperwork when one inmate sexually assaulted another: “Forced Unlawful Carnal Knowledge”. With such horrific connotations, it definitely didn't seem like a good term for guys to use when describing what they were doing with their girlfriends. Love and that acronym definitely had no ties. Of course, twenty years later in the age of the internet, I find that story, and common variations of it, to be utterly FALSE. The word itself was never an acronym, and dates back to the 15th century. I guess if you're teaching in an all-boys Catholic high school, the story works as a lesson in discouraging vulgar language and execution. I have to wonder if the priest actually believed those origins himself, or was only using it as a teaching device. I imagine the internet makes his job a lot more difficult now.

* If you ever find yourself going for a walk, alone with your thoughts, pay attention to your lips. A few times recently I've noticed them moving while I was thinking, mouthing some of the words going through my head. I wasn't making any noise so I wasn't actually talking to myself, but I imagine that's the first step down the road to crazy.

* When it comes to pudding cups, Kit-Kats are far superior to metal spoons. That's probably not going to help my training, of course...



Blogger b13 said...

The term is "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge"and it's one of Van Halen's albums... it is also an old wives' tale.

How perfect that the one time you rebel and zip around a truck... you almost get taken out by an ambulance.

6/11/2009 12:39 AM  
Blogger MCF said...

Yeah. the Snopes article I linked to lists that along with a few other false acronyms, just not the variation my teacher had used.

6/11/2009 7:45 AM  

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