On Thursday, I was working at my desk when out of the corner of my eye, I saw a large black shape fly then fall. A giant raptor diving after some poor pigeon? Perhaps a piece of patio equipment blown off the neighboring apartment’s terrace -- it has been incredibly windy, not quite Casper-levels but still awful. I stood up and looked down onto the roof about thirty stories below, and oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck.
As I wrote about in this morning’s Second Breakfast, witnessing this suicide has helped me re- prioritize getting therapy. I had an intake call with a mental health office on Friday, and I have a call with a prospective counselor tomorrow. I mean, some days I feel so good and strong, but even on those days, I worry that feeling too good and too strong is just the prelude to the crash. Some other tragedy lies just around the corner. I can’t outrun it.
It’s cold outside this morning -- lower 20s. Not nearly as cold as it’s been in the Pacific Northwest, where Kaia has experienced a power outage in her apartment building that’s had her staying in hotels and AirBnBs over the holiday weekend -- no promises of getting things rectified until Tuesday, which I have to say was probably not part of the larger “I Have a Dream” vision of MLK, making folks wait until after the weekend to get their electricity and water back on. But anyway.
I’ve sort of thrown my hands up in the air since watching that figure in black take flight and fall. I keep re-arranging my training schedule and my writing/publishing schedule, hoping that things will feel smoother if I just shuffle the tasks around a little. I’ve decided to stop swimming on Fridays, for example. (This past week, I couldn’t bear to do laps and just swim back and forth with only my very dark thoughts to keep my mind occupied.) I’d scheduled a swim for today, but I just canceled my time slot. Like I said, it’s cold, and while I like to do something mellow on Mondays, getting into the pool -- also fairly cold -- doesn’t sound fun at all. I‘ll do a long bike ride, and we’ll see if it happens outside or in the apartment building gym.I far prefer the former; but the latter could be a bit more mindless. That said, based on the weather forecast, I’m going to be on the treadmill for most of the runs this week. So I don’t know. Cold and sunny is still doable. Once it snows -- 3 inches forecast for tomorrow -- I won’t want to take my bike out.
I did manage to do all my runs outside this past week, including some speed-work on Tuesday (10 minutes at tempo pace at the tail end of an hour long run). On Saturday, I wore a short-sleeve shirt, but by Sunday’s long run, it was pretty cold again. (I still overdressed.) Lifting went well too, and I’m actually pretty excited about that right now. I’ve started a new program, using the “Lyss Method,” an app from a person I follow on Instagram. I mean, if it’s good, it’s a Second Breakfast story and if it goes awry it’s a Second Breakfast story. I’m going to try to really give more energy to my lifting this year; not that running isn’t still my favorite thing to do, but resistance training is what keeps me healthy, I reckon. I’ve been doing my own programming since moving to NYC, and it’s nice to have someone else do that work. (That said, I have added a “coaching” tab to my website here, and perhaps I’ll start doing a little more of that.)
I attended an orientation meeting on Wednesday to start training as a NYRR Volunteer Leader. (I have another “meet and greet” this week to continue the process.) I’ve decided that, in lieu of doing a marathon this year, I’ll devote some time to giving back to the running community. It’s part of the thing I’m trying to explore in Second Breakfast: how so much of the health and fitness technology pushes us into this deep isolation and individualization as it’s all about our personal data/performance, rather than recognizing that wellbeing is always a public good and never entirely a private endeavor. I mean, I had a sports massage scheduled for Thursday afternoon -- what a fucking luxury, right? But after watching that young man die, there was no way it was going to unwind the tension in my body.
Despite it being a fucking terrible week for, you know, life, it was an amazing weekend for eating. Kin took his regular trip to Absolute Bagels on Saturday morning. Then, later in the day, we headed to the Lower East Side, stopping into the Essex Public Market where we sampled the vegan cheese at Riverdel and some pickles at Pickle Guys. We ate at Superiority Burger, a very popular vegetarian restaurant, and damn, the hype is real. I had their veggie burger; Kin had their sloppy joes (or rather “Sloppy Dave”). We had a beet side dish that was mind-blowing: pickled beets with scallion cream cheese and fried pretzels. For dessert, Kin ordered their banana bread -- fried on the griddle -- with coconut ice cream and chocolate sauce; I had two scoops of ice cream -- one red pear sorbet and one blue corn gelato. It’s funny, I think, that the two best meals we’ve had since moving here have been at vegetarian restaurants (Dirt Candy and Superiority Burger). Yesterday, I had doughnuts delivered from The Doughnut Project, including a “resolution breaker” doughnut that was just exquisite. (Their maple crullers are, by far, the best doughnut I’ve ever had anywhere.) There are two leftover and after we walk Poppy to the park here in a few, I’m having one. Or both.
In my kitchen, I made slow cooker red beans (and rice), with Mark Bittman’s biscuits; banana ice cream; ricotta olive oil bundt cake; crispy tofu with sweet potatoes; edamame pesto with gnocchi; mint chocolate chip ice cream; Kogi-inspired Korean tacos (with homemade tortillas -- that’s Kin’s task in the kitchen); and savory overnight oats. The latter, which I had this morning, were really awful. Keep the oats sweet, Audrey. I also renewed my subscription to Natalie Cooks, as I like her simple, “healthy” recipes. (I also ordered the Superiority Burger cookbook because goddamn that meal was so good, and I am committed to cooking meat less and less.)
I finished listening to Britney Spears’s memoir, The Woman in Me. I finished reading Same Bed, Different Dreams and Master the Marathon. We’re still listening to The Mysterious Case of Rudolf Diesel. I started Unshrinking. We watched the latest episode of Fargo, as well as the movie The Holdovers. My god, what is our ongoing fascination with stories about boys in private schools?!