But, No. It isn’t.

“It’s just running!” She says with an eye roll and lip.  There are other things in life like art, family, food, war, poverty, disease, birth, pets, sunsets, tequila, sex, music, coffee, hockey, yoga, education, patents, sunscreen, death, laughter, guns, tattoos…survival.  Life.

“It’s only running!” She scolds.  There are other things in life like Women’s rights, Gay rights, health care, Animal rights, affirmative action, environmental law, Veterans, Big Brother, spam, taxes, martini’s, credit cards, dental bills, after school care, volunteering, homelessness….survival.

People pour themselves into different things that we all just cannot possibly understand.  Is there any sense in the obsession over a black jack table?  Wearing a cheese on one’s head while cheering?  Spending twenty hours a day on a trading floor?  Getting lost in the Amazon?  Singing opera in Rome?  Climbing K2?  Driving at Nascar?  Reading a really delicious novel?  Spending a young life devoted to dancing in the New York Ballet?

Does any of this fit into survival?  Does painting?  Designing?  Celebrating?  The entire point to life is not survival.  It isn’t just running.  It’s freedom.  It’s youth.  It’s thought, taste, love, air, light and sweat.  It’s pure pleasure spiked with pain.

Nothing lasts forever, but it is never just running.  Believe in the run.

A Girl Boy

Seven years ago I gave birth to a baby girl.  Today I had an epidural for my back and leg pain.  I suppose it’s like renewing your vows.  I reflect on being a woman and a mother.

I always wanted to be a boy.  At least I think I did.  Perhaps it was fatherly approval or my unsuited restlessness for ballet or piano, but the fact remains that I turned into an eight year old with a boy cut, red converse shoes and yes “jams.”  I asked for balls for my birthday.  Basketballs, baseballs, soccer balls….. never golf balls.  They are just too damn small.

There was this perfect moment of swinging in a hammock when I was told exactly where babies come from.  If I knew the F word, I would have dropped it.  Very young, I was keenly aware that every human being that ever walked this earth came from a woman.  It felt like a cross to bare.

To be wild, free, rough, tough, loud, crude, rude, restless….. this was for “boys.”  I wanted into the boy’s club.  I joined it very early.  We traveled down sewers, we watched pet snakes rip heads off rats, we played in mud, threw stones, wrecked our bikes, jumped into creeks, and skinny dipped.  This quickly became a problem.

“You can’t do that.”

“Do what?”

“That!”

“Why!?”

“You just can’t.  It’s not Lady Like.”

Lady Like?  To be a girl.  There are extraordinary standards placed upon women.  I believed I could be my boy girl.  Then I got pregnant.  I wasn’t in the same club.  I was alone.  My friends were pink girls with sports as far away as Never Never Land.  I gave birth to beautiful children who needed me.  I watched his body change none.  No pain.  No difference.  Just arms extending for the new child.

I am not a boy.

Watching my daughter grow, has profoundly influenced me regarding the genetics behind men and women.  She is all girl.  In ways that I never was.  She will soon teach me.  If you can teach a girl boy anything.

I want to run rough, I want to stand tough, I want to lie down easy on a super soft pillow and I don’t want anyone telling me what to do.

Sound familiar?

You just might be a girl boy, even if you’re a boy.  Good Luck with that.