When I was nineteen I went to Miami with my boyfriend. He 12 years older than me, and we were there for him to run in the Miami Marathon. The morning of the race, as all around the runners stretched in preparation, a local t.v. new team came to interview a Miami woman, probably in her 20’s, who was favoured to win. She sat on the ground, in wide running shorts and a running bra, and continued her stretches as she answered the reporter’s questions. Obviously distracted, with only minutes until the start of the race, her answers were short and pretty snarky. In the middle of the interview, she leaned over her own thigh, covered one nostril at a time and blew her nose violently onto the ground. Gotta tell you, both the reporter and I were taken aback. My jaw actually dropped.
At the time, I was still very much a French Poodle of a girl. I spent a great deal of time looking in the mirror, blow drying, then using the curling iron on my highlighted hair. How I looked, and how you thought I looked was pretty much the most important thing to me. Smart enough that it was never an issue, I concentrated on fluff – basically I used people and valued things. I am almost sickened to remember that probably many days would pass at that time, without me giving a single thought to the well being of any other person. I was young sure, but seriously self-centered and self absorbed. Being stoned 90% of the time probably had something to do with that as well.
I’m not like that anymore. With the patient teaching of many, including my mother, my husband and the hundreds of people I have met in the rooms, I think I have become a much better person. Certainly I use things and value people.
When I think of the woman marathoner today, I have completely turned around. No longer shocked at her earthy, animalistic behaviour, I marvel at her bravery and self awareness. She won by the way.