Category Archives: Adventures

Mile 450: Breathing Into a Bag

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Miles since last time: *shrug*
Total miles this year: 450

I know. It’s been a while. In my defense. I’ve been training for a marathon. Tomorrow. A full marathon. I’m doing my first full marathon tomorrow. The Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. It’s tomorrow.

I’m not nervous at all. Not a bit. Everything’s fine here. I certainly haven’t convinced myself that I’ll collapse somewhere around mile sixteen and live in that same spot forever, eventually becoming known as Candles. (Because sixteen? Never mind. The nickname is a work in progress.)

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(via giphy)

Like I said. Everything’s fiiiiiiiine.

(Side note—I can’t tell if I’m stress-eating or carb-loading.)

I’ve heard that it’s good to outline your goals for a race beforehand. At the very least, I suppose it gives you something to focus on besides the fear pangs that are slowly getting closer and closer together—so much so that I think I’m due to birth an anxiety baby in, oh, about twelve hours.

To occupy myself until I can get that worry epidural, I’m listing my goals here.

Cross the finish line. Obviously.
They take it down eventually. I’m not fast, guys.

Before my Bluetooth headphones run out of juice.
Fingers crossed. This is why they call it a race.

Try not to look like I’m dying.
A lot of races have photographers taking pictures along the route so that you can commemorate the special occasion. After my first half marathon a year ago, I looked at my photos and learned that, despite my sunny disposition, I have a pretty bad case of RBF—Running Bitch Face. (And Resting Bitch Face. I have all the bitch faces.) I actually haven’t looked at any race photos since then. Now, I realize that maybe I should have practiced not looking like I want to punch a unicorn.

Don’t get attacked by the Lake Hefner monster.
I know that there’s no actual evidence that a monster lives in the lake, but that’s just what Heffy wants you to think.

Find proof of the Lake Hefner monster. Become best friends.
Candles is going to need someone to co-parent feral cats in the area.

Maintain control of all bodily functions.
No vomiting or GI distress here!

Don’t anger the wind gods any further.
NBD, just 20-mph winds out of the north and northwest. Definitely not going to make the first half of this thing feel like dragging a bus. A bus that is me.

Play everyone’s favorite game, Twig or Snake?, as desired.
It’s been raining all night/day and there’s storm damage everywhere. Who knows what you’ll find? Maybe even a shiny new penny!

When finished, replace all bodily fluids with chocolate milk.
It’s a legitimate recovery drink.

Have enough energy to walk back to my car.
This is not a fear I had until just now.

Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can’t lose.

(Ignore that high-pitched whining sound. I have no idea where it’s coming from. Definitely not me.)

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Mile 309.1: 13.1 Things I Would Tell Pre-Half-Marathon Me

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“We won! We won! WE WON! WE WON!”
–“Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down),” Hamilton

Miles since last time: 167 (+ 13.1!)
Total miles: 309.1

I DID A FRIGGING HALF-MARATHON YESTERDAY!

Whoa, sorry. I didn’t mean to shout at you.

BUT I DID MY FIRST HALF-MARATHON.

OKC Memorial Marathon 2016 start line

Can you see me? I’m waaaaaaaaaaaaay at the back. Source

I’m not going to lie–I was a bit worried during the week or so before that it wouldn’t happen. The long runs leading up to it kept getting more and more difficult. The Oklahoma City Memorial Run is kind of a big deal, and I was pretty convinced I was going to die.

I’m happy to report that I didn’t. So, now I go back to not knowing where, when, or how it’s going to happen–what a beautiful feeling!

It turns out you have a lot of time to think as you race (or, in my case, heartily jog and intermittently walk) through the neighborhoods of Oklahoma City, and as I did, I considered what I would’ve told myself twenty-one weeks ago, before I started training.

Here’s what I came up with.

1) Put your Twitter handle on your bib, dummy.
No one cares what your first name is. Self-promote, dammit!

2) Get fitted for shoes NOW.
Sure, Shoe Carnival is going to have a BOGO half-off sale right when you start training. Don’t do it. Those Nikes will do terrible things to your toes, heel, and possibly your sanity and will to live. See a professional early. And then, when you do finally go to OK Runner in Norman, you’re pretty sure that the guy who fits you for shoes turns out to be the male marathon winner. NBD. It’s just probably the closest you’ll ever get to winning a marathon.

2016 Half Marathon Course Map

2016 Half Marathon Course Map

3) NEVER skip a water station.
Sometimes, they’re far apart. You’re going to pass the first one thinking it’s too early and you don’t need hydration yet. You will regret that thought as soon as the last person holding out a wax paper cup is behind you.

4) Get ready to have your ego stroked a bit.
People basically cheer for you the whole time. Even thought they don’t know you, they are so enthusiastic about the race that they happily sit, clap, shout words of encouragement, high-five, and wave signs as they watch you hobble by. Remember the Hall of Gratuitous Praise from Sabrina the Teenage Witch? Yeah, it’s kinda like that. Plus, no fewer than five people will even be dressed as chickens, so get ready for that sight.

5) Fight the urge to stop and correct misspelled signs.
Looking at you, “Unstopable” guy. Your heart is in the right place, and I appreciate that. Also, I didn’t think to bring a pen.

6) Don’t stress about missing the turn-off for the half.
You’re going to spend a good chunk of the beginning of the run worried that you will miss the split between the half- and full-marathon courses, causing you to accidentally end up on the wrong path, leading you to fall into Lake Hefner out of sheer exhaustion because you were not prepared to accidentally do a full marathon, which ends up making you part of a balanced breakfast for the giant squid monster that somehow survives down there undetected. (There’s a lot of time for your mind to wander, okay?) However, there are spray-painted arrows on the road and at least four people with bullhorns who announce the correct directions for everyone. You’ll be fine. I mean, there may come a day when that giant squid monster gets you, but April 24, 2016, is not that day.

Race results

6,585th place, baby!

7) You’ll start to get a weird cramp in your right bicep and into your shoulder for no reason.
Yeah, I don’t know what to tell you about that. Maybe you should have practiced your arm swing. It seems there’s a wrong way to do it.

8) Running into the wind is a bee-yatch.
The lighter breezes are nice and will keep you from overheating, but there are stretches where you’ll think, “Wait–why is this air solid?”

9) The Hamilton soundtrack, Foo Fighters, Neon Trees, boy bands, and various other dance/pop hits will help you get through.
For a Broadway musical, Hamilton is surprisingly good for running. However, try not to shout, “VOTE FOR BURR!” along the course, or, you know, while Senator Lankford is speaking.

10) No GI distress!
I know you’re worried, but let me tell you that your intestines are the real champs of the day.

11) After you finish, don’t go directly to get your finisher shirt.
Cool down first, because going from jogging/walking for a long time to standing around in a line in the middle of a huge crowd of people is apparently a bad idea. You don’t need the vomit anxiety.

OKC Memorial Marathon Finish Line

HELLO FROM THE OTHER SIIIIIIIIIIDE

12) There will be burgers at the finish line.
They’ll smell amazing and wonderful, but thought of actually eating a burger will make you a little nauseous. Stick with the banana and bagel. And the chocolate milk, of course. Never deny yourself chocolate milk.

13) You’ll finish.
Yes, you’ll have to walk sometimes. A lot of people will pass you, but you will still cross the finish line, and in slightly less time than you predicted. Honestly, aside from the full-body muscle soreness and right heel/arch pain, you make it out pretty scot-free. You are even mobile enough to go to a David Cross performance afterward. Fair warning, though–the show is upstairs, so good luck with that.

13.1) There’s no–
That’s approximately one-tenth of the sentence I would have written. Fill in the blanks yourself.

So, who’s doing it with me next year???

OKC Memorial Marathon merchandise

Finisher swag!

Mile 129: And Now, For My Next Trick

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“Where will we go?
I’ve got no bright idea.
Where we go, I don’t know,
Til the last good time.”
–iamdynamite, “Where Will We Go?”

Total 2015 miles: 1068
Miles so far this year: 129

Yes, it’s been a long time. I know. I’m awful. Every terrible thing you’ve ever thought about me is true.

Rest assured, though–my time away from weekly Internet writing about fitness misadventures has not been mirrored in time away away from the gym. In fact, I’ve been remarkably consistent. Here are a few key developments over the last six months:

No more calorie counting apps.
After much thinking, I decided to delete MyFitnessPal from my phone. MyFitnessPal has this thing where it lowers your daily goal calorie intake as you lose weight. The last time the app offered to lower mine, it told me I should only have 1200 per day–which was also the absolute the absolute minimum. If I ever logged fewer than 1200, I would get a big warning about how I hadn’t eaten enough, which I then took as license to have a bowl of ice cream–for health!

MyFitnessPal essentially recommended that 1200 was both the minimum AND maximum amount of calories. I didn’t feel I could trust it anymore. I also didn’t really appreciate it’s little judgmental comments after I entered in some foods.

Yes, MyFitnessPal, I know mac and cheese is high in saturated fat, but I need it sometimes, okay? You’ll never understand.

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Yes, please.

Numbers schmumbers.
I haven’t been on a scale since July, which, incidentally, was just a few weeks after I purchased my own scale because my gym doesn’t have one. (Way to plan and spend wisely, Stonebarger.) This wasn’t really a conscious choice–I just got tired of seeing the yoyo-ing every week. I’m sure I’ll dig that scale out of the closet eventually, but not now. At last count, I was still at 100 pounds lost after hovering for several months, and I’m still wearing the same clothes, so that’s good, right? At the very least, I haven’t reversed the last couple of years of work. Better have some celebratory pizza!

No?

Meal planning.
Meal planning and prep make a lot of sense in theory. You work hard for one afternoon, and your food is all ready for you the rest of the week. But you have to THINK and SHOP and PLAN and COOK. I’m currently in a place where I’ll do breakfasts and lunches for the week, but prepping dinners seems like too much work. There’s a line of preparedness that I can’t cross yet. I’ve even obtained some cheap cookbooks to help in the endeavor, although I tend to thumb through them and decide that most of the recipes have too many ingredients and must therefore be extremely complicated.

Baby steps, guys.

My next trick.
Last fall, in a fit of setting goals for myself, I decided that I should do the half-marathon at the Oklahoma City Memorial Run on April 24. Yes, that’s right–despite my repeated promises (mostly out of spite) that I would not ever become a runner, I have signed up for half of a very long race. Probably because I might be a masochist.

Luckily, Jackie Lease of Jackie Lease Fitness has helped me adapt and expand a Hal Higdon 12-week program into one that should ensure I won’t bite the dust before my next birthday (which is in May, if you want to get me anything).

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Don’t get too impressed by that half-marathon day that’s marked off. I did those 13.1 miles on the elliptical.

 

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In case you’re wondering why “rest” is already marked off for this week, I completely overslept on Monday and had to take it early. I already feel guilty. I don’t need you adding to it.

 

I’m back.
It feels good to be back on the blog again. Plus, when I inevitably die of plantar fasciitis or toe cramps, I’m sure you will all cherish these mile logs with something like indifferent resignation.

You’re welcome.

Mile 777: Seven Accomplishments Since Last I Blogged Regularly

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“You can make this world what you want.”
–Muse, “Revolt”

Miles since last time: 127
Total miles: 777

It’s been a while since last I wrote and you politely skimmed because you are related to me. So, in honor of my 777th mile this year, here are seven things I’ve accomplished in the last two months.

1.) I’ve started doing stand-up.
While taking Level 2 classes with the OKC Improv, I also decided to take the beginning stand-up elective because I’m a comedy masochist. Since making my stand-up debut during our student show the day after my birthday, I’ve continued to do some open mics and shows. I even competed in the Funniest Person in OKC competition. During each the six preliminary rounds, two comedians were chosen to move to the finals and one alternate was named. Not to brag or anything, but I was the alternate on the night I competed. The two finalists during my round were the stand-up class teacher, Josh Lathe, and the guy who wound up winning the whole thing, C.J. Lance. NBD.

I’m going to keep doing it, and I’m even going to be in a showcase next week–which you should totally check out if you’re in the OKC area.

And lest you worry yourself about the state of my improv career, rest assured that I am still saying awkward things, laughing inappropriately, and generally being clueless during my Level 3 classes. I’m living the dream.

2.) I enrolled in an online fit camp.
A friend referred me to an online fit camp run by Jackie Lease (she’s a friend of a friend of a friend). It’s run completely online, via Facebook group. At the beginning of the month, she sends out a calendar and assessment sheets, and she posts videos of the workouts every day. You do them in the privacy of your own home, or if you’re like me, you do them at the gym. I’m in my second month, and it seems to be a good system so far. I would definitely recommend it if you need a bit of guidance on workouts, don’t want to pay crazy fees for a personal trainer, and enjoy sweating profusely in your living room-‑or in the little corner of the gym you found for yourself while avoiding eye contact with all the people stretching out or using the hip adduction machine nearby. I mean, if you’re like me.

3.) I started running again.
Earlier this year, I took a break from running due to self-diagnosed Weird Hip Pain. I’m back on the treadmill now, puffing my way along, trying to be more careful about it, and supplementing the running with fit camp workouts‑-which means fewer miles per day but shooting for longer intervals. It’s still hard and I sweat like a fat kid on a treadmill (hey, wait‑-is a simile still a simile if it’s true?), but I should be okay as long as my Weird Hip Pain doesn’t flare up.

My most immediate running goal is to be able to run around a 1.5-mile track near my home without stopping. I’m currently walking for two minutes and running for three, but  I hope to be at four by the end of the week. There’s still a long way to go.

4.) I got in a hit-and-run.
I realize this isn’t an accomplishment, and I’m totally fine‑-not injured at all. But my car currently doesn’t have a front bumper. Don’t you feel sorry for me?

5.) I’m a fish mom!
After a seriously bad day that involved the aforementioned hit-and-run and finding out that my cat (who had been living with my parents) had died, I decided I needed a new pet. People living alone should have a pet, right? We have that in common with Hogwarts students.

I went for a low maintenance pet due to my jet-setting lifestyle. Meet Alphie, the Betta Attack Monster Fish. You may also call him Alphie the BAMF. I do. I also sing “Alfie” to him sometimes. He loves it, even though his name is spelled differently.

Alphie, the Betta Attack Monster Fish

What’s it all about, Alphie, the Betta Attack Monster Fish?

*Side note: Having a fish does not quell the desire to adopt all the puppies and kittens.

6.) My fish baby is still alive!
Before I leave my house every day, I point at Alphie’s tank and say, “Don’t die, Alphie.” And he doesn’t because Petsmart trains their animals really well. This doesn’t necessarily stop me from constantly worrying that I’m going to take my eyes off him for five minutes and look back to see him floating at the top of his tank. It’s just like having kids, guys.

7.) I haven’t murdered anyone.
Sometimes this feels like an accomplishment, okay? Also, I ran out of things to say.

It’s been a less eventful couple of months than I thought.

Mile 536: Improv Achievement Unlocked

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“[scat singing]”
–Louis Armstrong, “Heebie Jeebies”

Miles since last time: 100
Total miles: 536

On Saturday, March 21, at 7:30 p.m., at the intimate Oklahoma Shakespeare on Paseo, my Level I improv class did our first ever improv showcase as Iron Turkey.

Stolen from the OKC Improv Facebook page

Stolen from the OKC Improv Facebook page

Since I’ve never had to get myself ready for a comedy show before, I sort of IMPROVISED. (See what I did there?) During the afternoon, I listened to the Comedy Bang Bang and Improv4Humans podcasts, and I popped in The Lonely Island’s Incredibad on my drive to the venue–because why not?

I don’t know if the podcasts and music helped or not, but my thinking was that I needed to surround myself with comedy so that some of it might soak in…or something. I was pretty nervous, okay? I’m not saying my thought process is logical, but it felt right at the time.

I’d love to give you a blow-by-blow of the whole evening, but the truth is, I remember very little about anything I said or did during the twenty-five minutes of our showcase–and not just because I’m posting this a week late.

Stolen from the OKC Improv Facebook page

Stolen from the OKC Improv Facebook page

It’s kind of weird, actually. I remember awesome and funny things the rest of Iron Turkey did. There was definitely a sexually harassing gorilla in Madagascar, a unicorn war with bats, skydiving mastodon hunters, and a lot more. I know I was there–there is photographic evidence–but did I do anything? Probably?

I think this is called improv amnesia. It’s totally a thing…maybe…

I pretty much just remember the evening as a big blur of fun and some tasty pizza afterward at Sauced on Paseo with a few good friends. (Seriously–it was freaking delicious pizza. I highly recommend it.)

So, I suppose the next question is–did I accomplish what I set out to do when I decided to sign up for improv?

Stolen from the OKC Improv Facebook page

Stolen from the OKC Improv Facebook page

As for what I learned or what I got out of the last eight weeks, I think it’s hard to say in any sort of simple way. It’s kind of like weight loss that way. Most change is small and slow. You may not notice it because you don’t see yourself. You just have to do what you want, trust yourself, and keep moving forward.

I suppose I feel different. Maybe? I don’t really know. The filters are still there, but you can’t expect them to disappear in two months. As to whether it’s helped my writing or made me a more active participator, only time will tell. I do feel even more motivated to keep going.

Now that I think about it, I think that’s what I really got out of this introductory experience: motivation. Motivation to make funny things with great people. Motivation to keep trying to entertain people. Motivation to strive for more creativity. Motivation to spend more time with the people who make me laugh. Motivation to get over it and just do my thing.

Stolen from the OKC Facebook page

Stolen from the OKC Facebook page

I’m glad and grateful that I took a chance on something that I’ve been thinking about and wanting to do for a long time. I’m also grateful that no one told me I was wrong for it or looked at me like I was crazy (except for that one guy that I’m not even friends with, gah), and I’m unbelievably lucky that I got to experience it with six awesome people and a great instructor. Most of all, I’m super stoked that I get to keep doing it.

I’m leveling up. LEVEL II, BABY.

Gosh. For a blog post about a comedy thing, this got a wee bit sappy.

IRON TURKEY.

[gobble noises]

Mile 436: Make a Sound Like an Author

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“Go and make interesting mistakes. Make amazing mistakes. Make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make. Good. Art.”
–Neil Gaiman

Miles since last time: 102.5
Total miles: 436

The surest way to send your week downhill pretty quick is to start it out on a high–like seeing Neil Gaiman on a Monday, for instance.

I speak from experience.

That’s right. Last Monday, a few friends and I attended the Emerson-Wier Liberal Arts Symposium at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in Chickasha to see world-famous, award-winning writer Neil Gaiman. It was a rest day well spent.

Surprisingly, I found out about the event through my gym. When I saw the flyer in the window, I nearly had a heart attack. Neil Gaiman? In Oklahoma? FOR FREE? Sign me and three friends up.

His face was on our tickets!

His face was on our tickets!

Gaiman is responsible for giving the world Coraline, Stardust, Neverwhere (which I’m currently reading), American Gods, his famous “Make Good Art” speech, and so much more, including two episodes of Doctor Who. As someone raised in Chickasha, I can tell you that this type of thing does not happen often.

The month or so between ordering the tickets the tickets and attending the event was marked with much anticipation and coworker jealousy. Sometimes, I would silently squeal “NEIL GAIMAN” to myself and smile for what others probably thought was no reason.

The event was general admission, so my friends and I did have to wait in line for a bit, but it was a small price to pay. Before we entered, the staff passed out programs with question cards inside. If we so chose, we could write a question and he may or may not answer it later. I knew I wanted to ask something but had no idea what. He surely gets the same questions all the time. I mean, he’s Neil F-ing Gaiman.

Once the doors opened, I spent some time thinking about what to ask while continuing to chat with my friends. (It had been a long time since we’d all been in the same room, so some catching up was necessary.) At some point, I sort of mentally threw my hands in the air and wrote something down. Spoiler alert–he did not answer my question. NOW I’LL NEVER KNOW.

My question for Neil Gaiman: "What are you reading right now (besides this question), and how are you enjoying it (may or may not apply to this question)?"

My question for Neil Gaiman: “What are you reading right now (besides this question), and how are you enjoying it (may or may not apply to this question)?”

Finally, a student came out and introduced Mr. Gaiman to the packed house, and he filled the auditorium with his distinguished British tones for an hour and a half. He talked about where writers get ideas, the lie of writer’s block (after all, gardeners don’t get gardener’s block), read two stories from A Calendar of Tales, talked about working with his dear friend and colleague Terry Pratchett (who unfortunately passed away a few days later), and answered questions about everything from how he met his wife to what missteps he’s made in his career. The biggest laugh line came when he picked up a card and read the question, “How does someone get an agent?”

He paused, looked up at the audience, and said something along the lines of, “Go to a place where agents gather and make a sound like an author.”

It's Neil Gaiman--I promise!

It’s Neil Gaiman–I promise!

(I say “something along the lines of” because I, most unfortunately, do not have the auditory equivalent of a photographic memory. I’m getting older, people.)

He was everything you would expect a Neil Gaiman to be: wild-haired, engaging, thoughtful, insightful, funny, and just all-around awesome. Do I even need to say this? He’s Neil F-ing Gaiman.

In deep discussions about the event afterward and reading other bloggers’ accounts (such as Alyssa Grimley’s and Lex Selzler’s), I’ve discovered that different people were inspired by different aspects of the evening, whether it was hearing an author read his own work, hearing him assure amateurs that you should focus on making an interesting thing instead of getting a paycheck, or so many more things than I could possibly say here.

What struck me most was how much Mr. Gaiman is a storyteller to his very core. He took every opportunity to give us a full picture of every little detail of whatever he was discussing. When talking about how he got involved with Doctor Who, he launched into a scary-accurate impression of Steven Moffat. When talking about getting his start in journalism and lying about what publications he’d written for, he told us that he made sure to go back and write for each and every one of them so that he wouldn’t be a liar–just a bit chronologically inaccurate. He could have so easily answered any question with a sentence or two, but he took the time to give each his full attention and the Neil Gaiman treatment. He took the time to tell each story.

He made sounds like an author.

And that’s what was inspiring to me.

“Make a sound like an author” may have been intended (and received) as a joke, but as I continue to examine that night, I’m realizing what that really means. For me, “make a sound like an author” means “take every chance to tell stories.” Do it with every breath, with everything you have, with every word you know. There are stories only you can tell, and people want to hear them.

After I got home, I felt the need to somehow tell Mr. Gaiman how amazing it was for him to come to Chickentown (I’m from there–I’m allowed to call it that) and that he should come back soon and often, so I did the only thing I could think to do: I tweeted him.

And then this happened.

I'm @stonebarky, in case you were wondering.

I’m @stonebarky, in case you were wondering.

I hope you do, too, Mr. Gaiman. Or may I call you Neil now, since we’re Twitter best friends?

Mile 230: A Conversation With Myself

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“I’m looking for some back and forth with you.
Are you feeling the same as I do now and now and then?”
–Foo Fighters, “Back and Forth”

Miles Last Week: 50
Total Miles: 230

Now that I’m about halfway through Level 1 improv, I think it’s time I checked in with myself about how it’s going. The talk was longer than anticipated…


Hi, Amanda.

Hey.

I know you’re excited about The Walking Dead coming back today, but I’m going to need you to focus and answer a few questions.

Okay. But Better Call Saul starts tonight, too, so I can’t make any promises.

Fair enough.

So, whatcha wanna talk about?

Improv.

Yay!

So I take it that means it’s going well?

Yeah, I mean, I laugh a lot. It’s really fun, and I’m definitely learning a lot. I’m not super great at it, but I always look forward to it every week.

That’s great–but you decided to join for a lot of reasons. How’s the rest of it working out? Are you using improv skills elsewhere? Are you participating more? Are you feeling more creative/funny?

Um…

Uh oh.

What’s that supposed to mean? You asked a lot of questions in a row. I was just trying to decide which one to answer first.

Sure you were.

Whatever, Amanda.

"Talk to Yourself Hat" by Kate Hartman Source

“Talk to Yourself Hat” by Kate Hartman
Source

Let’s just take them one at a time. Are you using improv skills elsewhere?

Well, I’m writing this blog post. That’s kind of improv-y.

You’ve been thinking about this since yesterday. That’s not at all improv-y.

Oh. Good point.

I know.

Well, no need to get cocky about it.

Just answer the question.

You’re mean.

No, I’m not. I’ve just learned that I need to be firm with you.

You are me.

I know. I’m not proud of it, either.

You’re doing that mean thing, again.

Okay, next question. Are you participating–without being prodded?

Um…

Good lord.

Hey, now. I’m participating. I’m just still working on the whole “prodding” thing. It’s only been four weeks. Changing behavior takes time.

I suppose that’s understandable.

I know.

Don’t do that.

What? You can, but I can’t?

Pretty much.

You’re the worst.

I’m you.

I’m aware.

Still, come on. You can jump out there. I know you want to.

I know. But the other people in my class are so creative/funny/quick. It’s slightly intimidating. I might screw up.

There are no wrong moves in improv. It’s one of the rules and everything.

I know, but…

Are you so arrogant that you think you are the one person who can mess up improv?

Ouch.

Besides, it’s not like you are a stranger to trying something and failing. Do I need to remind you about the Planking Challenge of 2013? Or the NaNoWriMo disaster?

You bastard. How dare you.

Life’s hard. Get a helmet. And jump out there–literally. It’ll probably be more entertaining that way.

I’m working on it. And you’re still mean.

Yeah, yeah, whatever. Are you feeling more creative/funny?

Um…

You’ve got to be kidding me.

Well…

What’s the problem?

I wouldn’t say there’s a problem, per se. I just think I tend to go to the most obvious thing and not necessarily the most creative. I’m still working on that, too.

Well, just say something creative/funny right now.

Eek…

You did it, didn’t you? That squeak thing you do when you don’t know what to do?

No. Shut up.

You were expressly told to work on not doing that.

I know. I am, but–

But changing behavior takes time. I know.

You’re sympathy is overwhelming.

As for the “obvious” thing, sometimes you just have to say the obvious thing to get it out of your head and then you build off of that. Plus, sometimes the thing that’s obvious to you isn’t obvious to everyone else.

Fair point.

I know.

Not again.

Anyway, I can see that we’ve made progress but that there’s still some progress to make. It’s okay, though. We can do it.

Did you just say something moderately encouraging? It’s like I don’t know you anymore.

I’ll be ignoring that.

You would.

You would know.

Mature.

Look who’s talking.

Whatever. We’re agreed, anyhow. We’ll keep working. We’ve got this.

Yeah. You’re not so bad.

You’re still mean.

Ignoring that.


That wasn’t so bad, I suppose. It’s good to check in with yourself every now and then. I have some things to work on, and I’m going to. It’ll be good. It’ll be fine. I think.