Solo Date 11

Where: Clove Lakes Park, 5k Trail– Staten Island, NY

Activity: Hiking first time on this trail and first 5k solo

Date: October 13, 2014

Six Years and some weeks ago 

This is what I looked like at the time and also this was my humor 6 years ago– okay I still think this is funny

I thought it appropriate to go on a more private solo date today considering my face. I am walking on a 5k Trail and I figured I would not see many people. I am still looking pretty hot with my black eye and the less humans I see in a day the better. My fair niece is terrified of me and asked me to wear sunglasses in the house, so there’s that. Also some guys were staring and I thought I looked actually hot, not sarcastic hot. Well, I don’t, but it’s okay. Sunglasses on and glam! Rugby is worth it and I mean, it was my fault. This is how we learn, like a kid touching the stove. I need to call my tackle so I don’t headbutt my teammate. Also I have to stop going into contact with my head. Not sure how many hits it can take. My dad still tells me to wear a helmet. Somebody explain to him that I am too much of a princess to wear a Scrum cap, which isn’t even a helmet. (MY HAIR! And also I am too hot to wear it, meaning the hot hot– temperature hot. Wow, explaining ‘hot’ a lot here) 

I am spending time in my hometown of Staten Island, NY. On these solo dates, I am trying to find the special places in the places I live. I travel back and forth from my hometown of Staten Island to Albany where I live. In both of these places, I feel as though I have never truly taken the time to explore. I definitely have not taken the time to do this solo for sure. Throughout most of my childhood/ teenage years, I just went to same old places with my friends. I never took the time to seek out places too far from my house because well, it wasn’t so easy too when I was younger. 

Clove Lakes Park is a place I am familiar with from when I was young, but I have stopped going there as I have gotten older. When I was young, we used to go on paddle boats and have a picnic here for my birthday. The ice skating rink was next door as well and my friends and cousins would go there. I would skate along with one foot staying stable like a skateboard. Big girls fall hard and bruises were 100 percent everywhere after so I tried to fall as little as possible. A much lazier me in a way, I never ventured on to do the trail and hike where I did today. I hated walking around. I wouldn’t even walk to high school.  It is nice to find solitude in a place so near and dear to my heart and have a different outlook. 

Learning: If you take the time to look, you may just find something special right where you live. Diamonds in the rough all around. 

As on most of the dates so far, the time also has given me the chance to think and be truly introspective. I feel like time for this kind of thinking, this metacognition, helps us grow. This gives us the time to really reflect on ourselves as people and how we learn. I am reflecting on all the ways I have changed in the last few years for the better and maybe the worst. I am trying to think of the ways to bring back some habits from college- the era before full time work. This was a time when finding time for myself was easy because there was all the time in the world. There was seemingly all the time in the day because of my crazy energy level. What the hell was that? Anyway, thinking back on these times has been helpful for sure. 

I am finding as a teacher reflecting on my college years has truly helped me. In my senior year of college, taking Discrete Math, I ended up exclaiming down the hall like my hero Tommy Boy “I got a D+, I’m going to graduate!!! D ++++++” Anyway, this struggle, but sad triumph, helped me reflect on what it’s like to not get something. I work with students who have learning disabilities for some of my classes. These students truly don’t get some of the concepts I am throwing at them. It sucks for both of us. I feel like a failure not being able to help them and I imagine they feel the same. It is hard for me to express, but thinking back to Discrete Math, I really do get struggling with something. I think for them, passing the Regents, is similar to my D+ running down the hall– like who cares what grade you get if you pass?

Can someone explain to me, what even is Discrete Math?

 (I am so sorry, Dr. Thomas, you were such a good teacher) 

Learning: Reflect on the past; make your future self better 

Present Day 2020 

December 6, 2021 

Well, what can I say? The young me is still teaching this little old future me some tricks. 

I can say running 500 miles this year brought back some of these teachings. As a fairly slow runner, or very compared to some folx, it took a lot of time to compile these miles on. I had to say ‘no’ a lot. This isn’t always easy for me. During the solo dates, I ran into that a lot. The goal actually helped me because I found it so easy to say, ‘Sorry I have a solo date planned’. I mean it gave me language and everyone knew my goal so no one really messed with me about it. 

That is kind of how the running has been. People understood for the most part I had to keep that schedule. This time around, going for 555 miles, I am feeling I understand the balance better. I just think weekly, get that 12 miles. Short term, that feels so good. Also I can chunk SO many more miles now. I love a good 2 hour run. Who are you, girl? I know. 

Now I have hiked and walked and biked and ran many many 5ks. You have to start somewhere. Hey past Michie, you get there!!

Learning: Forever learners are forever improvers. 

Love yourself even if you’re really nerdy.*

* DJ Tanner is another one of my heroes.