Recreating the high

“One more lap, Em!”

“Gotta speed up on this one if you want that time!”

“100 meters left!”

“Kick it in!”

…I can still hear them in my head. Yelling at me. Screaming. Coaches losing their voices and freaking me out in the process.

Faster, faster. 

Legs and arms numb. Clock ticking. Each second costing me a new record, title, or trip to states.

The only person who ever put pressure on me was Trevor (“You can go faster than that, Emmie,” he’d say). But I put pressure on myself. I wanted to make Dad proud. I wanted him to say “You go, girl!” I wanted more records to post on the non-existent record board. I craved the endorphins, the runner’s high. I wanted that oh-so-hyper-and-excited feeling I experienced after every race when I could breathe again.

I associated running with the painful knots in my back and the ever-present butterflies in my stomach. I popped pain reliever before each race and numbed my back with Icy Hot. I snapped at loud, immature teammates and tried to think about anything but the girls whom I knew were my competition. I dreaded every single meet on the schedule, some more than others.

But I did well. And I made Dad proud. And I set several records and went to states several times.

But I regret not having a better attitude toward running.

I am so jealous of the team my high school coach has now. I had to run with the boys; it looks like all of these high school girls run together. And they do races together in the summer. And they’re always smiling.

…I wish I could have had the opportunity for their enthusiasm to rub off on me.

Maybe I could have developed a better relationship with running. Maybe I could have had fun. Maybe I would have – gasp! – loved it. Instead of sitting here, missing that high but not wanting to go through the pain of recreating it.

They always told me to go faster. I wanted to slow my life down.

Now I want to go fast again. I just lack the wherewithal.

An evolution of taste

I am currently uploading a few of my old CDs to my iTunes. Now I’m reminiscing about how my music taste has evolved. Care to join me?

The first song I called my “favorite” was “Pieces of Me” by Ashlee Simpson. I wanted her CD, Autobiography, so bad, but never bought it. Instead, I purchased Lindsay Lohan’s Speak, and every Hilary Duff CD available when I was in fourth grade. I danced around my room and sang into my hairbrush.

Jesse McCartney showed up in sixth grade. I bought Beautiful Soul that year and watched Disney Channel every day with hopes he would show his face. I died inside every time this music video showed during Disney Channel commercials: Because You Live

Avril Lavigne snuck in after that. Finally in eighth grade, a friend introduced me to YouTube. I went on to find this:

…and everything spawned from there. Flyleaf wasn’t far behind for me with “I’m So Sick.” Lacey’s voice is just so…different. Their latest album, Memento Mori, is one I can listen to over and over and not tire of it.

Then things got weird. My brothers’ (and friends’) tastes in music severely influenced mine. Seeing AFI on the VH1 Top 20 Countdown on Saturday mornings could make my day. Especially with “Love Like Winter.” I wanted nothing more than to meet Davey Havok and Jade Puget.

Bullet For My Valentine followed, with Marilyn Manson not long after. “Tears Don’t Fall” by Bullet For My Valentine became my new “favorite” song.

I’m not ashamed of anything I listened to during younger years. It meant something to me at that point in time. Each listen brings back a different memory.

For the record…

My favorite song now is “Rain” by Breaking Benjamin (and has been since, oh, ninth grade?), though I have several close seconds.

My favorite music video is, and will forever be, this one (especially from 2:07 and on): The Leaving Song Pt. II

Now I listen to anything and everything.

“Knitting up the wazoo”

I have been “knitting up the wazoo” a lot lately. Maybe it’s because Christmas is so close and my goal of creating twenty works of art in one month is coming to an end. Maybe it’s because I have… six things? to knit by the day before Christmas Eve. No pressure, Em.

I started knitting within the week after my birthday (over a month ago). Now I am the knitting expert, and can knit and purl without even looking at my work. I can cast on and cast off with my eyes closed and have come to own three pairs of needles within the past month. I went from one who always dreamed of knitting, to one who everyone comes to with their knitting problems and questions. My mom asks me for my help (she refreshed her memory of knitting when I learned how to), and I have been asked to cast on some yarn for a friend of mine, though she ended up frogging what I casted on. I have made about eight – or more…I’m not keeping track – regular scarves (all piled on my desk in my room), and now I am experimenting with the stockinette stitch, and making other things besides scarves. (Scarves are boring and take too long to make, even though I whip ’em up like nothing.) All I need is to learn the knitting lingo and some new and interesting stitches, and I am on my way to scarves, hats (once I get longer needles), and even totes and bags and such.

My teachers are getting somewhat annoyed with my constant “click-swishing.” Yes, I even bring my knitting to school – where else am I to knit up things for my family without them finding out? Everyone laughed at me and asked “what the HECK are you doing?” the first day I brought the needles and such to school, but now it’s just the norm. “Oh, Emily’s knitting again – I wonder what she’s making now?!?!” Some people want me to teach them how to knit and others are telling me that they knew how a while back and just stopped. Well, a knitting club is to be started soon (assuming I can live to tell the tale after these past two hectic weeks of endless “click-swishing” come to an abrupt halt). One of my friends seems mesmerized whenever I pull out my needles and yarn… it’s rather creepy, actually.

I should probably be upstairs finishing the scarf I just started five hours ago (yes, I am nearly finished). After that, I must make a secret something for a friend, another secret something for another friend, and then I’ll start on another scarf. By Monday, I wish to be carrying with me the yarn I bought to make my dad a scarf. That is, of course, assuming I get all of my other tasks finished first.