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Spartan

My Spartan Race is scheduled for tomorrow on the muddy ski slopes of Pennsylvania; this is how I planned to prepare for the brutal 5 mile obstacle course: over run Prospect Park for distance familiarity, while alternating between sprint intervals and weight training for strength conditioning. As adults, we generally get over the spectacle of walking after we learn to do so as toddlers, unless yesterday was leg day, and you wake up with quadriceps contractions.

I came a long way from the super skinny competitive guy who hated losing, and mocked losers. I have always been competitive and obsessive enough to be good at anything I set my mind to; however, I wasn't always equipped to excel at physical activities. Being slender, among people who intermittently exercise to lose weight, has earned me quite a few “good genes” and “divine metabolism” remarks; nonetheless, being scoffed at for eating small portions never gets old; neither does a lack of fat translate into an abundance of muscle. I learned the difference one summer when I went to visit my sister on an Army base, and was demolished on a basketball court by muscular men, the likes of which never make it from the pull-up bars to the basketball courts in Brooklyn.

By my mid-twenties, without professional aspirations, I finally adopted an active lifestyle to challenge myself. By that, I mean: I stand in trains cars, even the empty ones. I look forward to flights of stairs, two steps at a time! If not for sweaty shirts and winter months, my bike would be my primary mode of transportation. After paying for multiple gym memberships, I bought my own weights and weight vest to spontaneously break out into workouts. Without fail, I feel bigger, faster, stronger every year. Always trying to one up myself, I joined the New York Road Runners Club with the intention of running the 2014 ING New York Marathon. Now I have to run 9 club sanctioned races before the end of 2013, just to run another 26 miles next year; and I can’t wait.

In the mean time, without an option for "IT professional" on the Spartan Race application, I was told to represent; which means I plan to finish in the top 10% and Instagram a deluge of post race photographs. This isn't the last of my personal challenges this year either: see my five minute plank if you haven't already, then look forward to my race against a train; yes, a train, you read that right. Madness?

New Glasses!

Well known secret: my glasses have been broken for some time now. It’s one of those things that illicit subtle stares to confirm they’re indeed broken, without asking any questions. Like with the occasional pimple, most people will not point at your face in passing; however, like the eczema on a sufferer’s neck, it’s hard not to glance every now and then to quietly wonder about treatment. So I get it, I just don’t care. To prioritize functionality over aesthetics means I would amputate my own foot if it meant more speed: four minute mile speed for starters. If you thought the functionality of wearing glasses was to impress you, then you’ve done your self evaluation a great disservice.

My plan was to walk into the glasses store with a coupon for a $20 eye exam and prescription, then search for a suitable frame online. Being a technologist, I already vowed to never go in-store shopping again once Amazon develops same day delivery. About this coupon idea, no one likes printers, and I was worried that the clerk wouldn’t use the recycle bin. Of course I printed the coupon nonetheless, because I wouldn’t dare expect them to honor the deal without wasting trees.

My exam experience was great though, the optometrist was a nice older gentleman surrounded by younger administrative folks. Afterwards the sales pitch started: Would you like to buy frames? Okay, how much are you paying there if you don’t mind me asking? Well I can also sell you something for under $100 and knock off the $20 cost of the exam. The real kicker was trying on the glasses with immediate feedback, having the frame and lenses ready within an hour, and peering into the sales clerk’s wide open blouse; which I don’t feel ashamed about, because that’s what the gaping cleavage was obviously there for.

About the glasses themselves, they’re awesome! I immediately tweeted:

That awesome moment a new pair of glasses can make all the difference: I see better, look better, and everyone else needs more makeup.

My last pair were very Malcolm X. I wanted something larger and not black; basically something that didn’t immediately tie me to politics and activism. The best my online searches turned up were a pair of plastic aviators I wasn’t sure would last a week in the real world. The breasts were kind enough to suggest two pairs I liked, the first were reminiscent of my last pair with a metal frame top and loose lens bottom. The second pair remains on my face. I love the look! They’re my first pair to equally encourage goofiness and professionalism with exclamation points! The online price difference was made up in terms of breasts and convenience.

Lastly, I almost purchased a pair of sunglasses, before remembering the lessons I learned and didn’t want to repeat from over wearing them a few years back. Prolonged sunglass wear makes your eyes very sensitive to sunlight. Once my I lost my first pair of Tom Fords, which I loved by the way, I could barely go anywhere without a visor. And second, I could no longer justify the confidence hidden behind my tinted wandering eyes; even a busty clerk should know her bust is appreciated. So I can look you in the eye; if anything, without spending the extra money to remove glare from my lenses, it’s possible you can blind yourself attempting to look at me.

Contacts are next, I think I’ll go with white pupils!

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