When I got home from work, I talked on the phone with my 4-year-old niece for about 45 minutes. She makes up a song about everything. One song’s lyrics were “It’s gon’ okay, it’s gon’ to be okay, I’m gon’ to find a way! I’m gon’ to find a way! Now, typically I would say that as a kid she hasn’t experienced much real struggle, but in her case she’s had more life struggles than the average adult. She was born 4 months early at 1.7 pounds. If I listed all the challenges she over came to survive in the NICU, you’d be overwhelmed. And even today, despite severe asthma and allergies coupled with a host of other things premature babies deal with, she’s always been a trooper and rarely complains about being sick. Her “always pressing forward” spirit motivated me. My only struggle today was being to lazy to get dressed. Now, her next song about cooking make-believe mashed potatoes and “noo-doos” for dinner was slightly less inspirational. “That’s a lot of carbs Honey, can Auntie get a vegetable?” I asked. “Ummmm, ummmm I don’t know” she said confused by my request, and then she reminded me that I’m “really really far away,” hinting at the fact that I wasn’t going to eat her pretend dinner anyway. I listened to the songs she made up as she played on the keyboard, and waited for her to spin around and around, while assuring me she wouldn’t get dizzy. I wrapped up the conversation and told we could Skype later.
Although a tornado warning was issued, my Gym Cousin was already at the gym and wanted me to join him. I hadn’t worked out since our race on Saturday. I got dressed and headed to the gym despite the storm warning. We Missourians sometimes don’t take the warnings as seriously as we should. There was no rain when I left the house, but by the time I got the gym it was pouring down buckets of rain with fast winds. I felt kind of dumb then for ignoring the tornado sirens, but I was already there. Once I made it inside mostly dry, I was grateful for the umbrella I always leave in the car. Me and and my Cousin swapped stories about dumb stuff we did as kids stories on treadmills next to each other. He told me about the crazy time he jumped out of the second-story window with an umbrella in a brave attempt to fly. And I told him about the time I accidentally set a fake plant in the bathroom on fire with a candle during a power outage, and then closed the door so I wouldn’t get in trouble about burning up the plant. Clearly not thinking that I’d be in much more trouble for closing the door and subsequently burning down the house. Luckily everyone survived both incidents with no broken bones or burns (on me, nor the bathroom, just the little plant.)
I was so tired from staying too late and didn’t have a run in me. My cousin did Week 5 Day 2 while we talked. I power walked, and we both finished a full hour before we got off the treadmill. The storm had passed and made it home safely, shocked to find that the tornado actually touched down in some spots! I guess as my Mama says, “God watches over babies ‘n fools.”