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Thankful Things Thursday: For Safety, Pride & Resilience
Well today’s edition of Thankful Things Thursday should be pretty easy, huh?
After all that’s happened this week, I’m feeling extraordinarily grateful, so please allow me to let it all out.
I’m thankful for the safety of my friends and loved ones. With so many homes destroyed and an increasing number of lives lost after Hurricane Sandy, I am so, so glad that the people I know and love are well. Some still don’t have power, and may not have power, heat or water for several more days. Some have damaged homes and some have family of their own who suffered tremendous losses from the storm. But the people I care about are alive and will be OK — it just may take a bit of time for everyone to truly feel OK.
I’m thankful for the camaraderie I’ve felt this week. Manhattan has become a city with two tales: uptown people have power and are mostly unaffected by the storm, while downtowners have been in the dark since Monday night. But seeing people reach out to one another makes my heart feel warm and my insides feel fuzzy in the best way possible. My Twitter feed (amidst the complaints about the marathon — we’ll get to that) has been a flurry of generous offerings from people in one neighborhood to another. It’s always comforting to see that, in a city that can be so hard and competitive, people truly do care about each other and want to help.
I’m thankful for little kids in tiny costumes. So yesterday was Halloween, huh? It’s always been my least favorite holiday and yesterday it was pretty much forgotten. Brian and I had signed up to hand out candy to the trick-or-treaters in our building and we got our first few right at 6 PM: two little girls, barely big enough to walk, dressed as a ladybug and a cat. It was the best thing that could’ve happened. They were so sweet and innocent and they were such a good pick-me-up after a sad few days. Spirits = temporarily lifted.
And of course I was inundated with pictures of my favorite little kid in costume:
He also had a daytime outfit, which was slightly more subtle.
So thank you, small people, for the major cheer up last night.
I’m thankful to be away from the Halloween candy for a day. Being inside for several days — during a taper period, no less — was good because I slept a lot, but terrible because I ate nonstop. I wish I were exaggerating here, but I went through a tub of peanut butter-filled pretzels, several loaves of cheese (is a block of cheese ever called a loaf?) and, apparently, “four servings” of Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food. I call bullshit on that serving size, though. It’s nice to be back at the office today for many reasons, including the fact that I’m away from the candy bowl.
I’m thankful for the sweet sound of the downtown 6 train. I am in awe of how quickly this city is getting things moving again. There’s partial (and free!) bus and subway service back in action today, which I think is pretty incredible. I couldn’t get all the way to my office on the subway, but a little walking felt good after many days of couch-sitting. A round of applause for the MTA workers and the city workers and all the people I will never meet or know who are working tirelessly to get us all where we need to be. I salute you.
I’m thankful to live in New York City. But you knew that already. When this city is attacked — either by a natural disaster or by humans — the people here rally together with so much pride and so much resilience, and it’s astonishingly powerful being a part of that.
I’m thankful I’m going to get to run the New York City Marathon. I’m tired of talking about this controversy and I’m tired of reading all the comments about it online. I see — and agree with — so many of the points being made, so I’ll just say this: The marathon is happening on Sunday. It was the city’s decision so it’s not one I will argue. I trust that they made the decision after much careful thought and planning, and I trust that my taking part in the marathon will not inflict harm upon others. I trust that the people volunteering and working to ensure the marathon’s success would not be put to use elsewhere in the city’s recovery efforts (it’s my understanding that there’s no lack of manpower, just a lack of monetary funds — so donate your dollars, not your time or clothing).
I trust that the course, whether altered or not, will be a safe one and will not be a parade through damaged neighborhoods. I trust that the marathon, for many, will bring a renewed spirit and heightened sense of community to a battered city. I trust that the decision to hold the marathon was not one that was made because of financial reasons, but because of an effort to “do the right thing,” whatever that may mean.
I’m happy I’m not a city planner. I’m glad I may be naive about how best to use the city’s resources. Everyone I know seems to suddenly be an expert on all these things, and everyone has an opinion on whether or not the marathon should happen on Sunday.
All I know is that the marathon is happening Sunday. And I know that I will be running it.
I get the reasons the marathon shouldn’t happen. I also get the reasons that it should. I can’t speak logistically about how people and money should best be used. I just know I’m going to get to Staten Island — somehow… — and I’m going to run my 26.2 miles on Sunday. I’m going to run with pride and love for my home city, and I hope that the people who disagree with the marathon’s presence choose not to take it out on the runners. (I’ll be completely honest: There’s a big part of me that’s kind of scared to run this race solely because I know how much it will upset some people.)
It’s a very emotional time to be in New York. It’s overwhelming.
It’s going to be a strange weekend, that’s for sure. I’m very happy to still have friends coming to town, and it’s weird that I’m actually going to be running the marathon. As of now, I’m not excited about it — but I want to be.
I want everyone to accept that it’s happening and to support the runners. What she said. Please remember that the decision to hold the marathon wasn’t ours, and many of us just want to go for a run. (Feel free to rip on the people who wrote on NYRR’s Facebook page that they “can’t postpone the marathon because it will affect the taper.” I mean…really? Those people are idiots. Go be mean to them. But try to be nice to those of us who have some semblance of a brain.)
Is it too much to ask that life be a happy, perfect wonderful place where everyone wears legwarmers and eats ice cream for every meal?
I didn’t think so.
I’m happy to see the city rebuilding itself. I’m happy to see people helping.
Love, rainbows and Tyler cuddles for everyone.
YOU HAVE TO PARTICIPATE TODAY: Tell me what you’re thankful for. A simple request. Spread the love.