Putting the "me" in "team"

So you survived the Jackass wedding recap, huh? Good for you! How are those ulcers on your retinas?

Seriously, y'all, that was madness. You know that odd, full-body pain you get when you drink heavily (a.k.a. heavier than usual, even if usual is "all the alcohol in a quick sniff of Windex while you're cleaning the crayon off the bathroom mirror." And on a side/related note, HOW do kids DO that? She's too short to reach the towel bar, let alone the mirror!)? You're tired, and your innards are all beknotted from the booze and the resulting intestinal distress (don't pretend to be all ladylike, you know you've had it), and your back hurts a little from passing out flat like a starfish and staying there like a lump all night, and you just hurt. Yeah, I JUST got over that.

It helps, of course, that I've been engaging in some physical activity lately. Some of you know that I got a trainer last month (most of you don't, because I think I forgot to mention it, because hey! I had all that work and didn't update like, ever!), and he's been enormously helpful in explaining what all those scary machines at the gym actually do. That thing with the big long bar with handles is not, as it turns out, a support device for after you fall backwards off the treadmill. He has also frightened me into attending every session, because he's unendingly smiley and chipper, and I'm afraid that if I skipped a day he'd come to my house and chipper me to death. "Annie! What are you doing, sprawled on the couch like that? Get up and go, girl! Let's go! One more load of laundry, you lazy heifer! And one more! AND AGAIN UNTIL YOU DIE!" All while smiling, natch. He's just that kind of guy.

The biggest big thing, though, is my bulldog of a sister and her big idea: we are going to run in the Kentucky Derby mini-marathon.

Kate gets these ideas every so often; recently, her big ideas have included going on safari in South Africa for Christmas, and offering herself up for clinical drug trials. Sometimes the big ideas are kind of awesome - I mean, come on, maybe it's not numero uno on your list of places to see before you die, but how badass would it be to sing "Silent Night" with a pride of lions sitting on your car? And sometimes, the big ideas make you slap your head and say, "Um. Well. Can we discuss this first?" Kate, however, has no time for discussion, as she is busy taking her fourth dose of Adderall in four hours, and is on her way for an MRI, and after that she's going to rewrite a textbook, train a herd of airedales, and reorganize every apartment in her building, including those that belong to complete strangers because GOD ANNIE IT'S INCREDIBLE, WHY DIDN'T I CLAIM TO HAVE ADHD BEFORE NOW?

I think her madness stems from a childhood in which she was the smallest, the one most likely to be stuffed through the milk door, the one we sent down the laundry chute, the one who took the fall when we spilled orange juice on the pool table. We - usually Mills and me, but occasionally me on my own, in fits and spurts of true evil oldersisteritis - came up with the plan, and Kate either fell into place or found herself abandoned with Mills' baby brother Zach, who would then inevitably strip naked and ask Kate if she wanted to see his penis. (He was three or four at the time, so it's not like it was a pervy thing.) Kate, being somewhat older but not quite old enough to imagine how incredibly funny this would be in 20 years, was not amused at the time, and so usually stepped back into line and found herself dangling from a grapevine over a 30-foot chasm. We lived in the woods next to a semi-canyon - Kate spent a lot of time dangling from something rather thin and flimsy over something much larger and more potentially painful, just to see what would happen.

And now it all comes full circle, and Little Miss Madness has presented Mills and me with our PLAN. The PLAN always appears in my head in capital letters because it is big and intimidating; it is very long, and she wrote it in Excel, about which I understand only enough to make pretty borders and shade things yellow. And add with that Formula thing. However, there is no adding on the PLAN, there is only running, and then some more running, and after that (in a yellow-shaded box) there is some running. We have formed a team - the Stick Horse Derby, so named after an annual event on our street that took place during Mills' parents' Kentucky Derby party. The adults had drinks in shiny silver cups, and the kids made stick horses out of socks, yarn, and hot-glued flowers and then raced them around the cul-de-sac. I mean, this was an event. We must have done this until I was at least 12, which either shows you how serious the Derby is in that part of the world, or how incredibly goofy we were.

So the SHD is up and moving, and we're on day five of the PLAN. So far, I haven't skipped, and I haven't quit running halfway through a day's workout. Granted, it's fairly light during the first two weeks, but I feel pretty good about it, even though I'm discovering a whole new kind of body ache that's entirely unrelated to drinking. And Kate is doing her little dance on my grave right now, because for once she gets to have the big idea between the three of us, and we're following her head-first, right on down the laundry chute.