Why You Should Always Bring Headphones On An Airplane

Happy Monday!  I wanted to share a little adventure that I experienced last Friday with you.  Please note that I am not sharing this to be mean spirited.  This story is not an exaggeration. In fact, I am omitting many of the details that were laced with profanities and inappropriateness.  The main reason I decided to share this story is because as a newish parent, I was starting to fear flying with Mary again.  It was stressful when she was an infant and I would get those ugly stares as we boarded the plane.  It was stressful when she screamed as the cabin pressurized and we tried not to annoy all of our neighbors.  But I recently have started worrying about what it will be like with our walking, talking, I can’t sit still, little toddler.  

After my recent experience on a plane, I can assure you that your child will almost NEVER be that bad!

On Friday I flew into Chicago O’hare and made a mad dash to get on a 12:00pm connection headed to New York LaGuardia for work.  I got there just in time to settle into my middle seat.  A gentleman sat down to my right.  We nodded and I began reading.  Shortly after, I heard a woman coming down the aisle apologizing for inconveniencing us.  I stood up to let her in and before I even looked at her I could smell alcohol.  The girl behind me gave me an apologetic smile.

As we waited to leave, this woman proceeded to call someone and leave a profanity laced voicemail detailing what a loser he was and how she never wanted to see him again.  End of story, they were through!   She was then asked to turn her phone off by a flight attendant.  Once we were in the air, she called the gentleman back and with tears, begged him to take her back.

plane1

During the entire flight she was texting, slurring, and dropping her phone all over the place.

Shortly after we were in the air, she turned and nudged me with her elbow.  “Honey, you can’t let me forget the popcorn.  You just can’t.  I promised someone the popcorn.”  I nodded.  “I don’t know what you are reading there but I’m a single mom….”  I sort of listen but try not to play into this.  When she stops I close my eyes and try to sleep.

The snack cart arrives and she taps me on the shoulder.  Slurring she asks, “If I get cheese and crackers, would you split them?”  I politely reply, “Thank you, but I am okay.”  Her response, “Relax, it’s just a snack,” with an elbow to my side.

I go back to “sleep.”  The drink cart comes and she orders a mule.  “A Moscow Mule?” the flight attendant asks?  Yeah, yeah that’s the one.

At this point the woman turns to me and says, “I don’t know what your problem is, but you’re just nasty.”  (This is where we are no longer friends.)  With my eyes still closed she continues to inform me that she used to be nasty but you can’t live like that.

plane2

I continue to “sleep.”  The crew comes through to clean up and she orders another mule.  “Ma’am, we only had one.  I’m sorry.”  That’s okay, she’ll take a vodka cranberry.

She pulls out her phone and makes another call.  (Yes we are still in the air).  I am sitting there “sleeping” and praying they don’t come back with another drink for her.

She then spills the current drink across her tray and puts her cup on the edge to wipe it up so she can still drink it.  My carry-on bag and purse happen to be there to catch the spill.

Meanwhile, her shoes are off and she begins nudging me to help her find her shoes.  I look under the seat beneath me and then under hers.  “I don’t see anything, I’m sorry.”  She lectures me again about how nasty I am and that someday I will have to take care of my parents and she hopes that I will help them find their shoes (She’s 14 years older than me.  I know this because she has told me her age multiple times).

I close my eyes and go back to sleep.  This is when I feel something come across me and look up to see her smacking the guy on my right with her shoe.  “Hey, I lost my shoe!”  He looks down below him and around.  I do the same.  She looks at me, “Don’t even bother!  You’re useless,” she slurs as she rolls her eyes.  Everyone around me is now chuckling uncomfortably.

A flight attendant comes by and informs her that unfortunately the plane is out of all of its alcohol.  Everything…she reassures.

“Ewww, ewww, ewww, ewww!” she cries.  “What’s wrong?” asks the guy next to me.   She then tells him that someone from the back of the plane found her shoe, threw ice and water in it and passed it back under the seats to her.  It took everything in me not to tell her that she spilled her drink in her own shoe.  She then can’t find the other shoe, which she just put her in backpack.

plane3

“Oh you’re pretty.”  (We are now friends again.)  I thank her and that is when she responds that I am a nasty (something that I cannot post on here).

We quickly go back to being friends again as she nudges me to look outside and see NYC in it’s “full autumn bloom”(the trees are green).  As soon as the plane taxis and I am able, I stand up, ready to get the heck out of there.  With my back to her, she leans over my shoulder, twirls my ponytail in her fingers and tells me that I need to learn to be less nasty.

And that my friends, was my return to NYC.  The lesson I learned is to always bring headphones, put them in first thing, and pretend to be listening to something really good and really loud. Here’s hoping the rest of the week is a lot less adventure filled. 

What is your wildest adventure on a plane?

Why I Am A Better Runner, Thanks To Pushing A Stroller

There was a time when I didn’t think this post would be a reality.  The first time I pushed Mary in a stroller I couldn’t quite get the hang of it.  I was out of breath and I felt slow.  The truth is that running with a stroller isn’t easy, but it does get better.  You get in a rhythm.  You slow your pace down and you appreciate running for different reasons.

Over the past few months my running has transitioned, thanks to the stroller.  I was afraid it would mean becoming a slower runner.  But the good news is, running with my baby (ahem, toddler) has been an awesome experience in many ways.

GlenArbor3

It forces you to slow down.  Sounds like a bad thing, doesn’t it?  Here’s the thing.  Most of us think we need to run fast all of the time to become a faster runner.  Yes, you do need to do some faster runs to get speedy.  That’s what speed work is for.  Ever notice that speed work is usually only on your plan one time per week?  That’s because you only need about 10% of your training to be done at a high intensity/interval pace to reap the benefits of speed work.

Many of us can also benefit from some slower runs.  Pushing a stroller can definitely help with this!

You learn to roll with the punches.  Sun bonnets fall on the ground.  Pacifiers get thrown.  Blankets get tossed.

I used to hate having to stop during my run.  I wasn’t the best running partner.  But having a child requires a completely different kind of patience.  Some runs are stop and go.  You just have to deal with it.  There’s the run where you struggle to keep that sun bonnet.  There’s the run where you realize the pacifier disappeared.  You stop your GPS and desperately search around the stroller.  You contemplate back tracking.  You panic.  And then you just head home, hoping in desperation that you make it there in one piece!

You realize, stopping doesn’t mean that you will be slower.

FirstStroller

With resistance, you become stronger.  Pushing a stroller adds a touch of resistance. Sure it slows you down. But when you get that chance to go for a slower run.  You find that everything is much easier.  You are much stronger.  You appreciate that easy run.

Pushing a stroller up hills is hard.  But when I hit those hills solo, they feel so much easier.  My legs actually feel stronger from that training.

You enjoy running for different reasons.  When I run with Mary, my workouts take a different tone.  She’s on the verge of sharing a bunch of new words.  She babbles in sentences that I can’t quite understand.  But I love listening to her.  I respond by pointing out the sights.

On our new running route there is a dairy farm.  She loves to wave to the cows.  I never thought I would shout “Moo!” on my run.  But I do it almost daily now.  We wave at dogs, and I point out trees.  We chat about which one might become our Christmas tree this winter.

This probably comes as no surprise, but we have a very active little toddler.  If she sits down in your lap for a minute, you savor every second before she takes off running again (sounds like her parents, doesn’t it?!).  The time we share together on a run is very special.  I get to have her nice and close and chat and listen to her sweet little sounds and giggles.

You enjoy your time together and then your time running alone.  Sometimes one of the hardest things about running is avoiding boredom.  Let’s be honest, it isn’t the most exciting sport.  We all tend to fall into a rut and that doesn’t help matters any.

When I run with the stroller, I pick a fun route and I forget about technology.  No headphones, no worrying about my splits.  My goal is to get a workout in and do it with my daughter.  It’s a great way for me to do a little something for myself while still spending time with my little one.

When I switch to a run on my own, I get to throw the headphones on and enjoy some music.  I  can add in some different routes that aren’t as doable with the stroller.  I can pay a little bit more attention to my pace and push myself a bit if I want.  If I am feeling good, I can add on a few extra miles without worrying that I might be stepping into temper tantrum territory.  I can get into my head and problem solve, or think about things going on in my life.  It is a little bit of time for me to just spend with myself and then come home refreshed and ready for whatever the day might throw at me next.

Break1.3

Both ways of running are special.  I enjoy having the opportunity to run with my family and on my own.  They each have their benefits and it is a great way to mix your training up.  I have learned that doing new things like pushing a stroller might temporarily slow me down, but in the long run I can actually be a stronger runner and still find success in my training.

What do you do to try and fit runs in around your schedule?