Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Got the Edge

His pants were ripped from knee to knee and he was not wearing any underwear. It was the last thing I wanted to see as I tried to move my busted-up legs. The right foot was twisted, flopping around like a piece of cooked pasta and the left foot was shooting pain from the heel. I was on a behind-the-scenes shoot of the series Stargate in Vancouver and my co-producer and I had a free afternoon. We rented a snowmobile which crashed into a tree and tumbled over the edge of a mountain with me on board. Even though I was in pain, a part of me smiled that my friend's "package" was exposed to the freezing cold. As the emergency crew strapped me to the toboggan for the long journey down Whistler mountain, I realized I was stuck in a moment and couldn't get out of it.

Breaking my legs was one of the best things to ever happen to me. My friend Angel arrived at the hospital just in time to keep those socialized medicine nurses from giving me a hip replacement. (They were wheeling me away for a surgery I didn't need!) Back in NYC, it was evident that a wheelchair was not conducive to reaching my fifth floor walk-up but my friend Stephanie set me up in her swanky doorman pre-war with an elevator. My dad and brother flew from Atlanta to provide assistance of getting me into an ambulet for the daily doctor visits. They even bought me a female urinal. (Until I got the "quickie" wheelchair, I couldn't fit through the door frame.) Because I was a constant fixture on the sidewalk in my quickie, catching rays in a bikini and a cast, I was nicknamed the 'Mayor of the 91st street.' Four months post-surgery, Krysia & Liz switched apartments with me so that I could do the Mrs. Wiggins shuffle with my walker around their super-fab garden apartment. One special guy took me on many dates, and on a few occasions, had to carry me over his shoulder to reach to an awkwardly-located NYC restaurant bathroom. Dan became my man. It was all in the name of love.

The accident happened ten years ago and now I am a runner. In the words of Forrest Gump, "For no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road. And when I got there, I thought maybe I'd run to the end of town." Running is like life - you keep your head up, put one foot in front of the other, make small goals that build upon each other, you reach a goal. In every city, town, or suburb, "there are clubs you can't belong to, neighborhoods you can't live in, schools you can't get into, but the roads are always open." - Nike. I will follow.

I followed two friends and entered my first 8K on Saturday. There is euphoria around a race and the adrenaline kicks in. The gunshot blasts. People cheer. Deborah waves and claps to all the track marshals. Jackie coaches us to keep going. We see neighbors. Feel the community. All was good until the last half mile. My breakfast was knocking on my uvula. I needed some rockin' music in order to reach my goal - beat the man who juggles while running. Elevation!

Review of Tuesday's concert:
The beltway was jammed with limos inching along for two hours to join 80,000 people at the stadium.

In keeping with the DC vibe, Bono introduced the band as Larry, the man who wrote U2's constitution, Adam, the Minister of Culture, Edge, 'the leader of my free world' and he himself might be Majority Leader...'verbal, elegant but tough when I need to be.'

Being in DC, a few political mover & shakers were in attendance - Nanci Pelosi, Speak of the US House of Representatives and broadcaster George Stephanopoulos, as well as African leaders like Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda. Bono dedicated Beautiful Day to Eunice Shirver and New Years Day was dedicated to Teddy Kennedy. 'For a peaceful Ireland we salute you Teddy...'

My favorite moment was when a boy named Andy ran around the stage for City of Blinding Lights. Bono said he called him up because he had a face that looked at the world before it was vain. Least favorite moment was in the long line of the ladies bathroom, with the gal behind me saying she needed to throw up and the lady in front of me hacking like she had swine flu. Stuck in a moment but it was a beautiful day!
The set:
Get on Your Boots
Mysterious Ways
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
Your Blue Room
Beautiful Day
New Year's Day
Stuck In A Moment
Unforgettable Fire
City of Blinding Lights
I'll Go Crazy - Remix
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Walk On
Where The Streets Have No Name
With or Without You
Moment of Surrender

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