In “The Airport,” a 1992 Seinfeld episode, Jerry and Elaine are returning home to New York, Jerry from a comedy gig and Elaine from visiting her sister. After their flight to JFK is canceled, the two book another flight to LaGuardia, thus creating a disruption for Kramer and George and their hopes for a quick pick up. In a memorable scene, Jerry tells Elaine to run faster, to get her knees up more. “You want to make this plane you’ve got to run like a man. Get your knees up!” he says. Kramer tells George as much as they rush through the airport too.
“Do you feel the mood of the city around you change according to events, and how does it affect you?” A runner recently posed this query to a Reddit Running group in light of Hurricane Harvey’s widespread destruction across the city of Houston, Texas, and the surrounding areas. The user followed this remark with a personal account of his or her visit to Houston to help a friend rebuild what was leveled in the storm. “More head nods in Houston than usual, and people seemed resilient, but there was fear and sadness as well,” said the runner before others began to weigh in with their experiences and the accompanying emotions in the comments.
In the final scenes of “The Hot Tub” episode (1995), Jean-Paul is leading a packed field at the prestigious New York City Marathon. An elite runner who once overslept at the Olympics due to a “separate knob” incident, Jean-Paul is determined to avenge his slumber blunder – with the help of Jerry, Elaine, and Kramer. Supposedly nearing the finish, the sweat on Jean-Paul’s face is abundant. Is he struggling under the meteorological conditions? Should the race be called, halted, or completely shut down? Sadly, it was coffee that ended Jean-Paul's hopes of victory.
I have zero recollection of the last time that I took a nap. Let’s just say it’s been years since I have intentionally grabbed some shuteye in the early afternoon. I’m certainly up for a twenty to thirty-minute recharge after lunch sometime though, much like Jim and Pam Halpert who found a cozy spot surrounded by boxes of paper in the office warehouse. Or George Costanza, who hired Jerry’s carpenter friend to modify his office desk for slumber inside Yankee Stadium. True to form – and the laziness of his character no doubt – George retreated to his wooden cave shortly after arriving to work and greeting his boss, Mr. Wilhelm.
“Show me how to live.” The words rang in my ears this morning as I meditated on the life of the late Chris Cornell, the lead vocalist for Audioslave and Soundgarden. Sadly, Cornell ended his life in May, and his friend Chester Bennington, the lead vocalist for Linkin Park who performed at Cornell’s funeral, did the same in July. In spite of never knowing artists personally, there’s always a sense of loss that accompanies the death of a musician that we like. Perhaps its rooted in finality, the cessation of the possibility of receiving new music again. We have what they released – which is wonderful and to be treasured – but nothing more will come.