It’s an open and shut diagnosis, I have the shpilkes. I learned about shpilkes from my wife, Linda, who spent a previous lifetime (she called it a lifetime, not me) married to a Jewish man (and from what she has told me, his previousness had little or nothing to do with him being Jewish).
You don’t have to be Jewish to have the shpilkes, just like you don’t have to be South of the border to get Montezuma’s revenge. In fact, anyone can truly get either and while I’m not asserting that they go together, they certainly could.
According to the plethora of online dictionaries, shpilkes is basically nervous energy – anxiety. Frankly, I think that nervous energy is one of those things that could be good OR bad. Unfortunately, my nervous energy is not in anticipation or pre-arousal of some wonderful upcoming event. It is also not some in-born ancestral reaction to a fight or flight type of experience. In fact, lately, my nervous energy would choose to neither fight or flight. My nervous energy does not feel good and my shpilketic friends tell me that most real cases of the shpilkes are not very pleasant.
At this point you’re probably concerned for my welfare. You may be feeling empathy – or even sympathy. More than either of these, however, you may be getting nervous about the potential for shpilkes entering into your world.
In the interest of science and shpilke prevention, I am going to sacrifice my own pride and privacy needs, pull out my chart, and share my symptoms with you. It is my hope that by sharing, we all may become more educated and maybe, just maybe, shpilkes can be prevented. If my experience can help just one person, it will be worthwhile. My symptoms:
1. My daily pre-run ritual is to stress over where to go, when to go, how far to go and then I get mad at myself for not making a decision.
2. I need new shoes and I am not one bit excited about getting them.
3. I haven’t stretched in weeks (oh wait, sorry – I don’t stretch anyway – never mind).
4. I recorded three hours of the Boston Marathon, watched it in ONE hour and almost consciously DELETED the recording when I finished!
5. I haven’t pontificated on my RunSpittle blog in ages.
6. I’m uninspired watching a Flotrack Workout Wednesday video of Maggie Vessey in those skimpy, tight, bunhugger shorts (well okay, maybe a bit inspired – I guess that feeling I’m having is inspiration).
7. I went to letsrun.com and didn’t even get pissed about the juvenile idiots posting their ridiculously stupid hater posts.
8. I can’t seem to pick a fall marathon (This one really bothers me because I need the goal; the objective so that my training can have focus. The problem is that I am waiting to see if I get into the New York Marathon and that seems to be blocking my ability to see other marathons clearly).
WAIT!!!!!! As Alexander Graham Bell said, “Watson, come here!” (or maybe that was Sherlock Holmes). Either way, I have found it! I know the cure!!!!
On Wednesday April 27, 2011, the New York Road Runners will have their lottery for participation in this year’s New York City Marathon on November 6 (which just happens to be my 60th birthday). If Mary Wittenberg would just pull my name out of the hat, my shpilkes just might be cured. I ran New York in 1993, ’94 and ’98 and have been dying to get back. And what could be better than returning for a birthday run? A 60th birthday run? Instant shpilke cure!
So, it is clear. Mary Wittenberg, NYRR Head Guru, possesses the miracle cure to my condition. A single, solitary entry nod from her, and all is well again. I need Mary to race through the jungle, like in those Tarzan movies, carrying the magic elixir delivering me from my shpilkian death bed.
Then again, maybe not. I can’t really decide if that would do it and am way too stressed out to even think about it.