Part I, Chapter 4, Gym Ball of Terror
I had heard movie stars talk about their personal trainers in glowing terms, as if they were masseuses or wardrobe assistants. I didn’t know there was so much suffering involved, or that I’d be the one doing all the work. Parts of my body I didn’t know existed — hamstrings, biceps, quads and flexors, all the innocent bits and pieces that had quietly coexisted in my sedentary life — throbbed in exquisite agony and screamed for me to stop.
Part I, Chapter 7, Cats in the Night
“This type of thing doesn’t respond to chemotherapy or radiation,” he offered. “Removing the tumor requires a craniotomy.”
A craniotomy, he explained, is a major surgery. As he described the procedure, I could picture it clearly. He would be peeling back my scalp, cutting a tennis ball-sized circle out of my skull, taking out the tumor, then attaching the circle of bone back onto my skull with staples. It sounded downright medieval, like something from a horror movie.
Part II, Chapter 11, Light as a Gazelle
I had no idea what a 5K race meant, but the photos made it look fun and easy. I imagined myself light as a gazelle, the pavement barely making contact with the soles of my shoes as I swooped around the seawall. I wanted something with a future stamp, even if it was only two months away. I wanted to go outside!
Part III, Chapter 20, Snow on the Ocean
The residents of Galiano Island must have thought that only a complete madman would attempt to jog on Sturdies Bay Road. The path was only as wide as a running shoe, and beside it the cliff dropped straight down in a very alarming way. Several times I clung to the concrete barrier to make sure I didn’t slide right off. It was probably the worst road I could have chosen but I had no idea where I was, so I just kept going. It rose and fell like a carnival ride, veering first to the right then to the left in giant sweeping curves. Snow quietly began to fall against the dark trees, and large soft white flakes disappeared from sight into the ocean below.