Inspiring while perspiring

Since I am on the mend from  my MCL knee tear, I do most of my running on a treadmill to track my exact distance and take the recommended walking breaks here and there to reduce strain or further injury. Unfortunately, this means that I have extended time on a machine that I already loathe (I much prefer running outdoors – treadmill running bores me to death) and so to not tick away the miles or minutes that I run, I grab a magazine from my gym’s overflowing stack to place over the mileage and minute display.

I can’t help but glance down obsessively to see how far I’ve run or how many minutes I plogged along so the magazine helps “disguise” my time, trick my overworked mind into thinking that I just taking a jaunty stroll (ha! whatever…).

Yesterday I happened to grab a magazine that I’m sure another gym patron left for others to enjoy as I don’t think they subscribe to the USC Trojan Family Magazine, or whatever it was called. They prefer other high-browed fare such as Shape, Fitness, Weightlifting Monthly, Abs instead of Flab, and Steroid Tips & Tricks. Anyway, I don’t read while I run – that’s just silly! Come on now…but I do happen to glance at the articles advertised on the cover and occasionally a few grab my attention.

After doing my time on the treadmill, a couple of articles had grabbed my attention so I took the mag to the bike for the next 20 minutes while I did my “cool down”. What I found in there that intrigued me so much was an article on Woody Guthrie. For those who may not know who he is or what he’s famous for, Woody was a singer/songwriter. Ever hear of “This Land is Your Land”? Did you know it was written as a political response to “God Bless America”? He found the song unrealistic and not comprehensive of what America was really like, so he wrote his song to address a more ‘down-home’ view. 

He suffered immense tragedy and loss in his youth – his mother was committed to an asylum, his sister died in a fire, and his family experienced horrible financial losses. What struck me in the article (you can read it here, scroll down to A Conversation with Ed Cray) was the mention of Woody’s daughter who also died from fire. Cray describes her as a ‘chime child’, a term I had never heard of before but intrigued to learn more. Woody’s daughter was apparently this marvelous child who seemed to inspire much of his work when it came to children’s songs. A ‘chime child’, according to a few web searches, is a child blessed with the gift of insight.

As I got off the bike to finish my regular workout routine, the idea of a ‘chime child’ just seemed to stick with me throughout the day. I only have one child and he is definitely my inspiration and reason for accomplishing many of the things I have over the past 7 years. There is nothing I wouldn’t do, nothing I don’t try in order to get that smile upon his face that I love so much. The word ‘chime’ itself infers music and with Caden, all things are music to him. He loves singing to the radio, listening to CD’s, and as my family can attest to, he sings in the bathroom ALL the time. But it’s one of his most endearing traits. And of course this is the kid who from last February on through October told me that he wanted to be Elvis for Halloween (his favorite singer). I thought he would change his mind as kids so often do, but come Halloween, Elvis had entered the building.


So my little ‘chime child’ brings music and laughter into my laugh on a daily basis. I honestly don’t know if I could survive without him; he is the other half of my heart and makes life more exciting, more fulfilling, and infinitely more challenging. But I like it that way.


One comment

  1. Amy · August 15, 2007

    I have never heard that phrase, but I also love it. I love the story of your son too! My daughter just stopped by to have me put on her superman halloween costume – yes Superman – not supergirl, because she is convinced she is and has been a super hero. Thanks!

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