Monday, July 18, 2011

The Zen of Peeling Chickpeas

So, we had a bad experience in our running group last Thursday that caused a lot of upheaval. A man grabbed one of our girls from behind. She slid through his arms onto her back and kicked him several times in the chest as he grabbed for her iPod, scratching her arms and ripping out one of her earrings. We were there within 20 seconds (per our Garmin watches) and he fled when he heard the sprinting footsteps. We had followed the golden rule, keeping runners in sight of each other but he was dressed in jogging clothes and started chasing after her in our plain sight. She was even carrying mace – to no avail.

At first, we tried to place it in the category of “an iPod theft”, but after the police report was filed and I came home to get ready for work it started to sink in that my girlfriend had been attacked. No matter what he was after, he grabbed her and my sweet friend wound up on her back kicking and screaming. I got very angry and stayed very angry for two days. I took it out on my palm trees in the backyard with a hefty pair of shears and then I took it out on the toilets with a gallon of bleach and then I found myself standing over a HUGE bowl of canned chickpeas that needed to be peeled for hummus.

Note irritating little shells...

As I stood there I kept shifting my weight back and forth. My lower back began to ache. I was unable to be still and found myself more and more aggravated by the tedious task. Discarding the little peel makes your hummus much smoother (thanks for the tip Hillaire) but no lie - it’s a pain in the a**.

In Ayurveda, one of my favorite principles of eating is “eat only the food that is prepared by someone who loves you”. Food has energy. I can definitely tell when food was made by someone who didn’t care or used crap ingredients. Often, the best compliment we can bestow upon a meal is that it was “made with love”. Why does the phrase “it tastes just like my mom used to make it” mean that the food is wonderful? Because your mother loves you!

I suddenly remembered why I was making this double batch of pain-in-the-a** hummus. My friend who was attacked and her entire family (23 in all) were coming for dinner. If I put the anger into the hummus then the attacker wins. I’m literally feeding the bad energy back to my friend. Do I sound kooky? Maybe so. But in an instant my body language and thought patterns changed. I began to peel the little chickpeas with love in my heart and formed a light in my mind that brightened my kitchen and expanded out to encircle her entire family. I have to say that I still felt the light as I served up the hummus at the party last night. Good stuff.

I’m still angry about the guy and we’ve gotten quite a wake-up call. On our first run since the incident we looked like a Presidential Detail. The girls were followed by my big huge husband, running behind and keeping watch (a la Kevin Costner in The Bodyguard). He was followed by my friend’s father in an SUV with lights flashing. All I could think was “Liberty’s Moving!”

Sometimes bad things happened in good places to good people – it’s a mystery. For my running girlfriends all over the world, take some extra time this week to recheck your safety systems and make sure that someone is carrying a phone. Things can happen anywhere even when you do everything right. Stay aware, be vigilant and run on my sisters… run on…


  1. Sorry to hear your story of your friends attack. I know how much you put into your runs, how much you love them and the steps you take to be safe. I also know your ability to defend yourself and still your running mate gets attacked. I am so sorry to hear about this experience - Barbados is your home and I know you want to feel safe there. Anyone that goes out at 4.30am to train deserves better. Much love to you - and you training partners.

  2. Thanks for the note David! We're all approaching the run with fresh eyes. We looked like a pack of wolves this morning - the husbands came out, the mace came out, all of us eyeing every unknown passerby. It's important to be aware but I also don't want to step over the line into bad juju :) Barbados is a beautiful place filled with good people and good energy - a few bad sugar canes can't spoil the rum! Much love.. Lauren