Posts

Definitions

"I love this powerful statement: 'Define yourself.' I rehearsed it a million times during the 2005 Chicago Marathon."  ~ D. Kastor

I can tell you the last time I ran long because it's also the last time I wrote anything longer than a social media post. I didn't take time off on purpose. Life just got busy. Days and afternoons off (of which there are honestly precious few) got sucked away by tennis matches, bouldering, grocery shopping, weight training, laundry, and a library book I needed to finish before its due date. See? Life.
I flew to Las Vegas a couple days ago for a long weekend to visit my father and planned a long run while there. The weather promised to be coolish and the humidity significantly lower than at home, plus (and probably most importantly) race day loomed and I hadn't put in any miles in far too long. And my last miles (the ones that inspired a blog about turning lemons into lemonade) positively sucked. At some point, I was going to h…

Warm Soup, Fighting Words, and a Recipe for Lemonade

Some days I have nothing to write about. I turn on my laptop, sip my coffee, and nothing. I can be in the mood, want to write, maybe even need to write, and nothing comes. Nothing. A fragment of an idea here, a notion that never takes off there. Today, though, is not one of those days. Luckily and unluckily - Yes, all at the same time - I have too much to write, too many topics; my brain is one giant run-on sentence. Back in the day, my creative writing professor told us that many writers use movement (a walk, in most cases) to stimulate ideas. I have found that to be absolutely true. Whether it's a walk, run, solo game of ping-pong, spin ride, or tennis match, the result is usually the same  - IDEAS, stuff to write, half written blogs or stories bouncing around my brain dying to see the light of day. Well, dying to see the outside of my brain.

If you've been reading my blog posts this summer, you know what day it is. If I'm overflowing with ideas and have far too much to …

Surviving in a World Without TV

I quit watching TV in May or maybe June. It was an experiment. I blogged about it even. I spent a week on vacation not watching TV and ended up no worse for wear. In fact, I enjoyed the not watching so much that I decided to see if I could survive an entire month. I figured after the month was up - if I even made it a whole month - I'd run right back to TV. After all, a habit is a habit. Plus it's TV. You can't not watch TV, can you?

I'm here to tell you that you can. You actually can not watch TV. Because by and large, TV is crap. When my month was up - simply out of boredom and old habit - I scrolled through the guide on a couple occasions. And by "scrolled through the guide" I mean I spent forty-five minutes of my life trying to find something decent to watch. Yes, one night I bumped into a Lifetime Movie Network movie that was pretty good, but that was an aberration. I have just shy of a zillion channels and there's still nothing worth watching, in my…

Absolutely Everywhere

"Be patient, for the world is broad and wide." ~ Romeo and Juliet

Is it possible to look at too many travel photos? My Instagram feed is jammed with them. I follow travel photographers, travel and tourism bureaus, tour companies, travel magazines, people who live in my favorite places and post lots of pictures, and a variety hashtags for the places I really love, like #sweden and #stockholm (duh), things I really love, like #lighthouses, and places I hope to visit sooner than later, like #malta #argentina and #portugal. Sure, I follow my share of friends, dogs, a couple boulderers and runners, and few companies whose products I like, but by and large my feed filled with pretty pictures of places I dream of going. 
And that's the crux of it, actually. I look at all of these pictures - I could honestly scroll for hours - and want to go EVERYWHERE. Literally. No exaggeration. I never wanted to go to Italy, then Conde Nast (or some such magazine) started posting pictures an…

The Introverted Runner

I know many people - some who profess to know me VERY well - that have no idea I'm an introvert. I do my best to fake it so I don't blame them for thinking I'm something I'm not. And really after so many years in teaching, training, coaching, working retail, and doing customer service, I've gotten pretty good at it. In the professional world. In my private life? Yeah....I'm kind of sucky. I don't do well in new situations with new people. Hell, I don't do well in old situations with people I've known for ages. It's just not in my wheel-house, so to speak. I prefer alone and the quietude of my own thoughts. And the comfort of my routine. Let's not forget that.

So, imagine my surprise when I heard my voice invite a friend's son to run with me. Then when he took me up on it? Oy. What in the hell was I thinking??? He's in town from Florida visiting his mom and started running competitively last year. I knew some of his times (His mom is …

A Moment with my 10 Year Old Self

A couple months ago, I had a conversation with a friend/co-worker. We often have meaningful conversations when we probably should be working, but this one has really stuck with me. He'd listened to a podcast or maybe it was a TED Talk that impacted him greatly and he wanted to share the experience with me. He told me to trust him and just do what he said and something magical might happen.

He first asked me to close my eyes and envision my bedroom back when I was ten years old. I thought a moment trying to remember - we're talking about a time nearly forty years ago. Then suddenly I was there. I could see the bright yellow wallpaper with green and white flowers running in perfect lines from ceiling to floor; the bright yellow book shelves that ran along the far wall of the room above my bed and all my stuffed animals piled neatly on them; my small student desk in front of the open window, a rain-scented breeze blowing in; the magnolia tree out front swaying a little; my bed wi…

Fearless Now, Fearless

I think I'll start this one with a warning - I have absolutely no idea where it'll end up going. I've had a lot of thoughts swirling in my head recently - age, youth, fearlessness, love, change, happiness - and unfortunately a nine day run at work - among other things - made it difficult for me to carve out time to write. Writing helps. It encourages me to organize my thoughts and centers me. And if I do it in a timely fashion, all my errant, chaotic-seeming thoughts and ideas get separated into nice neat file folders (figuratively speaking, of course) and blogs tend to run a fairly predictable course. This one, though, with its cascading waterfall of unrequited ideas will probably meander a bit before it gets where its going. If it ever gets there at all...

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I had this idea awhile ago. I guess it was late April, maybe May. I wanted to live a different kind of life. We've talked at length about my nomadic tendencies and my desire to achieve 99% portability. And I gue…