I am {not} a runner

I have this dream where I am running on a beach. Damp sand kicking up on my heels, I glide along the misty coastline with the sun rising to my right and frothy sea lapping to my left. My taut muscles flex with every stride like a majestic mare. The skin on my shoulders glistens slightly from small beads of sweat. The air is cool. Each breath is controlled and steady and produces a small cloud in front of my mouth, serving as symbol that I am living my life at full throttle. I run…and run…and run. Not a jog, a full run.

Do you like to run? I do not. Not inside, outside, uphill or downhill. I do not like to run.

I know people who run. As a matter of fact, I know lots of people who run a lot – 5k, 10k, half-marathon, marathon. Even a few Ironmen, those who run after tons of other crazy shit. It seems like there are more people now who run more than ever before. These are the “running people.” They all just run, run, run. They run when it’s hot. They run when it’s not. They run in the sun, snow and rain. Many run for fitness, others run simply because they can.

Sometimes I envision myself as Forest Gump. Not the shrimp fisherman, but the running Forest. I think to myself, “so I just started running.” Then come images of all the majestic things I see when I am running out in the world – across the Painted Desert, along the lakes of Minnesota, through the streets of New York City. In this vision, I can real-ly run. Once I finish running and have seen all that I want to see, I just stop. I turnaround to the group of people that I have inspired to run alongside me on this magnificent journey. They wait with bated breath for me to speak and I say with muffled voice, “I’m tired. I’m going home now.” And that would be it, my running days would be over.

Those “running people” say once you pass the first few miles, it gets easier. They claim there is a point at which running becomes pleasant, even addictive. I think they are lying to me. I have done one official “run” in my life – 12 miles with a lot of obstacles thrown in for giggles. It was a team event so you can ask my teammates about my stellar performance. Then there was a 1-mile fun run. You read that right, one mile. Yes, I walked some of the way. I ran cross country in junior high, but didn’t everyone? I have no idea what that was about. Hated every minute of it.

The marathon is a symbol to me. A great goal, but something I have convinced myself I will never accomplish. That it is not in my cards. I would love to be a a person who says, “oh, I was up early this morning because I had to get in my 15 miles before breakfast. You know, I am training for a marathon.” Or like the young woman I stood next to in line recently. She was sporting a boot brace on her leg, so I asked her how she hurt herself. She said, “I got a stress fracture while running a half marathon last weekend. I overdid it a bit when I got to the finish line and just kept going and ran the full thing.”

Who are these people?

There is a running-friendly mix on my iPod with copious amounts of Usher, Ludacris and Pitbull, which works well for picking up my feet, but nothing for my disdain for the activity. I feel less like the majestic mare on the misty beach and more like a beached seal on dry land.

Fo-rr-eeeee-sssss-ttttt!

As you can clearly see, I have convinced myself that am not and will never be a runner. Precisely because I believe in the image of the beached seal, I have little chance of ever becoming the majestic mare. A reality which lies just a few miles and a looping Pitbull and JoLo remix away from where I stand today. Each of us have false narratives. Those stories we tell ourselves so many times that we begin to believe them.

This is {one of} mine. What’s yours?


Lisa, or a Modern Pilgrim

It’s funny (not in a haha, but in a hmmmm kinda way) how things happen just as they should. Like, for example, on our flight from Chicago to Paris. Headed to the next stop on our non-stop Gypsy Summer, we spent some up-in-the-air time with a modern day pilgrim. Her name is Lisa Sawyer, a middle-aged mother, wife and self-described hermit from Reno on her way to the way of her life, more specifically the Way of St James. Read the rest of this entry »


Mountain is Mountain. Life is Life.

A decade and a half of marriage. We thought, what better way to mark this milestone than to trek side- by-side, stand together above the clouds and watch a technicolor sunrise on the highest peak in Africa. The mighty mistress Kilimanjaro. Why the hell not? We have always wanted to set our feet upon her soil. So, that’s precisely what we set out to do together. Months of preparation, hundreds of hours of training and a hellacious five flights later, we find ourselves in Moshi, Tanzania.

Read the rest of this entry »


Blazing in a Yellow Beetle

I know how to work a stick. Work it right into high gear and get it done. Knowing your way with and around a stick can be an important skill for a girl. Yep, learned my way in a 1971 VW Super Beetle with a hand crank sunroof, droopy headliner and crappy pale yellow paint job.

Hold for a bit while I reach back into the past…oh yes, there it is…The pale yellow mobile classroom where I honed my stick manipulation skills was held together with a mighty prayer and smidge of Krazy Glue. Read the rest of this entry »


The ABCs of Crazy

Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. It has been nothing for a while now.

Nothing comes to me. Instead, I wander aimlessly around in this head of mine, trip on bitterness and wrestle with confusion. The feeling is a bit like a high pressure hose with a nasty kink. My muse has evaporated into thin air, leaving me with these rampant thoughts all jogging around in my head. No order – just jumping around, bumping into each other and not even bothering to say a fucking ‘excuse me’. Can’t seem to finish one before the next one starts. Read the rest of this entry »


Perfection {au contraire mon frere}

Tonight, as I sit outside in the fall night with ants crawling across my lighted screen and the crickets singing “Angie” by the Rolling Stones, I am thinking back on the graces of my day.

This morning, I had the opportunity to spend one magnificent hour filled with ideas and insights with my associate and dear friend, Stephanie. She has always helped me to challenge the notion of perfection. This horrible and crippling belief that we need to have every cottin-picken thing all sorted out. Read the rest of this entry »


Feet in my Shoes {a rethought 9/11 tribute}

Yesterday, I had planned to publish an entirely different post. A post in which the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy takes center stage and serves as the marker of my lost decade. Oh, I don’t know…something about how 9/11 is a symbol of a confounding period in my life when I took the easy path. Or perhaps along the lines of how I took a great ride out into the world, and then, just when things were getting good, I bought a ticket on the Rubber Band Express. Read the rest of this entry »