This Small Space.

Dishes. Laundry. Vacuuming. Yard work. Coffees. Walks. These are the things that have filled my days in ways that bring me joy. These rituals – the cleaning and folding, the emptying and putting away, the slow catching up – they help keep me focused on what I can manage. There is so much in the world right now that I cannot manage. So I am searching for what is simple and true.

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Where I Am Right Now.

I’m in a busy season at work that feels overwhelming. Yesterday, I was driving home from work and saw a blue FJ Cruiser like mine going through one of those new-fangled intersections that have cars oddly crossing oncoming traffic. (Don’t get me wrong – those intersections work, but the cars continue to spook me as they drive through.) When I saw the blue FJ, I immediately looked at the back to see if it was mine. I can tell based on the stickers on the back windshield. That’s totally normal, right? Except I was driving my car. I was in my blue FJ, so why was I even contemplating the possibility that this other car could be mine? I’m that tired, I guess.

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The Treadmill Race.

I’ve been trying to be consistent about exercising though I’m not formally training for anything right now. Standard for me is to get at least 30 minutes of running or walking in on the treadmill, if I do nothing else. This week, I’ve been walking more than running and doing so on an incline to make the workout harder. Even with that short effort, I end up drenched and pleased with myself for showing up and making it happen. Then today, it all almost went to hell.

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A Gathering of Women.

Almost six years ago, I traveled to Whidbey Island for the first time to participate in a writing circle of strangers. That week, I made some dear friends who picked me up when I was hurting and helped me to work through some of the pain. Last week, three of those women – Bridget, Janis and Lynn –  traveled to Texas to spend nearly six days in the hill country with me. For five nights, we stayed in an old rock house on property owned by my parents and previously occupied only by cows. They opted not to leave the house except on Sunday, when we ventured to the LBJ Ranch. Mostly, we wrote and talked. Continue reading

The Dangers of Being a Sherpa.

I’m in Louisville, Kentucky, acting as a sherpa for my sister’s first Ironman. It’s hard not to get wrapped up in the whole Ironman thing. I see the lean and strong people around me who will get to race on Sunday, and I want to be one of them. I see people going on pre-race runs, and while I’m running too, I know our intensity is different, and part of me really wants their intensity – the focus you experience in the days leading up to a big race. I’m watching my sister as she preps, and while there’s a part of me that is relieved that I don’t have to swim in the Ohio River this weekend, there’s another part of me that is so envious that she’s just days away from the Ironman finish line. That’s one of my favorite places on earth. Continue reading

Trail Running.

I’m still riding this wave of training for fun and not because I have a race coming up. I do have some races coming up, but they are runs, not triathlons, and with my Ironman experiences, I pretty much feel like I can up and do damn near any race distance on just a base level of fitness. That sounds arrogant, I know, but I’ve learned that racing is largely mental, and my head has carried me through quite a few times. To push myself a bit this winter, I’ve signed up for a 50K trail race. That’s a whole new playing field for me, and it will be a challenge even if I’m at my fittest. Between the uneven surface and it being the longest distance I will ever have done on foot, I’ll need to be ready mentally and physically. To me, that’s super exciting. Continue reading