Saturday, June 30, 2012



This is timely. 

During the fires in Boulder, I was touched by a strong sense of community. Sometimes offers of help come from places one doesn't expect. Since my mom's operations, I've been staying off and on with her, helping out when I can. Even when I'm not staying with her, I stop over daily to check on her. During the fire, I was with her, and I was completely blown away by how concerned our neighbors were. Then again, my mom is a pretty cool lady, so it's not a big surprise that people were checking in on her. I hate that it sometimes takes a disaster to bring out community support, but I feel pretty lucky to be living in this area of the world. Sure there are quite a few people who are too self centered to make an effort, but most of the people I know are the opposite.

This might be a little bit of a tangent, but lately I hear quite a lot about how important it is to get needs met. "Don't get involved, save yourself, get away with your negative vibes, you're bumming me out!" Oddly, the people who tend to say things like that are generally the same people who insist that we are all one; everyone and everything is connected. When push comes to shove though, these are the very people who are often too self absorbed to give a crap. Of course, this is only my observation with a random selection of people, but it has made enough of an impression that I feel the need to write about it. I think it comes back to the idea that sometimes when people ferociously claim to be a certain way, they often end up being the opposite.

I'm flat out exhausted tonight. It has been a super long week, and I have to say that I'm glad I'm at the end of this blogging challenge. I'm also glad I completed it.

What I learned by bogging daily:

1. I should be writing more. I waste a ton of time doing nothing productive, and while I often struggled to write each day during the month of June, I did it. That means that my other two projects shouldn't be as neglected as they have been.

2. Blogging daily is something I don't really like to do. It may sound strange, but I'm a private person. There are days I need to be alone. Blogging forces me to be out and somewhat connected, and, as I explained in a previous post, I don't like inflicting certain moods on others. All things considered, I did the best I could, despite struggling a bit this month.

3. For those who make a habit of blogging, I wonder how much it interferes with daily living. There are people who post multiple times a day, for fuck's sake! HOW? This really makes me wonder, as I found it quite time consuming to write just one post per day.

I'm a bit all over the place with my thoughts tonight and well off topic, but I'll continue..

As I was walking to my car after work this evening, I noticed a guy at a restaurant taking a picture of his half eaten meal. His two dining companions patiently waited for him to finish. I assume this was a shot for facebook or a blog post. I still can't get over the fact that people get all excited seeing someone's meal on the computer. It's just weird. When I'm out to eat with people, I want to focus on the conversation and the food. I will admit that I find some gourmet food photography to be beautiful, but this was a fucking sandwich that wasn't anything extraordinary. I guess there's a fine line. I can see posting pictures of a fancy meal, a wonderfully prepared dinner or something home cooked that took some effort to make. Someone eating alone and wanting to share the experience with others by sharing on facebook I get too. However, I don't see how people get stimulated looking at some fruit in a bowl with a bit of yogurt, a half-eaten, humdrum sandwich or a lunch that looks like someone's pet poodle pooped on a plate. Seriously, there are some nasty photographs of food out there. Why people want to share some of these terrible looking concoctions is beyond me. I sort of want to get a camera, just so I can assemble the perfect mock post. I'm probably too lazy to do that, but the thought has crossed my mind.

Uggh. It's almost the deadline, and I don't know where I was going with this. The computer I'm using is giving me trouble, so I am going to have to just up and quit here. I probably should have gone into how important community is in recovery. It helps to have a team. Unfortunately, that might have to wait.


Wow. Today I accidentally used less instead of fewer in a conversation. Now, I'm much more careful when I write, but based on the reaction I got, I don't think I will be making that mistake again. I did read that long, long ago, less was used in place of fewer, but that's no longer the case. Apparently it's quite the no-no these days. It seems to be a bigger faux pas than responding with "good" instead of "well" when asked how one is doing. Everyone has a pet peeve though. Mine is incorrectly saying, "between you and I."

Friday, June 29, 2012


"you ATE the bow?"
I need a break.

Sometimes when I'm writing, I leave the T.V. on in the background, just for noise. The shows that are best for this type of situation are those that don't require a lot of brain power. The other night I was not watching one of the Real Housewives reality shows. There are so many; I can never keep them straight. They all bleed into each other, one fight after another. There's never any mystery in these shows, despite all the advertised drama. Someone gets offended, there's a lot of yelling, somebody cries crocodile tears, another person flounces and there's a group hug at the end. There's also quite a bit of alcohol flowing, talking behind backs and bling showing throughout the show. You can't get better first-world problems than in this show. When there's no drama, these people are good at creating it.

Something people may not know about me is that I used to make wedding cakes. What a stressful job. I made them only for close friends and family, but it was still a high stress position. There's something about a cake that means so much, especially a wedding cake. Cutting the cake is one of the most important parts of any ceremony. However, I couldn't help but laugh a little when the lady in the photo above reacted the way she did after a drunk guest ate the bow off the top of her cake during her "I'm taking my husband's name" party. Actually, she handled it pretty well. Most people would have kicked the drunk girl in the shins, ordered her out of the house and yelled a few obscenities as she left. I know I would have been pissed. Then again, there are so many bigger problems in the world. Plus, with the kind of money stuffed in the pockets of these party goers, I'm sure an entire new cake could have been flown in from Sugar Bakers Cakes or some other fancy cake place.

Fortunately, an emergency cake decorating crew must have been on hand, because the cake looked fine by serving time. A trauma team resuscitated the bow, and all was well in their rich world. Wow though, even the guys flounce in these shows. Everyone's so controlling and the egos are almost too big for the television set to contain.

Thank GOD the bow is safe and atop the cake.

I forgot where I was going with this. It's late though, and I still have work to do. Next month I will be doing a little experiment. It will be a mystery, but I will probably reveal the results at some point. If a few of my posts are a bit odd, not PG-rated and/or stranger than usual, bear with me. I'm trying to figure out why one of my posts has a million views and others not as many. I assume it's not my stellar writing that caused so many people to look, but I want to try something to see what, exactly, people are drawn to in that particular post. I'm pretty sure I know, but it will be interesting to try this experiment. Sure, it won't actually prove anything, but I'm still interested in conducting my secret little test.

One more day of daily blogging, and then I'm done with the challenge! Wheww. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012


I don't travel much, mostly because I can't afford it. At least a few times when I was rushed to the hospital, I thought, "oh great, this is my vacation, sitting in a hospital bed feeling like death." Hospitals are expensive. It's not that I don't want to travel or don't like traveling, it's that affordable opportunities don't often present themselves. I'm also a little weird about travel, simply because I feel more comfortable being able to have some sort of a routine. On the other hand, once I break the rut, I usually wonder why I didn't do it sooner. In a weird way, I often feel more in touch with myself when I'm traveling, though I sometimes tend to do too much and almost always get a cold when I return home.

Ahh the comforts of a hotel room
Being a mountain runner, everyone always assumed that I liked camping. I'm not sure why being an outdoorsy type supposedly goes hand in hand with mountain running. I was much more of a hotel room camper. Quite a few ultra runners I know are the camping type though. Electricity, a warm comfortable bed and running water are more to my liking. I have been getting a craving for S'mores lately though, the one good thing that comes with camping. Maybe the smell of the smoke is reminding me of roasting marshmallows over a camp fire or something. 

Sleeping on rocks is not so appealing

I'm reading a book about John Cheever (a bit depressing), written by his daughter. In it she points out the difference between her and her father's writing. It made me realize why I'm not (yet) a great writer. I write what I experience more than what I observe. It's too much on the emotional side and not enough on the intellectual side. Interestingly, this is often the case between men and women in writing. Though I hate to generalize, I have observed this to be the case quite often. I always wonder how it would be if a couple, both writers, wrote a book together. In theory, it would be the best of both worlds, emotion crossed with detailed commentary. My writing also needs improvement in the precision, development and overall WOW factor areas, but I'm working on it. I started writing very late in life, blogging a little bit before jumping into a full manuscript. It's only more recently that I've put more effort into it. When I started writing, I had something to say, a message, and now the challenge is to say things in an interesting way. 

I know my posts have been on the negative side lately. When I did my interview with Bobby not long ago, we discussed how difficult it can be to not realize your dreams. Whatever comes next in life, it might always feel like falling short. I'm still fighting it, even though my big dreams were dashed probably 20 years ago. The truth is that I suffer from severe depression that can be, at times, debilitating. Inflicting that on others is something I try to avoid. For the most part, I'm fine, but some days are still a struggle. That's probably why little bits of worry, regret and sadness still escape into my posts. I guess when I was in high school and college, I focused on running to ease some of that. No matter how bad running got, how much I ended up hating it, it was something I could go to for some distraction. 

I don't want to give the impression that I'm constantly down at the mouth though. I have very joyous moments. I will still take this life over my past, no doubt, but I have sort of become what I never wanted to be- a spokesperson for not doing it my way. Every painful step is a reminder of how I did it all wrong. And, while I know that scare tactics don't work when it comes to addiction, it's possible that what I have to say may strike a chord in someone. Almost no teen smoker is going to look at a cancer eaten lung and decide he's going to stop smoking, and it's highly unlikely that someone running well but not eating right will take a warning from someone like me. Still, I feel the need to offer some guidance, and if what I have to say can help even one person, that's a plus. If nothing more, at least a few people who have read my manuscript said that it gave them an understanding of the illness, something they hadn't grasped before. That's important to me too. 

In the last few weeks, I have been under tremendous stress. I haven't shared even half of what's going on in my world, because it's just not right to dump every aspect of my life onto the computer screen. However, there's a reason why my posts have taken a not so positive turn. Sometimes life is just tough. I have some support, and I have to accept that there are certain situations I can't control. The one thing that changed today is that I got a tiny bit of hope in at least one area of my life. My foot doctor hasn't given up on me yet. He really is awesome. I wish I weren't such a tough case for him, but he got me as a patient after the other doctor had already wrecked my foot. This possible good news does NOT mean I am revisiting dreams of racing or anything even close, but it does mean that I might be able to run with less pain. I'll know more in about a month and a half. In the meantime, all the foot exercises I'm doing have produced an impressive muscle that isn't quite providing stability but looks pretty fucking massive. It's huge. My left foot is ripped. 

More good news; the fire in Boulder will most likely be contained by Saturday. The evacuation notices have been lifted. We still see plumes of smoke over here and smell the smoke, but the rain has definitely helped keep the fire from spreading. The fire fighters have been at it hard, and it's nice to see how grateful everyone is. 

I forgot that the post was supposed to be about travel. Oh well, I needed to let go a bit and not be as directed. 

I am longing to go on a vacation. I prefer traveling with a companion, but I have enjoyed a few solo trips too. My last trip was far too short. One of my favorite trips was to France, and it's calling me back. 
One day. Sigh. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Wow, it's really hard to write a blog post about bliss when the state of Colorado is ablaze. It looks like the gates of Hell have opened in some areas, especially Colorado Springs. My heart is so heavy lately, not just because of the fires. I'm exhausted from worrying and from wonky hormone levels.  being so distracted makes it hard to focus.

Bliss. Well, at this point, not getting my period every two weeks would be bliss. Actually, I was thinking that bliss somehow implies happiness and comfort. Chocolate comes to mind. You need chocolate to experience bliss...or an orgasm might accomplish a state of bliss. To me, bliss is something more than just your average feel good moment.

JEEZ my head is a blank. Seriously, I guess I'm going to give in and post a bunch of pictures.


Naps. Mmmmmmm pure bliss

Chocolate!! Bliss is not the same as decadent, but eating decadent desserts can lead to a state of bliss, no?

Crusty bread and butter. Ohhhhhh yessss this will make me feel blissful.

Pretty fruit

I'm amazed how badly my brain has flat-lined. Wow this sucks.  sigh...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


I had an odd experience reading about the Olympic trials. When I read that Lauren Fleshman made the final, I was incredibly happy for her. Just when I was saying that I never cry when I'm happy, I read about her triumph, and my eyes well up with tears. For a moment, my heart soared for her and then, almost instantly after, it broke for me. That sounds so selfish, but I felt a pang of regret, not being able to have fulfilled my potential as a runner. The Olympic games were a long shot, but something like racing on the US mountain racing team was within my reach.

I've lost my purpose. I'm trying to find a new one. When something feels so right, it's easier to feel like it's your destiny. I think running, when I was really racing well, was as close to what some must feel is divine inspiration as I will probably ever get. Running Pikes, I even had a sort of connected moment where I felt at one with the universe. It felt as if that was where I was supposed to be, doing what I was supposed to be doing. It's hard to switch gears and move into doing something else. It's that whole letting go thing. Letting go is harder still when there are days like today when I'm at the mercy of my hormones. I'm giving myself a pat on the back for not blowing the day completely off, but, wow, I feel like I've been run over by a freight train. uhhh. Hang on a sec..

Well, we just got notice to be on call to evacuate with all the fires going on around here, so another post will have to be cut short. This one won't even be edited, so it's probably a big mess. Oh well.

Here is something to chew on though: 

Monday, June 25, 2012


I know I'm not alone when I say that sometimes the hardest person to forgive is myself. Those of us who have aimed for perfection tend to be extra hard on ourselves, and letting go of our mistakes can be difficult. That said, forgiving others can be almost as hard. It took many years for me to forgive people in my past. I still get occasional flashes of anger or emotion around certain situations, especially those I don't understand. When someone does you wrong for no apparent reason, it's harder to forgive than when there's a more obvious explanation. Also, the severity of hurt plays a roll in how easily forgiveness comes. The problem with not forgiving is that resentment builds and that can lead to destructive behavior, often misdirected on the self.

Well, I think forgiving benefits both parties, but I suppose this sign has some validity.  

I've made my fair share of mistakes in the past. Sometimes I look back and think, "what the fuck was I thinking?" Most of my mistakes come from a place of being in a vulnerable position, not being strong enough to speak my mind or not seeing all aspects of the situation clearly. Take my foot, for example (not that any of you would want a hardly working foot - blah), when that first doctor told me it wasn't a stress fracture even though I felt it was, I should have said, "I would like a second opinion, and I don't want the shot of cortisone." Instead, I figured this guy was an expert and let him treat me despite the funny feeling I was getting in my tummy. I doubt I would allow anyone to treat me that way again, and, years later, when an ER doctor who misdiagnosed the meningitis I had wanted to send me home, I did stand up for myself. Still, I need work on forgiving myself for not preventing everything that happened to my foot. I suppose I should put some effort into forgiving the doctor who wrecked my running career too, but that one is going to take more time. I am attempting to let it go, even though I'm still very upset.

Sometimes I catch myself falling into reacting badly to a situation - getting angry, not handing things well, and I can't always stop myself. I have a hard time forgiving myself in those moments. The whole idea that people should forgive and forget is an odd one to me. I sometimes wish I could forget, but when the damage is already done, that's not an easy task. I don't even know if it's possible. I guess the goal is to forgive enough, so that the memories no longer affect you in a negative way. The best revenge is living well, right? It's kind of true.

I'm going to forgive myself for not making these last few posts as long and complete as I would like them to be. I went on a run in the middle of the day today. It was 102 degrees, and Colorado is on fire everywhere. It's smoky, dry and HOT. I love the heat, but even with a trip through the sprinklers in the middle of my run and an entire bottle of water consumed during it, I feel kind of spent. I kept thinking of those people who run the Badwater Ultra Marathon as I was slowing to a slog toward the end of an hour. I can't even imagine doing an entire day of running in temps higher than what I experienced today. Yikes.

A few last thoughts cut and pasted, because my brain is too tired to rework into my own words:

From Buddhism 

“He abused me, he struck me, he overcame me, he robbed me’ — in those who harbor such thoughts hatred will never cease.”
“He abused me, he struck me, he overcame me, he robbed me’ — in those who do not harbor such thoughts hatred will cease."

And here is a link to an interesting question about forgiveness answered by a Rabbi.
Forgiveness in Judaism  

And some good words to live by:

Sunday, June 24, 2012


The first part of this video is funny, but it kind of gets a little strange after the first few minutes. 

What do you present to the world? Which personality do you put on when you leave the house? Is your online face different than your in real life face? It's too bad that so many people are incapable of showing who they really are. I once met a guy who seemed to be someone to admire. Many years later, I realized he was a parody of the person he presented himself to be and nothing to really applaud. He wore a great mask though. It always makes me wonder when someone talks about putting things on the table but is more the type who sticks his head in the sand. The truth is that I never knew the guy well, so, in the beginning, I assumed he was the person he described himself to be. Maybe he was telling me about the person he wanted to be. In general, I surrounded myself with people who are much more honest. Fortunately, the people in my life now are far more genuine. My friends and I may not be perfect, but we make an effort to be real.

In all honesty, I've had a really shitty day, and I can't face blogging. This is unfortunate, because I had much to say about this word. I was hoping to address facing fears, facing the world, facing reality and facing others.

Instead of struggling through a post that would probably end up incoherent and messy, I'll post a link to this really interesting blog post I read the other day about words.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


One of my most embarrassing moments was when I was at a stop light in my car with the windows rolled down, singing along to the song below, when an extremely good looking guy rolled up next to me. I remember panicking and trying to figure out how quickly I could change the station to something a little more up to date, hardcore, cool or alternative..just anything less out of style and cheesy. But whatever. We all have our guilty pleasures, right? 

I'm sort of avoiding the topic, because I'm not sure what to say about the soul. Though I mention soul/spirit, faith and spirituality quite a lot in my manuscript, I remain agnostic, not convinced that there is anything beyond this world once we die, which is probably partly why I'm so terrified of death. In terms of a soul, I think of it more as an essence or inner self more than something entirely separate from the human body. Some consider it the mind, and others suggest it's something more along the lines of a spirit, an entity that can ascend to the divine once free from the physical body.

It's hard to deny that there is a force greater than ourselves, but this force doesn't necessarily have to be a deity. Nature can be explained in a similar way. It is a force, and it is beyond our control. I have many friends who believe in God, some who believe in past lives and a few who talk about Jesus, but most people I know are either atheists or agnostics. When it comes to beliefs, I like to let people believe what they like and keep a healthy dose of scepticism for myself. I've seen and experienced some wild things including having premonition dreams, and while I can't explain how I can dream about something only to have it play out the next day, I think science either will or at least has the potential to explain these types of experiences. Maybe we have defined time in a way that isn't quite accurate. Who knows for sure, but I'm not ready to discount or fully accept God as the answer to everything unexplained.

Approximately 3% of the people in the world are classified as atheists, and closer to 15% consider themselves non-religious. There are some people who insist that in order to overcome addiction, one has to accept God and admit that we are powerless. This poses a problem for those of us who fall into the 15% - us non-believers. Sure, there's some kind of statement about how God can be anything from a flower pot to a deity, but the idea is that we either turn our power over to this God or allow whatever we choose as god to help us overcome the addiction. It WORKS....for some people. However, there are people who don't do AA, don't believe in God and don't follow any 12-steps and still get well. I'm one of them, though my drug (if one can call food or a lack of food a drug) of choice wasn't alcohol. Still, my brother and many others I know did overcome alcohol and drugs without changing their religious beliefs. That's not to say someone struggling shouldn't give AA a try or even give it many, many tries. In my experience, I had to go down several different avenues, try too many remedies and exhaust my own patience and finances in order to get well. But EVERYONE is DIFFERENT. THERE IS NO ONE RIGHT PATH THROUGH RECOVERY; there are millions. This is the main concept of my manuscript if I had to pick just one theme. Unfortunately, people like scripts, pills and easy fixes, especially in this country. They want to do A, B and C and be done with it, forgetting that it's all about learning and the process.

When I mention that I took a leap of faith in order to get healthy, what I mean is that I jumped into the unknown. I took a step without knowing where I was heading. All I knew was that I wanted out of my misery, and part of getting out had to include eating differently and gaining weight. I could have followed a plan, gotten more support or gone about it by attending support groups, but it was that first step that was the most important. That step signified a declaration to myself that no matter what, no matter how bad it got, I wouldn't resort to starving myself any longer. That one step wasn't about trust in God, the universe or a program, it was me telling myself that I was going to commit to getting well, period.

I really don't want to offend anyone here. I understand that it's more likely that an alcoholic will recover when attending AA meetings. Again, they work. I don't discount that. I know someone who has been sober for probably 30 years now and wouldn't be had it not been for AA. All I'm saying is that recovery is different for everyone. We have to pick and choose what works for us. I have mentioned many times that I had a terrible therapist who told me that I would either stay sick or get well and hate my body. I'm here to say that what he said was bullshit. I'm also here to tell the people who insisted I had to find God in order to get well that there's no need to change my religious beliefs in order to do that. I always wonder why some people feel like it's essential for others to believe the same thing they do. It's confusing to me, mostly because I don't try to persuade anyone to not believe in God if they do.

I got a little off topic, but I'm pressed for time today. This will have to do. That's the beauty and the drawback of this one post a day challenge. Time is limited, so the post may deviate greatly from the original plan.

Now, if you will excuse me, it's time to feed my soul with a little chocolate.

This is so weird, but I always type sould when I'm trying to type soul. I wonder what that means! 

Friday, June 22, 2012


Comfort    Safety    Trust   

Hummm. People reading my outpouring of blog posts this month might get the idea that I'm not the most up with people person in the world. I should probably put some kind of disclaimer somewhere stating that these posts are just words. Not that there's not an element of truth in them. Obviously I'm tapping into brief moments, past experiences and strong emotions here and there, all very accurate and real. I just don't want anyone to assume I'm forever down at the mouth. Hopefully I don't have to worry. It's not like I believe all those chronically happy bloggers are elated 24/7. I sometimes wonder how life outside the blog posts really is. You can have some serious fun with that.

Just to prove that I am not my most recent posts, all dark and perpetually gloomy, I'll focus on something a little more positive in this one.


Home is definitely something people can create. It's not the same thing as a house. It doesn't even have to be a physical location. Some think of it as a state of comfort. I like the idea that it can be considered a refuge or a place of safety. As many already know, my childhood wasn't picture perfect. However, my room was my shelter in all the chaos. I felt relatively safe there. I also knew that no matter what minor arguments I had with my mom, I could rely on her. These days, I have found that most of my family and I care about and will be there for each other. As far as home away from home locations, I have a few. In the right situation, I can even feel at ease in a hotel room while traveling or on the road.

It's not easy to define what comprises a home. In terms of including other people in a household, trust is a big concern. A side note: last night I was talking to a friend, explaining that it is difficult to trust partners based on my past. Sure, you're not messing around with anyone else. Of course you're not crossing lines online. Oh, I'm sure you're just friends. He asked why I would ever be with someone I don't trust. Good question, but I have done it at least a few times. Insecurity on my part? Hoping for a change in the other party? Denial? It's hard to say, but I think my friend has a point. It's not likely that a sense of home can be created without trust. While I believe it's possible that partners can be honest with each other about pretty much anything, I think in my case, it was too much time spent focused on what could be rather than what was. Back to the topic; home is where the heart is? True, unless either one is broken.

The place I used to consider my sanctuary was anywhere I happened to be running, especially the trails. Running used to be a way for me to return to myself. Now that there's pain and discomfort in every step, it's harder to feel grounded while putting weight on my feet. Instead I have found a somewhat satisfying place in writing, despite the fact that scribbling down ideas doesn't come naturally to me. You can imagine how difficult this month of daily blogging has been! It is a bit of a struggle. I've also found a cozy little nest in the online radio station where I occasionally volunteer. Some might call the group at the station a bunch of misfits, but I love what the people involved are about and how passionate they are about what they do. They're a bit like a family to me. Mostly I like knowing that I can be myself and not feel judged by anyone. It's great to feel comfortable in your surroundings. I'd easily call the station a second home, even though there is no actual physical location of the station. It's just a group of people who occasionally meet, working both separately and together, to provide some alternative listening content to the public, reach out to the community and allow anyone who wants a chance to have his or her voice heard. It helps when a little fun can be thrown into the mix, and that's often the case when engaging in activities relating to the station. I guess home for me is more a feeling of being in the right place, doing the right things.

I call Boulder my home town, have lived here most of my life and feel drawn to the place, but I can see living elsewhere if it ever came to that. To me, home is more about inner peace than a location or building structure. What do you call home? Have you ever felt like you were home in entirely new surroundings? To me, it can be so many things: Listening to the perfect playlist, completing a well thought out blog post, finding alone time when space is needed, meeting up with friends for a drink, laughing out loud or holding hands with someone who makes butterflies flutter in your tummy. Home is a fucking warm fuzzy. It's as simple as that. Sigh. 

A few more home-related items

From a great album titled Home:

And of course, Carlin was right: "In baseball, the goal is to go home … to be safe at home."

Finally, where I like to go to feel at home:

                                                           Green Light Radio

Thursday, June 21, 2012


"You can talk about the fight  through recovery, for your life.  You can talk about a fight you’ve had with  someone. With yourself. You can talk about fear of fighting with others, the  inclination to be reserved and avoid confrontation. The word “fight” can hold  so many different meanings depending
on how you look at

Fighting can make us feel alive and give us purpose. Anger is an energy, right? 

Another year came and went without incident. I used to celebrate each year around April 20th, the day I get sick with meningitis for the 2nd time in my life. I guess since I'm finally feeling closer to 100 percent, I forgot to celebrate this year, though I did make a mental note in April that I was glad to be alive. At the time, I was. People talk about fighting for your life during an illness. Hell, I've even used those words knowing it wasn't quite like that. I tend to live more by default, never fully making a choice one way or another to live or to die. Isn't that the way most of us live? Actually, the one time I made a choice to let go, I somehow survived, but it wasn't me truly fighting for my life. I suppose there have been times I stepped more fully into living, but the majority of my life I'm merely trying to make it from morning to night. This may sound quite depressing, but it's not like I have a big black cloud floating over my head all the time. I think more that when life isn't as picture perfect as one had hopped it would be, it's easy to dissociate, and when life becomes downright unbearable, either in terms of pain or suffering, it's tempting to want to check out completely.  However, most of us don't. One step at a time, we reach some level of mediocrity and stagger through our days at work, never really loving or outright hating what we do, falling into the safety of the same old same old each day. But then there are these brilliant moments that usually hit out of the blue that make everything from the mundane to the pain all worth it. 

This has nothing to do with the post, but I can't get this song out of my head. I'm not complaining about it. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


The other day my boss and I were talking about how difficult it is for us to accept a compliment. I don't know if it's because we were so criticized in life that a compliment seems unfamiliar and strange or that we somehow don't feel deserving of compliments, but, as with gifts, I'd rather be on the giving end. That's not to say that I don't appreciate gifts and compliments, it's more that I can sometimes feel uncomfortable in the receiving role. Apparently, I need to take a few tips from this video: How to take compliments.

Given with sincerity and the motive to be kind, compliments can make us feel good, as demonstrated in the video below:


A great scene:

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Despite all the negative judgements from others that can arise when tears are shed, there are benefits in crying

Damn, I have let go of some tears in my life. I'm unpredictable when it comes to crying, sometimes holding it in for long periods and sometimes unable to shove it down. Oddly, tears can be shed in response to any strong emotion, though I don't think I have truly cried out of happiness. Frustration, anger and sadness seem to be the big ones that trigger my crying episodes. Then again, in an overly hormonal or sentimental state, a touching commercial can cause a lump in the throat. Shit, with heartache, death or some kind of loss, staring at a loaf of bread can trigger the waterworks. Actually, in extreme situations like that, my emotions gets crossed and I'm as likely to rip someone's head off as to weep in a heap on the floor. Obviously, if pain is bad enough or chronic enough, it will get to me to shed a few tears too. Some people see crying as a weakness, but I have never thought of it that way, despite the ridicule I experienced as a young child the few times I cried in public. I have already mentioned that when I was growing up, I was the youngest in the neighborhood, and the older kids would pick on me for just about anything. While I did cry, I don't think it was anything in excess. It's was a little bit like the fat phenomenon - people called me fat or commented on my weight ALL THE TIME, but looking back at old photos, I don't see a kid who was obese or anything even close. In the end, some of the other kids claimed I was a baby or whatever, but they harassed me about pretty much everything from my clothes to my looks. It wasn't until I was a little older, when I had real friends closer to my age, that I learned not everyone is so cruel.

I'm surprised I haven't cried more the last two months, given the occasional urge to break down and sob. Part of that is knowing that I have things to do and can't really take the proper time to get the emotion out, and part of it is coping in other ways. It's also knowing that in at least two difficult situations, there's nothing I can do. Acceptance may not be an emotional release, but there's still some relief in it. Still, I bet I would be less tired if I allowed myself a good long cry.

You know what really makes me want to cry? Listening to a good tune so many times on standard radio stations that the song loses all its flavor. Then, instead of liking it, I end up hating it, because just when you think you really can't possibly hear it played one more time, the station plays it another 5 times in a 4-hour block. many good songs ruined.

Hummmm- I just found this and can imagining someone selling bootleg bottles of women's tears on a street corner:

"...emotional tears from women have been found to reduce sexual arousal in men. Emotional tears are made up of a different chemical component than those evoked by eye irritants and can relay chemical messages to others. The change in sex drive could be attributed to the drop in testosterone provoked by the chemicals in the tears meant to reduce aggression." 

The anti-serum to Viagra? A secret weapon in a UFC fight?  There are all kinds of possibilities. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

The 40th Anniversary of Title IX

Title IX is part of the Equal Opportunity in Education Act. Basically it is a piece of very important legislation that bans sex discrimination in schools. It states, "No person in the U.S. shall, on the basis of sex be excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal aid." Though it may not be obvious, this applies to sports as well as academics.

Even though the Civil Rights Act originated in 1964, it wasn't until 1967 that discrimination specifically against women was addressed. Many critical things happened for women in 1967, the year I was born: Katherine Switzer ran the Boston marathon, NOW persuaded president Johsnson to include women in the executive orders that were brought about in an effort to clarify the Civil Rights Act, and groups of second wave feminists were suddenly forming and more visible than ever before. Also that year, the ERA was first proposed but never actually adopted, failing to receive the required number of ratifications. Still, it's important that it was even considered. While I tend to focus on sports and eating issues in this blog, it's worth noting that Title IX directly relates to the Equal Opportunity in Education Act. Without first tackling discrimination in education, in some cases addressing women being excluded from attending certain schools, we wouldn't have eventually been allowed equal opportunities in athletics as well.

Obviously, having title IX in place was a benefit to me. I was able to run on teams in both high school and college. Not only that, I was able to go to school on an athletic scholarship for running. My niece, a stand out tennis player, will likely play tennis when she attends college in the fall. Some claim that title IX is hurting programs for men, but this clearly wasn't the intention of those pushing for equality. What's really happening is that more money (sometimes up to 78%) is pumped into the bigger sports like men's football and basketball, so lesser men's sports are, indeed, being squeezed out in order to comply with title IX. However, when one looks at it this way, it's not exactly the equality of women that's driving the men's lesser sports away, it's the unequal distribution of money in men's sports in general. Does this make sense? It does to me. Donna Lopiano, president of Sports Management Resources, offers her thoughts, "the only answer is to stop this damn arms race in football and men's basketball, and there's a lack of will on the part of colleges and universities to do it." A few of her solutions included: "reducing the number of football scholarships Division I schools are allowed to give out, or exempting the NCAA from antitrust laws so that it could more effectively cap expenditures like coaches' salaries."

Back in January, I created a post for NGWSD, explaining why I feel sports are so important to young girls and women. Here is the link to that:

The following video is far better than the mess of inaccurate bits of information John Stossel has attempted to report on Title IX. He appears to have misunderstood what Title IX actually says. Maybe he should have read this article before opening his mouth. In short, one must provide the same opportunities (in terms of support, funding and resources) for the under represented gender (usually, but not always women) at schools and universities that receive federal funds. Maybe he was trying to be funny, but insisting that Title IX hurts men's sports or isn't needed is about as truthful as claiming The Human Centipede is medically accurate. Yeah, so is a head transplant. I am ever grateful that title IX is in place.  


In the intro of my manuscript, I mention humor, or really how humor was lacking in my life. Obviously I didn't laugh much when I was anorexic. My life became very serious and dark, so letting out a giggle wasn't something I did often. It's not like I laugh all the time now, but there's enough freed brain capacity to focus on and enjoy more moments in my life. It was a big change when I could laugh again, and I knew I was in a better, healthier place. It's hard to imagine being so closed off to enjoyment like I was. I look at people struggling with addiction and feel such a sense of loss for them. It's easy to look at all their wasted potential and feel sadness for all they are missing, but I also understand how consuming addiction can be. First it runs your life, and then it becomes your life. In terms of recovery, I once heard someone say something like, "First my life got better. Then it got worse. Then it got real, and then it got better again." That's pretty much how it happened for me. 

When I initially jumped into recovery, things did seem better for a little bit. Then things got bad, really bad. All those stuffed emotions came up, and all my fears around weight and body image surfaced. I was on my own by this time, and I doubt a therapist could have helped much. In fact, I did see one again when my feelings felt way too difficult to manage, and he didn't offer much at all. He was the one who told me I would either stay sick or get well and hate my body. That's some great advice, no? Just what every anorexic wants to hear.  <----- inserting humor through sarcasm.                                            

Now that I'm in a better place, I often laugh, sometimes even at inappropriate things. Maybe that's not quite the way to put it. I laugh a lot more now, but I do have a somewhat dry or even dark sense of humor. Don't get me wrong, I'm not one to "rire en cachette" or take some kind of Roman Holiday. I know there are people who like to get their fix of Schadenfreude in life, but I can't say I'm among that crowd. That said, I have been known to be the critics critic and edit poorly written material with funny comments, simply because it's entertaining. I would never do this publicly or name names when doing this kind of thing, but sometimes I can't help myself. Take last night when I was watching a movie late at night after a few failed attempts at sleep. I think it was called nature's grave or something like that. It's a remake of an older film. Knowing I wasn't going to watch the end of the film (it wasn't very good, and I wanted to attempt to get at least a little rest), I started looking around for reviews and spoilers. I hit the jackpot on Amazon when it comes to poorly written reviews, one even claiming the wild and isolated beach surrounded by what appeared to be miles of untamed back country in the movie appeared "civilized and domestic."  After reading through and mentally editing a few reviews with a touch of snark, I found I wasn't getting a good play by play of the film. At this point, I switched to searching for spoilers and found something that really did make me laugh out loud. OK, maybe it was more of a giggle, but this is funny:

Unfortunately, I don't have the time today to put together my own interpretation of a bad film to make you all laugh, but I encourage you to read the blog post above. It's truly awesome. heh. I guess insomnia has its benefits. 

ETA:  hehe

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Preserving High School Athletes

Cross-Country Nationals

I know this isn't the typical article about high school running. Other articles will give the "perfect" training program or stress how much mileage kids should be doing. In talking to Bobby, I found that there are reasons why so few Americans have sustained long-term careers in running, the type that last from high school to much later in life. Rather than get into specific training plans, I'm offering basic guidelines. Too often we think we can generalize, but the best programs are ones in which each member of the team is seen as an individual. 


There always seems to be some controversy when it comes to the topic of training high school runners. How much mileage can they do and still remain healthy? How much speed work should they tackle? Should they race year-round? There are many aspects of a young runner to consider when a training plan is being created. Opinions will vary, of course, but there are some indisputable guidelines to follow that will likely lead to a more successful and healthy athlete. Too often, coaches don’t think about how running in high school will affect his or her athlete down the road. It’s important to look at the ways in which a high school coach can most effectively deliver his athlete to the next running program. This includes making sure that the young runner hasn’t reached full burn out at age eighteen yet has a good fitness base and the experience of racing well.  

One thing that makes training a high school runner more difficult is the constraint of a school program with the team being obligated to participate in certain races throughout the season. There’s little room for variation when races are usually held every Saturday during both cross-country and track season. It often means that the entire team must be on a weekly microcycle and the same mesocycle, even if some of those athletes might need longer rest phases during their training or develop aerobic conditioning at different rates. For example, if a runner does better on a ten-day training cycle, chances are he won’t race as well if he does a hard workout early in the week and then has to race on Saturday before he is fully recovered. For those who can recover more quickly, a seven day cycle of training isn’t a problem. Having to train an entire group of kids makes it nearly impossible to have much individualization. This means that for some, the training will be either too much or too little, and only for a select few will it be exactly what is needed. Renowned running and triathlete coach, Bobby McGee states, “frequency teaches skill and long periods teach fitness, but how these are introduced depends on the mental and emotional maturity of an individual.” The more a coach can create different training programs for each athlete, the better. It is essential to type the athlete first in order to develop an appropriate running schedule.

An optimal training plan for a high school runner can include running as much as 70 miles per week, but there are some teens who won’t be able to handle that kind of mileage. The good news is that most kids don’t have to run extraordinarily high mileage in order to achieve success in cross-country or on the track. There have been plenty of success stories of distance runners winning state in cross-country while running only 30 miles per week. Up to a certain point, the more miles the better in order to build fitness and stamina, but high mileage has to be within the capabilities of what the athlete can handle physically, emotionally and mentally. Too often the emotional aspect of running is not taken into consideration, and this can result in burnout, injuries and frustration in a young runner. It can be tempting for a coach or parent to want to push a young competitor when early talent presents itself, however a better approach is to consider the long-term career of this racer. If a mentor can step back and learn to develop individuals, and, rather than exploit success, help these young athletes identify their talents, he or she has done a good job The best athletes are those who can learn to read their bodies and discover what they need in order to run well. By the time a runner reaches college, he should have a good sense of self efficacy and know what his body can and can’t handle in terms of mileage and hard sessions.

It seems the biggest mistakes that coaches make in training young athletes is that they have the athlete specialize too early, the focus too much on interval training and they are overly focused on outcome. If the focus is on performance or the outcome of races, a coach risks making bad decisions. At younger ages, general skills and the basics of running should be taught with less attention to place and time, though by high school time and place become somewhat necessary evils. Ultimately, the best coaches are those who don’t need their athletes to perform for validation. They have no attachments to how their athletes compete other than wanting what is best for him or her, and know that it takes a well-rounded and balanced individual to make a great competitor. Though it worked out relatively well for Scott Fry, winner of the 1984 Kinney Cross Country Championship, to focus focus primarily on running, he wouldn’t suggest the same path for everyone else. He states,I wouldn't have changed a thing in high school other than give some more thought to life beyond running. I basically put it all into running. It worked out well for me.  I got a full-ride scholarship and had a lot of great experiences. However, I would not allow my son or any athlete I coach to be that self centered on a short part of their life and not begin planning realistically what they are going to focus on for a career long term.”  Those who avoid putting all their eggs in one basket when it comes to high-performance sports are more likely to have longer and more successful careers. Suzy Favor Hamilton, a three-time U.S. Olympian, is the perfect example of someone who found balance and achieved great long-term success.  

The "come back and see me when you're running well" approach usually won't make a great athlete, but, unfortunately, that's how many coaches operate. It’s true that an athlete has to be in good working order on all levels first in order to be put in the best possible position to work on fitness and conditioning. The idea of a person first, athlete second is good to keep in mind. However, considering the individual first is an area in which many coaches fail. As long as the athlete runs well, he gets the attention and support he needs, but abandonment is common when injuries occur or poor performance occurs. Even the best athletes are rarely taught how to weather the uncomfortable feelings that can arise during injury or down time, but it’s essential to manage oneself through these difficult times in order to achieve success in the sport. A competent coach will stand by an athlete through  both times of struggle and during stand out performances. 


June 16th was the Mount Washington running race, an event I have thought about for years. My career ended long ago, but I would still like to get my body to the top of that mountain some day. It would be nice if I could do it without the limp, but who knows if that will ever be the case. I'd also like to do the Vail Hill climb again, but I'm not in very good shape this year. That's a tough one if fitness is lacking. 

I'm taking a few down days from writing, so people reading will have to put up with pictures and videos. I know it's sort of cheating, but I do want to finish this month of daily blogging. I have new admiration for those who toss out at least one blog post a day. I don't know how people have the time to do that AND live IN the world. I think it would be weird to do one of those blogs that's basically an account of daily activities..every day...sometimes multiple posts each day. I think there was a House episode dealing with a character who did that. 

Today is father's day. I haven't acknowledged the holiday in ages, but I don't like that I probably give the impression that I didn't love my dad. I did. I also believe that underneath the criticism and occasional verbal abuse, he probably loved me too. Throw alcohol into the mix, and things become very unclear and mixed up though. One thing is for certain, I had and still have tremendous respect for my father and what he did in his field. There's no doubt that the guy was a genius. Here's a link to one of the many books he edited: Mathematical Methods in Theoretical Physics. He did pretty much all his calculations without a calculator, which is hard to comprehend considering the kinds of equations he was solving. Computers weren't popular back then either, so my dad didn't own one.  


I assume you all thought I would post the Doors, but this one is more to my liking today. 

Saturday, June 16, 2012



Beginnings can be the hardest part. That's why I often start with dessert. 

I'm trying to think about how beginnings relate to eating disorders. The only thing I can come up with is how difficult new beginnings can be. On the other hand, even with tremendous fear around change, a fresh start or even a change of direction can be exciting. The one exception to having loads of resistance when stepping in a different direction seems to be when falling in love or in becoming smitten. It's crazy how easy change can be when those attraction chemicals are pumping through the body. All of sudden most fear flies out the window and starting something new seems like a piece of cake. Well, for some of us it can be that way. Certain fears are rooted deep inside us, and little things like love and affection won't alter them.

Uggh.. I'm all for this challenge thingy, but I'm getting sloppy. Consider this like being pulled out of an interval session when form falls apart and fatigue sets in too deeply. Yup, no go today. Here's a video instead. Appropriately, it's called The End. Actually that's tomorrow's word, but whatever. Maybe tomorrow I'll post a video about beginnings. Be sure to watch to the end of the video.


Friday, June 15, 2012


I was always a little confused with the idea that in order to be living in the now, you have to imagine what you want and manifest it. To me, that seems to be more like living in the future. Maybe they meant that you visualize what you want, and then when you get it, you can then sit back and enjoy it. I'm not sure, but something is fishy with that kind of thinking. I admit that once I became anorexic, I lived mostly in the future, planning meals, imagining my races and training sessions, and wondering if I would ever have a more comfortable life. If I wasn't thinking ahead, I was looking back, regretting mistakes and reliving tough times. There was very little living in the moment.

It sounds easy to be fully present, but it's actually a challenge for most of us. How often are we asleep at the wheel, barely aware of how we got from point A to point B, our minds a million miles away from the road? How many times have you eaten something while watching TV and reading the newspaper at the same time and then din't feel satisfied, despite feeing full? It's quite easy to be distracted, especially with the internet. Geneen Roth -- an author who offered me some true inspiration through her books, especially when I was struggling the most -- is big on being fully aware when we eat. It helps to learn what hungry feels like and how to detect when we are full. Too often people with disordered eating struggle to know the difference between hunger and feeling empty or feeling satisfied and feeling full. I'll add that feeling full doesn't have to mean feeling fat when we are more in touch with our emotions. Also, food tastes better when we are not lost in thought or miles away mentally.

I hate to say it, but I think some people use a skewed approach when it comes to the now concept and get away with mistreating others. Sometimes a focus on living in the here and now can allow people to avoid making commitments. It's a great excuse for some to say they're all about the moment, but I'm convinced that it's impossible to live completely in the now, unless maybe you're a monk living on a mountain top with everything from food to shelter provided for you. Those of us who work, have families or train in any way, usually need to think ahead at least a little. Unless you have the option to leave work and go eat whenever and wherever you like, run entirely the way you feel every day and not worry about packing lunch for kids the day before, it takes some planning to make sure you are properly prepared. Hell, even checking for rain to see if you need to bring along a raincoat is planning for the future, right?

I have to admit that I'm struggling with this one post a day thing. I guess I have a hard time getting my thoughts out when I'm a bit rushed. Apologies that a few of these posts are a bit of a sloppy mess. I do have two unrelated posts to throw in the mix this month, so the word of the day stuff might suffer even more, though I've got one of those posts ready to go right now.

An aside, I don't remember if I mentioned that I fell on the trails the other day. Talk about NOT being in the moment before I fell. I was very distracted and tired that day. Well, I guess when I hit the ground, I was pretty much living the the present. Ouch though. Then, yesterday my back was in spasm, so I didn't run. Actually, I was extra tired and my whole body hurt too. It's weird that I haven't put together much more than two weeks of consistent training in a long time. I was sick. Then, I took some time getting back into things, and then I fell. And THEN, my back had a conniption. Plus, there's just a lot going on that I don't really want to share on my blog. I'm distracted and tired and even depressed. There are some improvements though. It's not all bad. I was wondering why last year I was much more consistent and training more, despite the same pain level in my foot, and then it hit me.....

Being all stressed out is my new workout, I guess.

I think I had hope last year too. I didn't feel so defeated. I'm looking into a few new treatments, so I'm trying to have hope at least in the foot department. I see the Doc again at the end of the month.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Oh shit. What the fuck do I know about love? I am not an expert in this department. I love too easily, get hurt too much and generally have a love/hate relationship with myself and the world.

In reference to eating disorders and addiction, people will tell you that you have to love yourself in order to get well. I say that's bullshit, but I went about healing in all kinds of backwards ways. Ultimately, it's true that you have to respect yourself enough to get well, but my journey of health started because I loved the people around me enough to not want to continue hurting them. Plus, I got to a point where I was embarrassed that I was an adult behaving like a child, stuck in an irrational illness that was slowly killing me. Eventually, I learned to tolerate myself, and then I started to even like the person I had become. Love though? That's a bit of a stretch. We all have a "light" and "shadow" side, and I'm to the point where I embrace both. I can't say that I love my dark side though- my bouts of anger, laziness or childishness, and I know I don't like inflicting that part of me on others.

There's just too much to say about love. Look at all the books, poems, songs, movies and TV shows that deal with love as a topic. Love stinks, Love is a Battlefield, Love hurts, Love will keep us together? Sure, OK. Clearly humans know shit about love. It's not even a definable emotion. It means about 20 different things, and people will describe it in all kinds of ways. Rather than insist you must love yourself in order to get well (there are no hard rules when it comes to getting well. I believe that everyone is different and can find their own path of recovery), I will say that it helps to be at peace with yourself and trust yourself in order to recover.

When I was younger, I craved the love and attention that I lacked, because the focus of my parents was so often on my sister who was quite sick with a kidney infection when she was little. I think I tried to fill that hole with food, something I'm sure others have done too. When things get really chaotic in my life, like now, I have a really hard time knowing what I want or feel or even need. It's odd that even without being able to put a definition on it, everyone knows when love strikes.

I don't know. Love can seem so desperate and needy. I keep thinking of this song that was popular in the 90's:

And this one too from the 80's:

blah blah blah....

My "training" is shit lately. I'm not loving that. Oh well.