Friday, December 27, 2013

Honesty 2.0

I wrote a post on honesty as it relates to recovery at one point. Here's the link:

I'm revisiting this issue in a different way, because I'm starting to realize that the world is made up of all kinds of people, both honest and dishonest. When I was younger, I always assumed that everyone wanted the world to be a better place with everyone getting along, a world in which people would strive to do the right thing and be real. Obviously that's not the case. Whether people lie for selfish reasons or are sick and can't control it, lies, unfortunately, occur all over the place. Of course, some of the reasons why people lie are more understandable than others.

When it comes to being embarrassed about addictions or behaviors, lying makes at least some kind of sense, or when someone lies in an effort to avoid hurting another person, most people can understand it, even though it's not exactly appropriate or just. I have to admit that I don't get why people are dishonest for selfish purposes, especially when the untruths are so easily exposed as such. Don't they feel icky when they engage in this kind of behavior? Don't they have trouble sleeping at night?

What I find baffling is when someone is caught in a lie and, instead of acknowledging it, sticks to the story, sometimes getting deeper into the dishonesty hole by creating new stories in an attempt to cover or support the first one. Either that or the person clings to the lie, insisting it's true when all evidence points in the opposite direction. Of course, there are those who simply ignore the topic when it's brought to their attention that you know they're not being above board.

People lie about dumb little things too. Recently someone told me about a song being on a certain playlist in 2005, long before the song was even out. Why lie about that? First, it's so easily proven wrong, and second, it's so trivial. I struggle to understand the motivation behind those kinds of lies. My mom insists it's insecurity on the part of the liar. She could be right, or maybe it could be the opposite, someone with too much of an ego to make an effort to do and say the right thing.

I should clarify that I'm not talking about two people seeing a situation differently. It's not about feelings that change or situations that evolve into something new. There are times when new information is brought into light, and a person can see things in a new way. These cases have nothing to do with outright lying. Withholding information and keeping secrets can mean you're slipping into the gray area, but how hurtful those errors in honesty can be to yourself or others is based on the situation.

Brutal honesty with yourself can be tricky matter. If you have to question it, you are probably on a dangerous slope. Usually you know you're either over the line or not, but sometimes it's not so cut and dry. I occasionally catch myself when it comes to my OCD behavior, and I generally know when I'm not being true to myself. Other times I'm not so sure, as training is supposed to be healthy, and I can easily get caught up in what I "should" do instead of what my body can handle.

With so much dishonesty in the world, it's hard to learn to trust, but there are people who aim to be above board. The key is to avoid those who can't resist manipulating the truth and surround yourself with people who aim to be authentic and real. It helps to remain honest when you are among others who are too.

I come back to this idea that it takes honesty to recover from an addiction. More than that, being honest is just a better way to operate in the world. We have so little in terms of knowing about others, so when someone lies, it creates unnecessary distance between individuals and lasting distrust and animosity. It shakes others and unfairly puts another person's reality in question.

I love this concept taken from the Goldfinch, a book I have yet to read. The quote isn't exact, but the idea is there:  "It's not about outward appearances; it's about inward significance." 

Sunday, December 15, 2013


I have let this blog slide. It has been forever since my last post, but I have had a brain full of swimming thoughts. It usually doesn't make for a good blog post when I sit down to write in that state.

The other day I ran into one of my old running buddies. We reminisced about our group and how much we missed being a part of it. It was a great core group of about five or six people with others who joined later. We ran with Bobby McGee, and, while I wasn't at my fittest, I was definitely making strides toward some kind of comeback.

As it turns out, the woman I bumped into had the same injury the doctors think I have, though mine is less catastrophic.  Her injury was severe, one of the worst cases anyone could imagine. It was so bad, in fact, that one doctor refused to operate. As a result, the surgery he did eventually get was not the usual arthroscopic procedure. Her recovery was complicated and long, but she is running again. It sort of gave me some hope, even though I now have additional foot issues that require attention.

So far, the diagnoses are:

  • labral tears in both hips with a very slight stress reaction on the right side.
  • Tendonitis in both upper hanstrings.
  • A very slight instability in the foot where the surgery was.
  • A slipped tendon and stressed plantar plate on my second toe in the right foot.

For right now, I'm just in a holding pattern, seeing which of these need more attention and which will work themselves out over time. I did get a shot of cortisone in one hip, mostly for diagnostic reasons. It was basically a Sophie's choice, as I could only get one shot. The doc basically said, "Pick a side." I picked the left, as the pain was more intense, even though the right showed more drastic tearing. If the pain is still there at the end of the month, that means it's more the tears that are limiting. The tendonitis pain was so sharp that I didn't even notice the groin pain until I got the cortisone shot.

Today I ran into another one of my running partners and was reminded of how much I miss running, especially with friends. She has been through a lot, and, despite her struggles, recently popped out a 3:40 marathon. She's 56 and was recently diagnosed with epilepsy. I cried after giving her a hug goodbye. I can't even begin to explain how much I miss running, and I can't remember the last time I ran without pain.   

The hormonal situation is better but not quite normal. I thought it was odd that my sports medicine doctor suggested I see a gynecologist after looking at my MRI. I guess he could see where a cyst has ruptured and some other issues simply by looking at the imaging. Weird.

I know this isn't the most uplifting post I have created, but, if nothing else, I am in good hands with my PT and the doctors, and I'm getting answers, even if they aren't necessarily the ones I wanted. The reality is that my PT is pretty fucking amazing. I just wish I could get to the point where I could do more actual PT. The process of getting a diagnosis can be long and painful. 

At some point, I want to create a full post about denial and how difficult is is for some people to admit they have a problem. Recently, someone pointed out an article about a guy who appeared to have a full-blown eating disorder. He claimed that he didn't have an eating disorder, but that his eating was disordered. That's like an alcoholic saying, "I'm not an alcoholic; I just can't control myself when I continually drink to the point of passing out and causing all kinds of damage." It reminded me of a lady who was open about her bulimia and mentioned that she just throws up a little bit, as if that's OK. She seemed to think she could control it if she wanted, but, because of the stress in her life she "needed" to do it. It helped her stay calm or something. Her rationalizing about the harmful behavior not being a problem demonstrated how easily people can fool themselves.

I catch myself with the OCD behaviors at times, so I have to constantly ask myself if what I'm doing is out of habit or if what I'm doing is to reach goals and/or be healthy. Sometimes that line can get blurred, but there are definite behaviors that we all know are crossing into that addiction area.

I will have to go into this more thoroughly at some point. I know I keep saying that I will be better about posting, and I hope to do that in the new year.

Sunday, November 10, 2013


I'm still here. I've immersed myself deeply into the world of chocolate, and I'm not sure I want to resurface.

I'm also in my head, a place that causes me to engage less in the real world. It's easy to get caught up in thoughts and lose that feeling of being grounded.

I don't like change, yet I crave it. I'm sure I'm not alone. When I jump into the deep end after being afraid to do so, it's often not as bad as I thought it would be. If the water's too cold, I can always get out, right? When it comes to injuries, it's not as simple. Jumping in means accepting, not fighting and facing the fears that come with switching gears. I know I "should" go to the pool, but I hate it. I just fucking hate it, unless I don't have to do it and have the extra time, money and motivation. I know I don't have to do anything, but I know I feel better if I can do some exercise.

My body feels so wrecked. Christ. One limp always leads to another issue, and the spiral continues. I did get to run on the AlterG treadmill. After 10 minutes, my right knee felt all tweaked. It's minor, but I'm staying off it, just to be safe. I see the specialist Monday for the main injury. I know any new twinge or pain is related to all these imbalances caused by the foot surgery, years of limping and now the other literal pain the the ass injury.

It feels like the two sides of my body are from different people. You know those Barbie dolls that have parts that can be pulled off? OK, maybe I was the only one who was destructive with her toys as a kid, but you can pull the legs off dolls and sometimes put them back together again. My body feels like a doll with a different doll's parts on one side. Actually, I feel more like my body has been run over by a car.

I keep getting close to losing all hope of ever really running again. Right now, I'm more concerned with getting to the point where everything doesn't hurt. I want to be able to walk without feeling so out of whack. But I miss my sport. I'm guessing I won't ever race again, but I have a little bit of hope left that I might jog again. God, I hope I can.

Sometimes moving on is as simple as making a decision. You can go down that familiar road, that miserable, painful road that, at times, looks so appealing and comfortable but is so fucking bad for you, or you can opt to change directions and explore new territory. The latter is scary, but the former will destroy you. Of course the road isn't necessarily smooth once that decision has been made, but the decision itself will offer some relief. Or you can simply hang on for the ride and see where the roller coaster takes you.

Tomorrow I will be looking for guidance. I know I need to do things differently, but I'm not sure what that looks like. If I can get a better picture tomorrow, that will help. Knowing the nature of an injury helps so much in dealing with it. I had so many stress fractures in the past that I know how to handle those. This is something else. What a long trail of frustration I have been down lately.

So back to the comfort of chocolate and radio, two things that are keeping me sane at the moment...or more sane than I otherwise would be without them. 

Monday, October 21, 2013


When I first started writing Training on Empty, I was doing it, in part, to tell my story, but more importantly, I did it to give people some hope and inspiration. I wanted to show others that recovery from anorexia and other eating disorders is possible. Somehow sharing the fact that I have moved passed the hell of restricting and no longer even think about sticking my finger down my throat (and haven't for over 15 years) gave me the courage to continue working on any lingering issues, some I didn't even know I had. I also started a blog, and, as I continued to write in it over the years, discovered that recovery is a process. Every year I grow and learn. Recovery, a full recovery, I believe is possible, but it takes staying one step ahead of the illness, recognizing patterns and triggers and finding new coping mechanisms in order to be healthy. Fear is the biggest restriction when it comes to recovery. Mostly, though, it takes radical trust in yourself and a good dose of self respect to get over an eating disorder.

Self respect doesn't mean sham confidence or being cocky. There's beauty in being humble. When I look at some of my idols in running, most are modest, as they understand how much genetics, luck and hard work play roles in success. That's true in any field. The kind of confidence I'm talking about comes from treating both yourself and others well and with kindness. It grows the more you aim to do right in the world and aim to be less selfish. This is tricky, because those of us with eating issues can be both narcissistic and selfless at the same time. We give too much while obsessing internally.

I think I will create a handbook on what I feel are the most important factors in recovery. I have posted most of the material in my blog already. The information is also in Training on Empty, but it will be nice to have a condensed version in a booklet format. Because I have several other projects going on at once, this might take some time, but I'm hoping I can have it completed in a few months.


October is domestic violence awareness month.


At first when the “Don't Be That Guy” and "Make Your Move" campaigns came out, I thought it was something that would promote the idea that blaming the victim isn't a good thing and perpetuates a culture in which women are objectified, abused and thought of as lesser beings. I think this was the idea behind the campaign, but The Violence Stops Here and the Anti-Rape Campaign ads don't exactly remove the blame from the potential victims. In fact, the blame in some of the ads is still pretty obviously resting on the drunk or careless woman's shoulders. No, in these ads, the focus is on some third party stepping in to rescue the victim. Blame aside, I'm not sure how this is supposed to help address the root of the problem. 

My real issue is that the creators of the ads claim they are shaming the potential perpetrator, but nobody is stating outright, "Hey, you fucking asshole, don't do that! It's wrong." Nobody is demanding that HIS behavior be addressed. Instead, let's send the message that we need to get women out of the equation and rush them to safety. They can't be out in public on their own, ESPECIALLY if they want to have a few drinks. God, keep them OUT of the bar or they will get into trouble. My ad campaign would be different. It would be the "Don't be an asshole, you piece of shit" campaign. Now, that would focus on the REAL problem (i.e., Tell the perpetrator he's in the wrong and deal with him directly.)

Ahh, yes, she was asking for it to stop. This guy's buddy apparently wasn't listening to her, so the big hero steps in and all is right in the world. Shit. How about a better ending where the guy wasn't listening to her say stop, so she leaves or, if things get really out of hand, kicks him in the nuts. What is the end result here? The woman always needs this guy around to keep his buddies from attacking her? Ick.

This one isn't as bad, but why does she have to be the one to leave? Why can't the scary dude hanging all over her be the one escorted out of the establishment or at least called out on his icky behavior? I suppose if anyone, male or female, is terribly drunk, friends would want to watch out for this person, but isn't the bigger issue some dude who's getting ready to take advantage of a human being? Why doesn't anyone go up to the the dude and tell him he's being a scumbag by hanging all over a drunk girl?

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

In other news, I don't have uterine cancer. That's a relief, because all my symptoms were pointing in a bad direction. My doctor is taking the wait and see approach. If I start spewing as much blood as Quint in Jaws when he is attacked and eaten by the shark, we will take some action. 

My injury is still nagging me, but I'm seeing some progress in my range of motion. Now to address the pain issue.

October also means the new season of American Horror Story. So far, it's good. The slower pace (for now) is a nice change from the intensity of the first few episodes of last season.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Trying to Make the Best of a Bad Situation

I could always go the the pool and, when blood squirts out, stop and scream, "SHARK!" OK, that wasn't actually my idea, but I kind of like it.

Last week, I had another biopsy. My new doctor took out three big chunks of my uterus, and she didn't ask me to take medication to open up my cervix, which was a relief. It turns out that my cervix is tilted. I guess that's a good thing when it comes to trying to avoid kids but not so good when it comes to my monthly (oh how I wish it could be monthly again!) cycle. If all goes well, I will have some answers and possible solutions presented on Thursday.

In other news, I'm frustrated with how slow the progress is with this injury, but my PT, who is really good, is doing everything he can to help me through this. My body, hormonal problems and the nature of the injury are what interfere with my healing.

Finally I got some good news. I was approved to write some cooking articles. I've been dragging my fingers through a few running articles, and I desperately need a change of scenery. It's not fun to write about something you can't do. The cooking articles excite me more at this point. They don't pay as well, but they are way more fun. My first article will be about chocolate, of course.

After listening to a lecture given by a musician who talked about piracy, busking and her music career, I realized that I have a terrible time asking for help or for things in general, as many of us do. One of the points this musician brought up was that when we ask for something like money, it keeps us connected. Rather than a label taking a big cut of what she deserved, she went directly to her fans. When she asked those who could afford it to pay for her music, she could play it forward and give free music to those who couldn't afford it.

I have been trying to offer the same and give my book away for free now and then, but I need to be better about asking those who can afford it to make the purchase. I really suck at asking for things like that. I think there are people who don't realize that a career in the arts is difficult. People see it as a hobby and are often reluctant to pay for a CD, a book or a painting. It's not always obvious the time and money that went into creating these works. But the musician's main point was that she wanted her music to be available to everyone. She felt that if she asked for instead of demanded payment, people would respond. For her it worked.

That said, I'm still of the mindset that I want people to enjoy what I create, so I'm going to give away the book of short stories Kevin Beck and I wrote for free for three days only. All I ask is that you spread the word and play it forward when you can.

The coupon code is: BG66D
And the link is here:

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

This Mess

The amount of blood I'm losing is absurd. I had a slight break from all of this for a few days, but it didn't last. I'm not sure why I get the pleasure of experiencing such painful things in life, but there are times when I feel like I've had enough.

Like now.

I'm not a fan of the fucking commercial for the Violet Petal Study, but there's something accurate about the image here:

Tomorrow I will finally see a different doctor. Hopefully some treatments will be discussed.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Don't worry. I'm not. I don't really worry about relapses anymore. It took me many years to get to this point, but I know I'm in a safe place. It wasn't always like this, though. My relationship with food and exercise was up and down and all over the place for a long, long time. If I'm honest, I can sometimes lean toward neurotic tendencies in some areas of my life, but I'm good at catching myself before my behavior gets too nutty.

What I have noticed, especially lately, is that when my world is collapsing, I seem to get more focused on food and my body. I feel uncomfortable a lot when things in my life are out of kilter. When I can't change the people in my life or control my environment, my body or my hormones, it's easy to feel more triggered emotionally and more sensitive overall. Being triggered no longer means I have to act on it, though. That's a good place to be. I don't look at any of this as a setback or slipping. I'm aware of how far I have come that I can have an occasional passing thought about unhealthy behaviors or my past and not act on them. I consider that normal. Who hasn't contemplated "To be or not to be"?

Unfortunately, I'm in a setting in which I'm triggered a lot, being around someone who is in the throes of an eating disorder. I have to give myself a pat on the back for sticking to my own path and not letting someone else's struggles affect me to the point of acting on any dangerous habits. That takes some doing. It would be like an alcoholic having to work at a bar with a coworker who likes to talk about how great drinking is.

Last week was tough. I developed a fever Monday night, so I spent much of Tuesday morning in bed. Then I went to a gynecologist, one of the few in town who wasn't booked until the middle of October, and I had to endure a biopsy. The doctor fucked it up and wanted a redo, but I started feeling uncomfortable with the way things were heading. I'm not convinced the biopsy was necessary after the ultrasound already uncovered the problem. Plus, she wanted me to take some medication to open up my too narrow cervix. None of it was sitting well with me, so I cancelled my appointment. No matter whom I see, it looks like I have four choices for treatment: hormone therapy, an IUD, ablation or surgery. I kept hoping there was a secret option hidden behind curtain number five, but doing nothing is the only other possible course of action. I'm getting a second opinion.

I miss running. The good news is that I have been able to do a tiny bit of biking with a little bit less pain. It has been a looooonnnnngg road, and it's not over yet. I still say that my PT is great. I'm just dealing with a lot of frustration. This has been a temperamental injury. At times, even swimming hurt.

This is a very well done post on anorexia:

I'm getting the urge to leave Boulder. This city isn't what it used to be. As beautiful as it is here, I can picture myself somewhere warm with fewer people out for themselves and themselves only. My boss was almost run over by a guy, because he couldn't wait two seconds for her to get a large shipping box out of the back seat of her car. He kept pulling into the parking space next to her car, even though she was basically trapped there, holding the package and trying to shut her door. Another lady called the cops, because she was worried about this asshole running over my boss. It's getting to be more and more like that. Ick. It's fucking depressing how selfish people can be. I suppose I have my bad moments, but I don't think I would ever come close to running over a person, simply because I want to park NOW! I'm glad I wasn't there, because I probably would have made a scene in defense of my boss.

In better news, I get to look forward to trying this:

Oh yes I did! 

Monday, September 23, 2013


Lately I have been avoiding this blog. After all the flooding in and around Boulder, everyone seems to be in shock. We are all still coming out of it. I have met a few people who lost everything. It's heartbreaking. I haven't wanted to post anything, because I've been going through my own struggles, which, some will say, are nothing in comparison. On the other hand, my mom used to always tell me that if it's your itch, it still itches. You shouldn't compare wounds, and not just because we all have different perspectives and different tolerance levels for pain, emotional or physical. If your advice to anyone suffering is to buck up, because there are worse problems in the world or you have it worse -- like it's some kind of contest -- ask yourself if that's really helpful. Those who tend to say that often have their own shit to wade through. Of course there are worse problems in the world, but that shouldn't discount anyone else's pain.

But I still feel selfish for whining when I know what other people are facing around here and elsewhere. While attempting to avoid making this a pity party, I will give a brief update about some of what's going on in my world. I won't go into all of it, as some issues are better left off public blogs.

My out of whack hormones (warning, this is gross)

Well, what I thought was a hormonal condition turned out to be something more concerning. After five weeks of bleeding, I finally went to see a doctor. I'm now approaching six weeks of having my period. The last three weeks have been insane. My vagina is spewing so much blood that it sometimes comes out in chunks. In the last six days or so, I have gone though almost four packages of regular pads and two and a half packages of liners. Forget tampons. Those won't work with this kind of blood flow. I have also ruined pretty much every pair of underwear I own, stained two sets of sheets, one pair of shorts and several towels. I seem to be leaking everywhere. An ultrasound showed that I have endometriosis. I see another doctor next week to discuss options. Despite looking quite pale, I'm not yet anemic. I guess that's good.

My injury

I'm still injured. It might sound odd or out of place to add that my PT is really awesome. I have no complaints, but the injury is stubborn and difficult to treat. Nothing makes sense with it. Rest doesn't seem to help, but I can't do any real workouts. This is dragging out way too long, and it's fucking depressing. I'm getting soft, too. I'm not getting in the pool lately, because, well, I don't think I can find a tampon big enough to stop what's coming out of me. Plus, I hate swimming when it's my only option. I mind it less if it's just a little extra something to add to a workout. I don't know what the next steps will be with this thing.

Now for some fun.

Because I have done chocolate reviews before, I was invited to be one of the regular contributors to this blog: Hee. This could be interesting. As if I need an excuse to eat chocolate.

Oh and you should buy this book:  or There's even a story about a runner in there.

Monday, September 16, 2013

No News is Not So Good News

I've neglected this blog. There's a lot going on lately, mostly the severe flooding in my hometown. I'm still in a state of shock, even though most of the people I know came out of it relatively OK, all things considered. Still, things are a mess here.

It seems selfish to discuss personal issues when Colorado has been in a state of emergency the last few days. I will go into things another time. Mostly I just wanted to pop in to say that I'm alive and hope the worst of the storms are over. It looks like this week will be a better one with more sunshine.

Melody wrote a very nice post in response to the flooding here. I hope people take the time to click on the link.

I'm sick today, and my injury seems to be nagging me more than usual. It seems like a sensible thing to do to sneak in a nap, as I finally have a much needed day off, so that's my plan. In the weeks and months to come, I hope to be better about posting here. Hoping for sunshine and dry weather this week.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

KGNU Interview

Thank you so much to Maeve Conran for the interview about Training on Empty on KGNU.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


Life happens. Recovery doesn't mean that everything comes up roses, rainbows blot out the sky and pots of gold are deposited at your doorstep. No, shit still happens. That's one of the hardest things to face about living in the world and being present. You think that after going through the worst hell imaginable (more than once), things magically improve, but life still fucking hurts now and then. After numbing out your feelings for so long, managing them when you do start to wake up can turn into a real struggle, especially while you're also trying to avoid losing your footing in all the slippery crap that gets spread around.

I feel about as solid as a dimensional Lichtenstein painting. I'm not quite here lately, but I'm trying to get grounded again. Some techniques to get back to yourself include: crying, writing, singing, punching a pillow, dancing, talking, talking some more and feeling, fucking feeling. Mostly I'm trying to do shit that MATTERS, attempting to find myself in giving back, because I can be pretty selfish when I'm hurting, both emotionally and physically hurting. I've been attempting a bit of everything actually -- minus the dancing, as I'm not all that coordinated -- in an effort to get some perspective on everything going on in my life lately. But my urge is to sleep for weeks, just turn off everything and everyone.

God, I look in the mirror, and I looked so pained. It's written all over me, no matter how much I try to get around it. But just like getting through anything -- a race, a project or a hectic day -- the best way to get over it is to plow right through it. I sometimes wish I were the type who lets go easily and moves right along without looking back and with no regrets, jumping into new situations without a care. I'm too in my head for that.

As challenging as it may be, I'm attempting to face the way I feel, something that is very difficult for me, as my tendency is to run, just fucking flee, when I'm hurting, facing conflict or unable to control events in my life, but I'm also trying to avoid letting my feelings engulf me. Sometimes I feel like my emotions are going to swallow me whole. I can easily get so upset that I start shaking, especially with conflict, and that has happened several times in the last few months. I have to remind myself that it's temporary. The emotions will eventually pass. Things will change. I will breathe again.

While I may not know the outcome or the near future, change is inevitable. Whatever feelings are pouring out of me or attempting to drown me right now, I can't get to the point where I'm risking overwhelming myself or others around me, but I also can't stuff anything down and pretend everything is fine when it's not. The risk is too great, and I'm still trying to stay one step ahead of or at least toe to toe with my bigger issues. Jeez, my life feels like a fucking Shakespearean tragedy, minus eyes being plucked out, suicides or violent murders, of course. Internally it feels that way, though- fucking drama -- but no audience is going to pay much attention to my soliloquy.

Life with its ups and its deep, cavernous depressions... What do you do?

Yeah, I'm "too" emotional. I care too much and all that crap, but I'm not alone in being sensitive, maybe overly so. I love too hard, get hurt too easily and become conflicted and confused by how I act, react and interpret my experiences. My biggest goal right now is to stop trying to think I could have done things differently, even if I feel like I should have. Sometimes it's impossible to do what you WANT, because emotions can fuck up any right action.

I've had many vivid dreams lately, mostly unsettling ones that leave me in a state of confusion when I wake. Sometimes I wish I could turn off my dreams. Last night I had a dream about a giant bear. This thing wasn't just big, it was enormous, as big as a fucking mountain. I felt like it might eat me, but it first lingered, watching me as the fear trickled up my spine and through my body, and then the animal made its way down the street. Bears can symbolize anything from power and healing to courage in going it alone. Let's hope this strange dream was a sign that I'm regaining some strength and confidence in attempting to return to myself. I'm both craving space and companionship, an odd combination that is ultimately unattainable, so I lean toward the space.

My hormones are a fucking mess lately. After a month of having my period, I got two weeks off followed by another period. No wonder my emotions are running a little wild lately.

If all else fails, turn to God.
Oh come on, it's funny.

Don't forget that You Can't Use Your Cell Phone in Here is available as an ebook that can be downloaded in pretty much any format (even if you don't have an electronic reading device) on Smashwords:

And in the printable version on

Please consider a purchase to help out a struggling writer. Thank you.

Now Available in Print: You Can't Use Your Cell Phone in Here

Monday, August 19, 2013

Wa wa wa wHat?

I'm a million miles away and have been the last few weeks. I rode an ugly emotional roller coaster and got spit out on the pavement. Fortunately, I skidded and eventually landed at the feet of a few friends who helped me up and are trying to point me in the right direction.

I'm thinking out loud today, nothing more.

If all goes well, I should be able to get the short story book available in print form. I'd like to do that for my own book as well and will as soon as I can move forward with this other one.

I'm appalled that I can't always make my actions agree with my heart or even my head. I have a stubborn, shut-down response to intense, emotionally-charged situations, and it can come off as cold, even when everything in me is screaming to act differently. I usually don't, unfortunately. I'm no different than anyone else, though, and admit that Bukowski was right. This is what I need to address in my life lately:
"We're all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn't. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing." 

But nothing is relative, so is everything. If you've got an itch, it's your itch and nobody can tell you that it doesn't itch or that their itch is worse. Some of us have been hurt more than others, and it makes walking thorough life without reacting on a strictly emotional level more difficult. Sure, give it a week or three, and most of us are able to take off the denial blinders and see things for what they are, but in the moment, that's difficult to do. The result is that we cling and cry and throw fits. And then we get over it and wonder what the fuck it was all about anyway. In the end it's probably all really just trivial bullshit, but it can FEEL so REAL, until you sit back and think about the bloodshed in Egypt or contemplate the immensity of the universe and feel stupid for moaning about the little things. But who am I kidding? We are emotional, feeling beings, so it's natural to get a little self absorbed from time to time. Some people never get out of that state and live in a ME ME ME, fucking ME world.

Life shifts are never easy. We all experience them. Some of us go numb. Some of us fall apart, and some of us adapt more successfully. I do a little of each. During these difficult times, It helps to have friends who can be honest. Most people aren't honest. I think about that a lot. They tell others what they think they want to hear, are afraid to say NO and tiptoe around the issue. I know I don't like to risk hurting anyone, so I have done it too, mostly in the form of withholding information, never outright lying. It still doesn't feel good, though. On the other hand, sometimes it's just not my place to dump information on someone else, no matter how much I wish the other person could know, really know.

But it's silly, because intuition usually comes into play... or maybe that's wishful thinking on my part; I don't know. Most people (I think), except those who are really good about pushing their weight around in life or those who insist on living in a fantasy, have some sense of what is reality. I guess I'm lucky that the people in my circle are pretty straight shooters, even when being honest can't be all that easy. Right now I'm clinging to that. I needed a large dose of reality, and some oxycodone wouldn't be so bad either. Joking...sort of.

My biggest lessons lately are:

1. You can never truly know what another person thinks or feels. It's pointless to guess, and guessing or assuming leads to a tremendous amount of conflict. It's also easy to assume the wrong thing based on past experiences and self esteem or lack thereof.
2. Take everything with a shaker of salt. People say shit all the time. Pay attention to your gut in all situations. And trust it.
3. Even when you feel like curling up in the fetal position and crying the rest of you life away, get out and DO STUFF. It will make you feel better, much better.
4. When your mind has taken a trip while your body stumbles around on Earth, return to yourself as soon as possible, because you are the only one in the world who will be there for you in the end.

I just watched Orange is the New Black. I loved this scene, and -- as someone who focuses on my past faults, as if I should have been super human and always reacted calmly, lovingly and compassionately no matter what the circumstance -- it's important for me to acknowledge that everyone makes mistakes. More importantly, does it really matter, especially if we don't KNOW what the right action SHOULD be? Does my emotional reaction to a situation (that always seems to become the focus and eventually the main problem) change the ultimate outcome? Probably not, but I'm good at pretending it does:

The running.

Still in pain, but what else is new? I can't afford the MRI that my PT recommended, so I'm just staying the course. This is the type of injury that heals VERY SLOWLY. It's up and down and all over the place, much like everything else in my life right now. But today I ran, and the super sharp stabbing pains were a tiny bit less. I think that is progress. I have forgotten what it's like to really run, but I am glad I can walk with a lot less pain. That is huge. I miss the idea of racing, but I realize how crazy it was that I was racing even last year given how fucked my body was. Right now I just want some sigh... I don't even know.

What a big weekend of races in Colorado. I saw that for the first time ever, Pikes did some random drug testing. I was very glad to see that, though I'm not happy that the sport has gotten to this point, and also not happy about the assumptions that have been made about dirty runners. That's no good at all.

Wheww. I feel better.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Price Correction

Whoops. The price on the book is $4.99.

This is a book of short stories that another writer and I completed recently. Spread the word!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

New Book

I know I have neglected my blog lately. My efforts to be better about updating this thing failed, but it's not like I've been a compete slacker. In fact, my editor and I just finished writing a book of short stories that is now available on Smashwords at the following link:

This has been a really fun, challenging and rewarding project. I can't even begin to explain how lucky I feel to have been part of it. I'm sure some of you loyal readers probably already know how talented Kevin Beck is when it comes to writing and running, among many other things, so working on this book with him was a real treat for me. Kevin is someone who has pushed me, inspired me and had faith in me as a writer, even when I hesitate calling myself one. I always tell him that I would give a body part, even one of the uninjured ones, to write like he does.

Rather than muck up this post with running-related (or injury-related) topics, I will keep it short and focused on the topic at hand.

I learned a great deal working on my contributions to this book. I have said this many times before, but a good editor elevates writing and adds richness. Such was the case here. Some stories flowed for me, and others tormented me. I always talk about how it's best to get out of your own way, and I'm finding out that it's absolutely essential with writing. You have to get the story out there first. Rewriting is the equivalent of decorating the cake after you have baked it, frosted it and made sure it's even and set. It's the fun part, but you can't jump there without a good base. (Sound familiar runners?) I'm often impatient, so I'm learning to spend the time I need to write, rewrite and then creatively rewrite...and then let my editor fix it.

Anyway, take a look and let me know what you think. Spread the word if you can, and don't freak out about the fact that I attempted something with some adult content in one of the stories. Just be sure to read that one to the end.

Monday, July 29, 2013

One Step

This injury is one of those one step forward, one step back situations. As long as there is overall improvement, no matter what direction I step, I remain hopeful and try to avoid freaking out over the backwards stepping. It's a tough situation to be in when you get glimpses of what running can be like, but you're not there yet. Apparently, the technical term for my condition (or the most limiting part of my condition, as there are several issues going on at once) is Ischiogluteal Bursitis. It's basically a pain the the ass.

Last night I slept well for the first time in a really long time. Things that had been weighing on me were suddenly lifted, and having clarity, even if the outcome wasn't what I wanted, allowed me to let go and rest. It felt good. My body and mind both needed it, and I realize how important sleep is in healing all wounds, emotional and physical.

Saturday was a fun night, compete with good company, good food and interesting adventures. I have to say that sweet potato fries get me overly excited. I'm slightly embarrassed that I was caught with fries in both hands at one point during dinner, but they are so gooood!

Sunday was hell. Skip that and jump to today, which is looking like it will be a good day.

I'm just finishing up a short story that has been haunting me. Oddly enough, it is a horror story, though it's not all that scary, really. I will need to go back and see if I can up the creepy factor by a fair amount. I have three ideas for the ending and can't decide which one will come out as my final choice. Coming to the end of a story is always bitter sweet for me. There's a sense of relief that it's done, an awareness that it needs editing and rewriting, and even a bit of sadness as the relationship to it comes to a close. Of all the stories I have done recently, it's my least favorite, but it has taken the most effort. Sometimes, like with running, you can have a great race and not feel all that tired, but the races in which you struggle can teach you a great deal.

I'm going to make more of an effort to blog more regularly here. I haven't been good about that lately.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The I word

The last few years, I was so focused on my foot issues that I didn't even realize how injured the rest of my body was. I finally had to face the fact that I have an injury. My PT is amazing. He described my situation in terms of someone who gets in the car over and over when the engine light is on. You sort of learn how to ignore it, even though you know something is wrong. Well, it's different in that, instead of a light, there's shooting pain, stiffness and a constant ache. For years, though, I thought that this was just how my body would be. I was learning to deal with the chronic pain. Um, no. It's how an injured body is, not a healthy one. I still can't believe I raced last year and even before that the way things have been. I'm insane.

In a way, it's good that the stiffness and discomfort got to the point where even walking hurt. I have a LONG way to go still, but I am starting to get glimpses of running again. I have even taken a few jogging steps. I had a few days in the pool on which there was no shooting pain. That's a HUGE improvement. It does leave me in that frustrated situation of being better but not well enough to really run fully, and biking has been out, too.

My life has been sort of sliding lately. My head is so disconnected from my body, I usually don't even know what day it is. Today was the first day in a while that didn't seem impossible to face, even though I'm running on not enough sleep and a surplus of emotion.

This is the time I need to watch myself. Faced with extreme sadness or FEELINGS in general, I know I need to stay one step ahead of my illness. Am I afraid I will slip? No, but that's because the healthy me is giving one hell of a fight. I know what to do, but it can be a challenge at times. Meanwhile, I'm watching someone I know fall down that black hole, rationalizing and explaining away her sick behavior as she falls. And I know there is nothing I can do.

Ahh well, this is a short post, but I have to skip out of here and tend to a few pets and plants before I go to work.

Today was a better day. I think if I can hurt less, I will end up loving running again, even if my stride my never quite be the same. I have hope. Man, what a rough ride it can be at times.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Going To The Poo

I lost the cap on my L key, so it's difficult to type any words containing the letter L. I lost the N cap, too, but, since I use my index finger for that one, I've gotten used to pressing it harder. The missing L in the title sort of fit and made me laugh when I read it, so I didn't go back and press really hard on the spot where the L used to be on my keyboard.

In case my ramblings aren't completely clear, I'm not happy about having to resort to swimming for a workout. Actually, struggling to not drown for 20 minutes isn't really a workout, but that's about all I can handle in the pool. God. I swim for 10 minutes, and it feels like I've run a marathon. Obviously I'm getting out of shape, but I'm hoping my injuries are healing. Shit. I can't believe how very fucked up my body has been. I'm still shocked that I was running and even racing last year. I guess you sort of get used to limitations until either they improve or get worse and require attention. Now I have this weird thing where I can't even run. It's not just the pain, it's like my body is locked up and won't move. It sucks.

I got the OK to jog 20 minutes, but it didn't go very well. I'm a bit worried.

Uggh, the pool. Because I'm spending so much time and effort trying to avoid drowning, I can't really get my heart rate up, unless it goes up out of sheer terror, which might be the case with me. I bought goggles after one session without them, and that helped, only after about 10 minutes, I was thinking, "Damn, I have a headache." It turns out that I had the straps adjusted too tightly, so I pulled off the darned things -- which resulted in an audible sucking sound with a pop at the end -- and attempted to readjust them while treading water. Shit. And ouch! I bruised the area around my eyes. Not only were my eyeballs bloodshot, but I looked like a raccoon. Then my foot cramped up, and one of my toes went into spasm. Oh joy. To top off my pool experience, two young girls mocked me in the locker room for having colorful kinesio tape on my hamstrings. WTF? Like I didn't get enough teasing when I was a kid; I now have to endure it as an adult? Fuck that. I really wanted to say something nasty, but I held my tongue. A friend and I came up with all kinds of awful comebacks that I would never really say but made me laugh after the incident. It's scary the kind of power I know certain insults can have. I'm glad I kept my mouth shut.

Maybe with more swimming, my toothpick-sized arms will look a little less scrawny. They were sore after two laps. Wonderful. I have come very, very close to giving up exercise entirely.

Last night I was watching a really strange show that a friend suggested called Naked and Afraid. The idea is that two people are dropped off in remote areas and have to survive naked together for an extended period. I think it's something like 21 days. Oh, I'd die in the first day; I'm sure. If I didn't go in some freak accident like a coconut bonking me on the head in just the right place, I'm sure some disgusting monstrous insect would eat me before the camera crew could stop the disaster. Either that or the guy who ended up as my partner would kill me for whining about everything.

One of the episodes featured a guy with an infected foot. The producers had to step in and get him medical attention. When they showed him getting it treated, I had flashbacks of being in the hospital. Now, I know he was out in the wild, not in the hospital, but the way he was screaming and yelling when the medic drained the swollen body part made me feel a little less wimpy for shedding the tears I did in the same procedure. That shit HURTS!

My hormones are still completely out of whack. Nothing new there.

I had a spell of writer's block but grabbed a Stephen King book to read for inspiration. I'm very slowly struggling my way through the blockage. Some days, getting a few sentences out is like conquering Everest. My short stories are getting VERY mixed reviews, and I'm having to learn to deal with criticism, a lot of criticism. I get frustrated comparing myself to other writers and my editor, who happens to be a fucking genius, but I'm still working on improving.

I was about to jump into a heated facebook discussion about the outcome of the Zimmerman case, but I realized that the guy I was about to address was probably not going to listen to anyone who disagreed with him. When he cited two "news" sources -- one that's not much more accurate than the Enquirer and the other that has been criticized for copyright infringement and other indiscretions,  -- I decided to sit back and watch the mayhem unfold. It was quite upsetting.

Oh, this is kind of cool. Sue Ann Gleason (Chocolate for Breakfast) posted this earlier:

Famous Authors who didn't graduate in writing-related fields.

Back to messing around with words. 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

I Don't Do That

I can't really run. It hurts. I hurt. It's frustrating and confusing. As a result, my emotions are a little on the raw side. Being injured in the summer flat out sucks. Nothing else really matters when you're facing an injury. No matter how far from the elite podium I have fallen, running still means something to me. When I'm struggling with it, I struggle in other areas of my life.

Recently, I wrote a short story, and it's getting mixed reviews. I went from thinking it was decent to thinking it's shit in one day, because of one comment. I'm way too sensitive. I will probably rip it apart several more times before I even think about putting out in the public eye. I'm all too aware of my shortcomings as a writer. Sometimes I wish I had an inflated ego, just so I would get out of my own way more, but it's probably better to be realistic.

The thoughts in my head are spinning around this fucked up idea of love. I no longer pretend to have a clue about this shit. These days, people only love until something better comes along, or they love with the idea that it's temporary. There's no such thing as the kind of eternal love that plagued the characters in Romeo and Juliet. Even if there were, we're all too busy jumping on high horses, complaining and destroying the planet for it to matter much. Today's love is excessive self love --you take as much as you can and fuck anyone else who gets in your way-- GRAB, GRAB, GRAB, and for those of us who can barely like ourselves, our love spills out in all the wrong places. We trust too much, get hurt too easily and wonder how the fuck other people sleep at night.

Relationships? I don't do them. Actually, I should clarify that. I don't do them well. I used to jump in with both feet, like some free-spirited kid jumping into a rain puddle, completely unaware of any potential danger. Then I got hurt a few times, and a few times more. What's that saying about how you should love like you have never been hurt before? Snort. Yeah, right. Sounds good on paper. Anyone who has been screwed over knows it's not that simple. Every time you enter into a new situation with someone, you tend to bring all your scars, fears and distrust from the past. It would be nice if that weren't the case. In the end, many of us repeat the past, no matter how informed we may be. And don't you hate it when your intuition is right?

I want my life to be like a Baz Luhrmann film. I know- so over the top! Well, if you want a straight-laced version of Romeo and Juliet or the Great Gatsby, read some books. If you want visual stimulation, passion and excess, see one of his films.

I'm in a radiohead kind of mood:

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th!

No racing for me any time soon. I hope those of you who laced up your racing flats this morning had fun and ran well.

The PT I saw on Monday is really, really good. The problem is that my body doesn't seem to be responding the way it should. Still, it does help to know what's going on, and I wasn't foolish enough to think that one treatment would cure years and years of chronic pain and injuries. I'm doing the exercises he gave me for homework and struggling to find flat places to run around here. Two steps forward, one step back seems to be about right. Hopefully that overall forward motion will continue.

I'm spending most of my time working, writing and stressing lately. Today I have a rare day off with only a few job-related activities to do, so I will take full advantage by spending the day writing and being lazy. I haven't even stuck my nose out the door yet.

Enjoy the holiday!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Pain Free In My Future?

I have totally neglected my blog. Apologies, but I have been working a lot and trying to write short stories and articles in my spare time. I miss blogging, though.

Have you ever had chronic pain and, over the years, forget what it's like to live a day without it? For the first time in YEARS, many years, I walked up the stairs without wincing. I haven't been able to step properly for close to 15 years now. Looking back, I have no idea how I was able to run and race at all, given how locked up my body has been. I finally found someone who seems to be able to help me. It's still in the early stages and I have a ton of work to do. It will be a long road, but I can't believe the difference after just one treatment. Wow. I hope I can afford a few more appointments. It all depends on my insurance. I feel like crying. There might be a light at the end of this fucking miserably dark tunnel.

I went here, in case anyone is wondering.

This post will be super short, because I don't want to mix in a bunch of complaints with the little bit of hope expressed above. Keep checking back, though. I will make more of an effort post more. To end things, here's a song I just love but rarely hear anymore. I played this many years ago on one of my radio shows:

The Submarines modern inventions:

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What Makes You Happy?

Shit. I started this post a long time ago.

Yesterday I tripped on the trails because my foot still likes to disconnect from my brain now and then. I didn't really fall, though I put my hands on the ground in order to avoid doing a full face plant. Somehow I stumbled enough to strain my butt. I'm sure everyone who runs has done this. The pain is right at the attachment of the hamstring. I'll be OK in a day or two, but I was on the bike today just to be safe. I've been so fucking sore since ...forever.. that it was probably good to be off my feet a bit. I hate when I start shuffling instead of running. Uggh.

Before I get to the post I left hanging, I thought I would share what someone deposited in my inbox the other day:

The whole time I was watching it, I was thinking that the guy serving her was pretty fucking remarkable and awesome in the way he handled the situation. I don't know if I would have been as kind. What's weird is that she seems to think she has the right to treat others like that. I mean, that's it? This is your big contribution to the world? I have a hard time understand why so many people are incredibly self righteous and so fucking full of themselves. It seems that more and more people are just fine cutting others off, crossing lines they shouldn't, demanding their way, cheating and being all kinds of shady. I find it really sad. But this isn't really what my post was about.

Here's the post I started. I sound like I should be narrating one of those sad cat diaries:

It's a dreary day. My mood is matching the weather. Things have been going better, though. Still, I struggle with where I'm at with my running and in life. I often come back to the question: What makes me happy? There have been times in my life when I could no longer determine what made me happy. It still happens today, though obviously I have moments of being happy. During the down times, thoughts of being cheerful or even content were replaced with thoughts about how to get through the day. When my life slides, it's hard to show up at all. Even taking a shower becomes a difficult task.

Recently, I binged watched a few seasons of Shameless on Netflix. (Uhh, I actually finished the whole thing, I'm not proud to report.) Distraction is OK during times of depression, though I tend to take it too far (obviously). Despite it being a great show, at times it's really difficult to watch because of all the drinking one of the main characters does. Some of it hits too close to home, especially when it comes to the scenes in the first season. For someone who has grown up and been around alcoholics a lot, the show stirs up much resentment, anger and sadness.

One of many things the show captures well (perhaps unintentionally, though I suspect someone involved in the production is in the know) is how everything centers around the addict, even though he's out of it much of the time. In later episodes of the show, the main alcoholic occasionally comes through, and despite all the shit that goes down, people seem to still like the guy. He's human, after all.

Growing up with an alcoholic father and other addicts in and out of the house meant major events such as birthdays and holidays were spent wondering if X would make a scene and if Y would keep his shit together long enough to avoid a fight. That makes us sound like trailer trash, but this was hidden, as well as possible anyway. It was that typical suburbia type shit that wasn't always obvious to others. It never is when addicts are somewhat functional. Going to restaurants was the worst with everyone who wasn't drinking worried about what other people would think.The disgust, the worry, the disappointment, the embarrassment and the pain, the fucking, fucking pain of watching people wreck their lives and the lives of those around them was fairly constant.

I've noticed that many people who are in the throes of an eating disorder get stuck focusing on a certain statement that feels true to them. I see it, because I did it, too, and if I'm not careful, I can slip back into those kinds of patterns. All addicts hurt. Hell, people in general are wounded by life in some way or another. What I'm finding is that focusing on the symptoms doesn't resolve the issue.

When you blurt out, "I feel fat" or "I hate my life" ask yourself what you are seeking. What self reflection or introspection is taking place? When you state to others, "I didn't eat" or "I skipped a meal," how do you want and expect others to respond? Are you considering how these comments may affect those around you, and are you asking yourself what is it really that you need? Is it comfort, confirmation or acknowledgment? Or are you expecting the people listening to help you and tell you how to take care of yourself? I ask, because sometimes I haven't been clear when I have complained about certain situations.

Perhaps instead of repeating a phrase about our symptoms, we can begin to define the feeling, fear or concern in another way and get to the root of the issue. I mentioned before that early in my recovery, I used to always say, "I feel fat." If I'm not careful, this still comes out, and I'm forced to look at what it really means. Am I uncomfortable, afraid, tired or angry? Usually there's something deeper.

Yesterday, just as I was thinking about how uncomfortable I was feeling, someone else said that she was feeling out of sorts. Another lady agreed and we figured it must have been related to the changing pressure in the atmosphere or something. I often attribute everything to my thoughts and emotions. Sometimes there are physical causes relating to our experiences.

I don't think I'm alone when it comes to having trouble defining what makes me happy. Sometimes it's clear, and sometimes it's more vague. I can say that I'm happier when I'm in less pain, and because I tend to have some chronic conditions, it's not always easy to focus on what brings me joy. I do think that it's important to continually examine this question. For example, I wish I had someone asking me about my happiness when I was so miserable with my running.

I've lost my steam. Recently I have been writing and reading some fiction, and I can't seem to think straight at the moment.

Words and sayings that annoy this week:

Manifest - This is the new age version of prayer (with about the same results), only more centered around the self and wishing rather than working to achieve desired outcomes. (See Betty Bowers or George Carlin on prayer)
Blessed - I'm not sure what this means, but people seem to use this word as some kind of euphemism for "My life sucks."

I know, I know, positive thinking and all that can have good effects. I don't dispute that. What bothers me is how people toss sayings around these days and expect change without taking any action. It reminds of of a great South park quote:

Cartman: Hippies.They're everywhere. They wanna save the earth, but all they do is smoke pot and smell bad.

I will say that I like original hippies from the 60s. They're a dying breed, though. Unfortunately, they are being pushed out by the new-age "I'm SO spiritual" hippie and the Whole Foods going, fake hippie. Oh shit. I occasionally shop at Whole Foods! Uh oh.

Wow, I'm all over the place in this post. I'm a little bit crabby, too. I better stop here.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Tripping Over Myself

Blogging for writers is like practicing the scales for musicians. Virginia Woolf even said, “The habit of writing thus for my own eye only is good practice. It loosens the ligaments. These days, blogs have replaced journals and are public, but the concept is the same.

I used to be incredibly consistent in my running, sort of like a machine. My coach used to say that I only had good or great races. I was undeniably predictable until my senior year in high school. That's when things got difficult. I could no longer will my body to perform when I was feeling off or tired. Before that, I could run while sick or injured and put in a good and usually successful effort. These days I seem to curl up in the fetal position any time I experience discomfort of any kind, but that's probably because I've had enough, maybe too much.

My body hurts jogging. Ouch. I never needed a coach to tell me that everyone hurts the same, like we're all in this big pool of pain on the race course; I needed someone to remind me that it doesn't hurt when you are ready and having a great race. At least it shouldn't hurt.

If you are ever lucky enough to have a race in which everything falls into place, you know that pain isn't what you remember most. In fact, you might notice that you get past any discomfort to a place where it no longer hurts. You trust yourself to test your physical limits, face your inner demons and conquer your fears. It almost feels good. 

I haven't been able to do this in any area of my life in years and years, because my physical limits are so restrictive that it makes testing my mental limits nearly impossible. Still, it's not like I'm without any progress at all. Even in my compromised state, I do have good or at least OK days. 

One issue I have had in the past is falling apart after big events. It's more of a challenge to go for it when past attempts to find some level of improvement or success are marred with unpleasant experiences. It's easy to get caught up in the negative and let fears grow. Last year, I did this after racing. I had a breakthrough at the Rocky Mountain Shootout, feeling like I was stepping back into competing instead of just trying to survive a race. I saw my strengths and weaknesses. After it was over, though, I sort of fell apart. I see some mistakes I made, but this is a bit of a theme in the last few years with me. I'm not always able to regroup and recover after races. 

I remember a few years ago when I got to the start line after many, many years away from the sport. During the days after the race, I struggled on all levels: emotional, physical and even spiritual. I wasn't sure how to take care of myself in the right way. 

The same thing happens with my writing. I get into writing a short story, and it consumes me. I write during nearly every spare moment I have until it's done. When I come to the end, though, I trip over myself and  get so lost that I can't seem to even write a coherent sentence in an email. So I distract myself and avoid anything writing related. This might not be the best approach. I sleep or avoid sleep, binge watch whatever I can find on Netflix, feel frustrated and wait for the brain fog to clear. During these times, I can have good ideas about writing, but when it comes to putting them down, it's a disaster, and whoops! there goes my confidence. Just like with running, I don't know if the best approach is to force it or let it go and wait for inspiration.

Training is always about finding the right balance of pushing it and rest. You can only do what the body will allow. I guess in some ways writing is no different. The book On Writing by Stephen King helped me see that forcing things, whether it's attempting to use fancy words that don't quite fit or not offing your little darlings, won't produce the best literature. One has to stretch without overstretching. I fight it less with writing, but I notice that the more I get into it, the harder I am on myself during down times. I get caught up in the "I should" syndrome.

In other news, I think I need some rehab/PT on my foot. The problem is finding a place that is both affordable and good.

I rarely LOL for real at stuff on the internet, but this about made me fall over. I can't explain why I find it so hilarious, but I do:

Monday, May 27, 2013


That is my goal this year, to stop fighting EVERYTHING. I'm learning, and I hope I can keep on this path of allowing rather than forcing. Damn, I make life difficult sometimes. Have you ever noticed how everything tends to fall into place when you STOP trying to force things to happen?

I quit quitting, too, for now anyway. Well, I resumed running a little bit and did the same with my writing. So what if I'm a jogger now, and who fucking cares if I'm not the next David Foster Wallace? I found out that when I stop forcing myself to do things, they are more enjoyable. This winter sucked on so many levels, and I got overwhelmed, stressed out and sick, really, really sick. I'm finally feeling better. I'm sure I will have setbacks, but this is my lesson this year: STOP FIGHTING!

For the last few weeks, this one story I was trying to write was making my life miserable. It just wasn't happening. Instead of letting it go for a bit and working on something else, I started fighting it, struggling through painful sentences that were embarrassingly awful and took forever to get out.Today I switched gears and worked on other projects, and WOW! what a difference it made. It helps to have an idea of where the story is going. I can often begin a story and have it lead me to places I didn't expect, but without an idea of how it will end and a general concept, theme or message, it's difficult to get the job done.

The other big thing I need to work on this year is the fear factor. That's one of my biggest issues with running, but I have had tremendous health, energy and emotional blocks related to the sport. It's understandable that fear would surface often when I even think about a run. For now, I'm just trying to get a little bit of consistency without forcing it. If I need an extra day off, so be it. Considering how many days off I took this winter, I'm going to be way ahead, even with any extra down time I take now.

I don't know about racing. I'm very out of shape, and my confidence level is pretty much at zero right now. If all goes well, I might try some structured workouts down the road to get an idea of where I am and whether racing will ever be a possibility again. Right now it's not, but that doesn't mean it will be that way forever. The main thing for me is NOT to force it. If I can race, great. If not, at least I can jog. Shit. I'm lucky I can jog, given all that has happened, plus the fact that I had $0 to spend on PT, rehab or follow up apts. I'm doing this shit by myself.

I'm so incredibly out of the running loop. A million (very slight exaggeration) people ran the Bolder Boulder today, and I went for a trail run in the afternoon. I still can't bring myself to watch that race. It's like some terrible reminder of where I was and all that happened. I get a Pavlovian shock response to it, cringing every time anything related to the Bolder Boulder is mentioned. It's hard to believe that I ran 36:17 on that course. I bet I couldn't even break 50 minutes now. Gah!

Speaking of fighting, while running on the trails today, I saw these two little kids fighting. I don't mean they were arguing, these two were shoving, hitting and making a scene. Of course it's Boulder, so the parent there was ignoring them. At one point, the little girl stepped back and attempted to kick what I assume was her brother. She did a full on I'm going to punt this fucker across the planet effort but missed by a fraction of an inch when he stepped back just as her foot was about to make contact with his chin. Again, the father did nothing. Not my problem, but I predict some trouble in the future of this family.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


A friend and I have compiled quite a list of cover songs. The songs are ones we feel are either better than or at least very different from the originals. If you watch only one video on our list, make it this one that I discovered a little while ago. There's no other way to explain it but to say that it is truly EPIC, and I mean that in all kinds of great and wonderful ways. This is by far the best cover ever created:

The list:

Friday, May 24, 2013

Your Help

I hate asking for anything, but if any of you can do so, please consider donating to help pay for one of our artist's cancer treatment. Any little bit helps. Thank you.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Do You...

Let go easily? I don't. I often hang on, even when all signs suggest that letting go would be best. The more I fight it, though, the less progress I make. When I finally do let go, things seem to start falling into place. I envy people who can so easily move on and not look back.

I normally don't like to talk about work in my blog posts, but yesterday was such a strange day. I let others affect me too much. This was an odd situation, because in all the years I have helped hire people, I have never had an experience like it.

My co-worker and I were conducting interviews, and all was going just fine. We had already talked to several people who seemed like good candidates for the job available. One of the last prospective employees came in and went right up to the owner to introduce himself. He was an older gentleman, and we were all a little confused as to how he knew who the owner was and why he went past the two of us at the desk without a nod. My boss redirected him back to the desk.

Because he came unprepared and we had to print up his resume, I asked him to have a seat and wait. Our printer isn't the fastest on the planet, so it took a few minutes. Before the machine had spit out the printed material, he leaned over and, in a very snarky tone, asked if we had figured it out yet. My co-worker and I eyed each other, but I smiled one of those obviously fake smiles and said that everything was under control.

Now for the WTF part...

I was conducting the interview, so I started with what seemed a good question: What made you decide that you want to work in an art gallery? To which he replied in an arrogant tone, "Well, I haven't decided if I want to work in a gallery. How would I know if I do or not?" I started to change the question and ask why he applied to the job posting, but he got rude about it, going on (as if I were some idiot) about how there would be no way to know without trying it and blah fucking blah, so I cut him off and told him that it wouldn't work out and thanked him for coming in etc. And then he started arguing with me, asking me how I knew it wouldn't work. Um, because working with holes usually doesn't? Jeez, what the hell is wrong with people? I finally asked him to leave.

Even little shitty situations like that are upsetting to me. Most people would probably laugh about how bizarre people can be, but it was disturbing to me on some level. I don't get why people act so full of themselves.

My mom likes to share a story from her past about people with big egos. I have mentioned that my dad was a genius, one of those well-respected physicists who rubbed elbows with the big wigs of his time. Anyway, my mom and dad were at a lunch with Edward Teller and a few others, because Teller wanted my dad to work on the H bomb, which he refused to do, just as he had done when approached by Oppenheimer for the A bomb. John Wheeler was there too. He's the guy who coined the term Black Hole. My mom was talking to him while Teller was talking to my dad. They started discussing egos and intelligence. My mom mentioned that being born with a well-functioning brain is not all that different from being born with a good liver or a strong heart. Nobody brags about a well-formed liver, though. There's so much left up to chance when it comes to being born a certain way. Add work and opportunity to the genetic factor, and then you get success. Wheeler, said that he had never thought of it that way, but it seemed to be a light bulb over the head moment for him.

It seems weird to me that people get a big ego over how smart they supposedly are or how fast they run. I guess I get it in some ways. You know what impresses me? People who get up and do the 9-5 thing and are functional. What impresses me more are those who can be kind, calm and compassionate in the face of conflict. I can't do it, so anyone who can is a fucking rock star in my eyes.