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A year ago I thought I was at the end of a process.  The road to Good Girl had been full of obstacles to overcome and cliffs to jump from, but I had done it, and it felt fantastic.  I remember feeling the weight being lifted from me as I threw all the pain and rage the months of work has dredged from deep inside me into the words coming out of my mouth, and no matter how many nerves I felt or mistakes I made, none of it mattered.  In the end, no one remembered the missed words or the fact that I buttoned my blazer all crooked.  What they remembered was the victory in my eyes at the end.

I’ve written a few times about the healing process and the lessons I’ve learned since the show.  The work healing leaves behind.  The illness still to heal.  The tools yet to learn.  I made mistakes.  I lost people.  Love.  Friends.  Trust.  I tried to do what I thought was best, but I wasn’t yet equipped.  So, I got sick.

Hollywood lies to us about nervous breakdowns.  They’re not always a single moment of complete self-destruction and devastation.  Sometimes it’s months of standing outside yourself screaming “why are you doing this?!?”  Sometimes it’s knowing you’re pushing people away and watching them go and not knowing how to make it stop.  Sometimes it’s losing yourself, because while purging the parts that no longer served me I failed to care for the budding parts of me that were genuine and healthy, and they were dying.  I was dying.

The first time I shared my video was hard.  “It’s heavy,” I warned people before they watched it.  It was the same feeling I had when found me at the theatre to tell me how strong I was or how much they liked it.  I know I had done something big, but I didn’t know how to accept that I may have caused an emotional reaction in others.  I didn’t want pity, I didn’t want sadness, I didn’t want anyone to look at me differently. I avoided the video for a long time.  It was one thing for me to be performing it, focused on the audience and the words and the stage positions.  It was quite another to watch it without distractions.

It was a new love who finally got me to watch it.  We watched together, and it took all of my willpower not to talk over it or give it the Mystery Science Theater treatment.  He had wanted to know that part of me, and it was not my place to ruin that experience for him, so we sat on the couch together one night and watched the girl on the screen pour her heart out to us both.  This love told me he admired me for the work I’d done, for the strength I possessed, for all the things I had not yet learned to acknowledge.  He saw the things that were dying, and as I began to lose my grasp on them I lost him, too, and I questioned all the work I had done.

Yesterday marked a year since opening night.  I wrote a post to commemorate the anniversary, and at the last moment I linked the video.  There was no warning, no worry, and no way to know what would come of it, but by the end of the day I had no less than five message from people who had never seen the video before telling me how much they needed it.  No pity, no praise, just thanks for being a guide on a road they were just beginning.

Good Girl gave me a new chance to live my life and to develop new tools, but it also gave me the responsibility to share my stories and help those who feel alone on their paths.  Hearing from peers how inspired they were to find their strength and take a stand in their own lives reminded me that I am a warrior, a healer, and a teacher, and while I have a lot of work yet to do I’ve also come a long way on my journey.

 

Good Girl wasn’t the end of a process, it was the beginning of a revolution.  Again, my story is not unique but that’s why I must keep telling it.  Together our stories will set us free.

Aloha

 

Go now, be free.

 

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November 8th.
I’m on a plane, and the 55 minute gate to gate flight from LAX to OAK seems to just keep getting longer as we watch the numbers creep up to the inevitable, and between trays of drinks and trash pick ups I feel a sense of dread creeping up inside me.  This is going to be one of those days when, 20 years from now when we’re asked about it, each of us will remember vividly where we were, who we were with, what we were wearing.  This is going to be the JFK assassination, Loma Prieta, 9/11.  This is not good.

I look down the aisle.  How many of these people are watching the numbers climb in exaltation?  How many are ready to celebrate victory?  How can I respond professionally if a passenger says something to my face?

“Don’t take this the wrong way,”  the attendant working besides me begins, “but I hope Trump wins.”

I look at him for a moment before I can formulate a reply.  A white make in his early 30s.

“Don’t take this the wrong way,”  I speak, “but my genitalia prevents me from agreeing with you.”

He understands.  He respects my opinions.  We talk about the unrest this election is going to precipitate, and I can tell this is the warm up.  Not all the conversations I’m about to have won’t devolve into arguments about why my family, my tribe, my community now has a whole new level of fear of the government that should be protecting them, and yes, I focus on the things that touch me personally because the nation of people I can’t reach is still too much to process, and it hurts my heart.

In the days that followed I’ve watched that nation hurt.  I’ve watched that nation question.  I’ve watched that nation panic.  I’ve also watched people come together in support and love for one another.  I’ve watched whole communities protect their own.  I’ve watched individuals take their rage and find the voice to say “fuck you, this is who I am, and I’m not hiding any more, so you’re going to have to fight me!”  This…this is what needed to happen. Instead of laying down and worrying about the outcome, we need to find our rage and focus it on change before the hammer falls.

Years ago I saw this moment in a meditation.  Years before Game of Thrones would warn us, I would be told to be prepared before winter came.  Years ago I wrote a poem about the power of  nation with nothing left to lose.

This is our rock bottom, and as I take a break from writing an entire book about my experiences weathering my own winter, I am reminded that this is where most people find their No; when to stay silent is a death knell.

I implore you today to look deep inside yourself and find your No.  Make it a Fuck No!  It doesn’t have to be fighting or extravagant gestures of disobedience or heroism.  Your No can be a donation to the ACLU or local organizations that protect the marginalized members of your community.  Your No can be offering to walk with someone to make sure their safe from harassment.  Your No can simply be checking in on those around you to make sure they’re safe inside their own emotions, because this is a terrifying time for many people who already had limited outlets.  Your No can be their No until they can find it within them.

We will not survive this by hiding from it.  We will not survive this by submission and supplication.  We will not survive this with rash decision making and senseless destruction.  Nothing comes from breaking the windows of a local business in an already struggling neighbourhood.  Nothing comes from taking the last source of income from someone barely getting by.  Everything comes from focusing that energy where it can actually bring change.  Find your No in standing beside one another.  More is accomplished from a thunder storm than a tidal wave.  Let’s find our No in the thunder…together.

this is the winter they warned us about

when the weight of survival
is too much
for those who cannot afford to say no
when dreams are outlawed
and hope is taxed
and the price of a voice
has risen so high
that it must be taken some other way
when the snow falls
and the freeze sets in
and the discontent have nowhere to go
but the dark barren homes
they’ve spent every cent to protect
this!
this is the season we’ve prepared for
while you watched it on TV
laughing in the comfort
of the luxury we’ve afforded you
this is the time
when the starving wolves
leap for the throats
of those who have caged all the rabbits
and thrown the world out of balance
this is the night
when darkness falls
we set the world on fire and dance in the flames
because we have nothing
left to burn for
and they can’t take that away

Aloha.

Go now, be your No.

When I was a kid there was a portrait collage on the wall of my grandparent’s home. My grandfather lost most of his brothers to war, and they spent many meals with us in stories from his childhood. These are the uncles I never got to meet, but men I felt connected to through my grandfather’s words. Who he never mentioned was the brother who survived in body but lost his mind, but I knew the story, and it haunted me for a long time.

Fast forward a couple of decades, and I’m on an Honor Flight with a man named Georgie who spends three hours telling me about his life experiences. I’m in awe and humbled that of all the things he could be doing, he’s talking to me.  He tells me about  the loves of his life, of his kids, his jobs vacations and friends he’s lost.  He talks little of war or service until we’re less than an hour out, but when he does his words are powerful.  He speaks to me of honor and compassion.  He speaks to me of the decades he’s spent watching strong men eventually defeat themselves.  In the end he tells me to remember those whose sacrifice has been forgotten, and I think of that forgotten brother on my grandparents’ wall.

In my life I have known so many of those “forgotten brothers”, and I have felt the loss of each and every one of them. Yes, there were friends and family members who never came home, but there were also those who did only to kill themselves shortly afterwards, to never quite find a way to grasp life again, to lose everything to one addiction or another. Then there was love I didn’t know how to handle, a decision I couldn’t make, and my future forever changed by the loss of my own “forgotten brother”.

So, this morning I took a walk through the part of my past I don’t generally see these days. It’s not that I avoid it, but it’s become a part of a life that doesn’t even seem like mine anymore, so I let it quietly lurk in the background of my memories. But today I took a walk, and the images became vivid enough to touch. Maybe it’s because I’ve been in a dark place, or maybe it’s fresh loss. Maybe it’s just life’s way of reminding me where I’ve been in my life and why I keep moving forward, that these moments in time, and yes, these people, are still very much a part of me and each and every one of them is fighting for me.

I don’t tell his story often, and it’s not one I’m prepared to tell today, but today I honor him and all the forgotten brothers and sisters.

Aloha.

Go now, reflect and remember.

In 2014 I dedicated myself to my career, and I knocked it out of the park.

I declared 2015 the Year of Creativity, and even I could not have seen  where it would take me.

While I had intended to hone crafts I already know, life had other ideas, and I found myself immersed in a totally new experience that has changed not only how I interact with the world and the people in it, but with myself.  When WordPress sent me my Year in Review I realized I had only written 12 blogs all year, ALL YEAR!  If rebuilding a marriage took focus and time, rebuilding myself took more so, and life doesn’t stop just because we’re doing something new.  There was still work and laundry and family responsibilities, and those things multiply daily, but here I am, barreling into 2016 with wild abandon.

In July we had a rather transformative experience at the first public ritual I’ve attended in years, and since then there’s been a growing need to be more connected to my community and to my spirit.  Sure, I still practice.  Sure, I still observe private habits and rituals.  But how long has it been since I’ve grown spiritually?  How long since I’ve connected with something new?

The focus on Good Girl meant there’s a lot of unused potential from last year’s dedication, and the show itself has created a momentum I know is going to carry me through the next year, and years to come.  Much like the career didn’t stop, the creativity won’t stop, and this is how we learn to integrate what makes us whole.  This is how we titrate truth into our lives.  This is how we become who we were always meant to be.

Aloha and Happy New Year!

Go now, barrel into 2016 with wild abandon!

 

2013 is my sophomore year doing NaNoWriMo, and I am loving the experience.  Last year was fun, but I was too nice to my story.  My characters had a lot of great sex, but their life didn’t have a lot of anything else happening.  I will probably use those scenes for other things, or maybe I’ll scrape the whole thing into something useful, but the end result was not a  usable novel, which was fine with me, since my goal for the first year was to finish the word count goal.

This year I was in love with my story before I even started writing it.  The concept came to me in September, and it took a lot of effort on my part not to start it early.  Less than a week in I was already wondering what my characters were doing when I wasn’t with them.  They had really started to develop personalities and lives independent of the novel.

Today we’re halfway through NaNoWriMo, and though I had prewritten blogs ready to post I am borrowing the words in this post from the 6,000 words over  target I currently have written to tell you about something amazing that happened this afternoon.

All week I have had a hard time having an emotional response to anything that has been going on in my life.  We’ve had a lot of ups and downs that made it hard to fathom adding the responsibilities of NaNoWriMo to the load, but I dedicated myself with the intention of using it to distract myself a little bit.  My first week of writing was exactly the opposite.  I poured a lot of my emotional overflow into my story.  This past Monday it all just stopped.  I listened to music.  I read.  I wrote.  I did everything I could to try to illicit any and all kinds of emotions, but I couldn’t.

This is an extremely dangerous phase of depression for me.  When I’m hopeless or sad I can at least care enough to try to pull through it, but when there’s nothing to feel I’m prone to making bad decisions.  What’s kept me from doing so?  My characters are making bad decisions for me.

Today I put one of my characters in the hospital, and while I haven’t been able to dig up a single give-a-shit for real life at the moment, the idea of my protagonist being in peril, whether or not I have previous knowledge or control over his future, had me blubbering like an idiot.

I am anxious to finish this year’s NaNoWriMo challenge and share my final result with the world.  I have found a love for these characters that I hope shines through in their stories and interactions.

Current Word Count: 31,659 and counting.

Polyamory_meme_poster

So, much like last season I am late to the review game on Showtime’s Polyamory: Married and Dating, but I did want to cover it, so here we go.

As you remember, last season my criticism was pretty much what you’d expect of any review of any reality show, its lack of reality.  That was the trend that poured from the poly community, and Showtime must have absorbed it all.  The result was a season that dealt with some pretty serious issues if your household is going through them.

In season two we see the newly introduced triad experiencing some friction right out of the gate.  We see a lot of lessons from this triad that I’ve written about before.  Leigh Ann is feeling left out of the loop because life sometimes just isn’t cooperative with the schedules we’d like to keep.  Instead of talking to her husband, Chris, and their girlfriend, Megan, about it she has an affair, which she tries to justify with the poor excuse that she feels she’s being neglected at home.  We find out after some time that she has some resentment over how involved Megan is in their marriage and that she has felt this way since the beginning.  The two remaining member of the triad are railroaded by this sudden revelation, as it had not been discussed in the entire three years of the relationship.

The lessons here are:

  • Communication, communication, and even more communication.  Before poly. During poly.  Communicate.
  • Cheating is always cheating.  Own your behaviour, don’t excuse it.
  • Never be poly or arrange your relationship just to make a partner happy.  Talk about it and compromise, but don’t just let it happen, or it will most likely fall apart on you all later.  There is no room in poly for conflict avoidance or placation.

The situation with the triad also brings up a few good points.  What do you do if you’re deeply committed to one partner and the other decides it isn’t working?  As a triad this is huge.  Do you ask to continue with the other person outside of the triad?  Do you risk your marriage trying not to lose either one?  Do you agree to have the conflicted partner see others as well?  Chris grapples with these questions as he tried to save his marriage and be true to Megan and her feelings, and neither of them seem to consider the place it puts him in as she fights for her relationship with him.

From last year’s pod we see a lot of new energy.  There are new partners, but there is also new drama.  Jen’s relationship with a man who can’t quite accept polyamory puts her in a rather awkward situation where she agrees not to even play with anyone new.  I have made this request myself when I felt a need for some foundation building in a new relationship, but in this case it seems like he doesn’t want to try to embrace polyamory.  This kind of attitude can be detrimental to a relationship, and unless the monogamous partner is at least willing to be open-minded about the poly partner’s lifestyle.  Towards the end of the season Jen is already starting to feel the strain of the restrictions and emotional needs of the relationship.  We see the exact opposite with Michael’s insistence that his new girlfriend be involved sexually with his wife.  They are both unable to accept that she might not be interested or willing to be, and she makes a good point in asking that their relationship be focused on the two of them for a while not her interactions with his other lovers.

I do have to commend Showtime for how they portrayed Tahl’s experimentation with bisexuality and his budding relationship with Christian.  We’re usually so inundated with homoeroticism on a very carnal level that we are barely presented with a real, emotional picture of how these interactions can go, especially when bisexuality is involved.  We hardly ever see two masculine hetero-normative  bi men represented showing tenderness and playfulness with each other.  Kudos, Showtime!

In the end I got exactly what I asked for last season, a portrayal of the side of poly that was not of some Shangr-la existence.  No, we got to see some of the human aspects of poly relationships.  The catch?  This is what opponents of polyamory want to see.  These are the things that say “see? this is why this relationship model must fail”, because we most commonly associate things about which we are unsure or blatantly against with negative portrayals.  My family grocery shopping is boring.  My family constantly having our hands on each other is unrealistic.  My family having issues to work through like any other relationship in the world is proof that polyamory is a sham.  The moment we come out as poly we are examples.  We are lessons.  We are representatives, and anything we do, any way we act, and any mistakes we make are takes as typical.  Season 2 brings up the most important lesson I have had to learn being poly.  Just because the relationship falters or fails doesn’t mean that poly has failed.  It just means those particular people needed to grow or move on from each other.  If these people were having these issues as single people in the dating world there would not be a show about it.

Go now, live your reality,

Namaste

 

Child 1

“At my age,” the 9-year-old said to me in all seriousness, “I just feel like The Jungle Book is a little silly and childish.”   Ten minutes prior to this statement I had heard him complaining to a girl his age that his mother hadn’t paid his cell phone bill, speaking as if he was always having to check up on her.  The little girl was just as serious as she told him it wasn’t his parents’ job to pay for everything, explaining how much she had saved to get her hair done.  I felt for a moment like I was watching children parody their parents like some kind of juvenile Vaudeville act, but they weren’t, and as that boy looked at me like I was being ridiculous to even suggest cartoons to a person his age I was immediately saddened by what’s happening to the current generation of children.

When I look at children I see two things that stand out.  The first is an amazing culture of unschooling, home schooling, alternative teaching, and children encouraged to do what children do naturally.  They are encouraged to play, to touch, to create, and to use their imaginations.  These are the thinkers and the inventors of tomorrow.  These children will be what pulls us out of the mire someday, because I believe the only thing that will save us as a society is something new, something “outside the box”.  These children, as adults, will be less concerned about the “shoulds” that repeatedly dig our society deeper into the hole.  Instead they will focus on the “cans”, because these children have not been told what their lives “should” look like, only what they “can” if they dare to go after dreams and find ways to make those dreams realities.  These children will be adults who have been given the resources to make their own decisions and the tools to process their emotions.  They are learning to communicate and grow from their mistakes.

The second thing I see scares me a little bit.  I see children with cell phones and tablets who don’t know how to jump rope.  I see children who already believe that “make-believe” is something to eschew for more mature pursuits.  I see children who will someday know the formulas and the codes but never anything else.  I see libraries full of stereo instructions but no fairy tales.  I see children who will never be taught to have a frivolous outlet growing into adults who have no way to release stress or frustration in a healthy manner.  I see decades of the same mistakes being repeated because no one can think of another way of doing things.  These children will be brilliant, able to memorize the patterns and the steps, but they will be stunted when it comes to problem solving and fresh ideas.  They may be self sufficient at a younger age, but they will be emotionally under-developed or possibly emotionally blocked altogether because of the belief that emotions and passion are childish.  They will be able to analyse anything, but feel nothing.  They will not be able to handle change, failure, people who don’t think or act the way they do.  They will have excellent decision making skills and consequence comprehension, but they will not actually be able to think original thoughts.  What we are witnessing is the destruction of imagination on an extremely large scale.

What remains to be seen is whether or not there is enough balance to keep the world spinning once these children are all grown up.  Will there be a place in it for everyone, and will there be enough of a grey area to not have the two extremes constantly at a stalemate?

Hubby and I have had countless discussions about this. While I agree that our children need to learn how to cope with hardship I believe that it’s just as important for them to learn to let loose a little and not take themselves too seriously.  Parents?  Teachers?  What are your thoughts?

English: Advertisement from 1891 for the first...

English: Advertisement from 1891 for the first “Witch Spoon” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I recently had the opportunity to visit Salem, Massachusetts for the first time.  I have heard mixed reviews from enthusiast and skeptics alike, but I always take these things with a grain of salt until I can have the experience myself.   Home of the storied Salem with trials, Salem has been a sort of mecca for the curious, the morbidly fascinated, and those who actually identify as witches for a very long time.  If there weren’t actually witches in Salem in 1692 there are plenty there now, as Salem now boast a robust and flourishing community of practitioners of all kinds.  I had the good fortune to visit Salem twice on my recent visit to Boston.

My first visit was lead by friends who knew Salem well and were able to give me some historical facts and local legend.  We wandered around and visited some of their favourite hot spots.  A week later I did what I do best.  I took a train by myself and wandered aimlessly.  I listened, I observed, and I got a feel for the air around me.  I walked away from the busy areas, I took a closer look at some of the historical sites, and I let myself be immersed in even the “tourist trap” parts of town.  I got lunch, some souvenirs, and a tarot reading, and I left with a better understanding of the space that is Salem, MA than I had before.

I have always felt that Salem’s history was not accurately “witch” history, but our community has made it an extremely positive and enriching  place in which  to be a witch.  I’m sure some of the schools and classes are better than others, but anywhere a rose bush can grow so can a weed.  The trick is in telling the two apart and appreciating the roses.  The resources are there, especially off the beaten path.  Sure there are overpriced tchotchkes, dime a dozen ritual supplies, and “celebrity” fortune tellers riding the wave of tourists, but if you don’t mind doing a little digging you can really find genuinely useful things.  I searched all day before I made a decision where to get my cards read, and I was extremely pleased with my decision.

At the end of a tour about the portrayal and perception of witches throughout history I found myself taken aback at the oversimplification of modern day practitioners, and even more so at my reaction to hearing myself referred to as “they” in such an off the mark explanation.  I thought more about this as I stood in front of a statue of Samantha from TV’s Bewitched.  To some of the local witches the statue is offensive.  To me it is a reminder of a very strong reality.  Throughout history we have defined and taught about cultures, religions, and subcultures  not by how they are explained by the people who live them but by those who observe and report.  History may be written by the victor, but it is painted through the filters and personal biases of the witness.

No, Salem’s history is not witch history, it’s American history.  It’s human history.  It’s the history of what happens when people in power use “fact” and “science” to justify persecution and death of a less popular idea.  The history of hysteria and group manipulation is much much darker than any other history out there because it bleeds into the history of women’s rights, civil rights, and gay rights.  It’s a blight felt by those with disabilities and those low on the socio-economic ladder.  This is not just our history, it’s your history, too.

All in all I’m glad I went to Salem,  not just because of some of the neat souvenirs I found, the insight I found in my tarot reading, or the wealth of historical gems found among the cheesy tourist attractions, but because it gave me a better understanding of how I look at people and how I connect with all my roots, not just the pagan ones, and reminded me that we all need to be aware of how we react to those with differences as well as how we absorb and react to blanket facts and data.  In the 1600’s science and the process of deduction lead to the deaths of innocent people.  Has much really changed since then?

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been training for a mud run.  This weekend that day finally came, and my teammate and I geared up and prepared ourselves to face a pretty big unknown.  Where we ready? Had we trained enough?  Had we trained for the right things?  What on earth had we signed up for?

As I tied my shoes and watched the crowd gather at the starting line I began to lose my grip on the childlike “fun in the mud” motto I had developed during training, and reality threatened my confidence.  I am not a child.  I’m almost 30.  I’ve been overweight my entire life and have battled Fibromyalgia for the last five years.  What was I thinking?  Too proud to back out, I took a deep breath and tried to not look like  I wanted to vomit.

The horn sounded, and we dashed up the first hill only to wait in line for the crawl to the first obstacle, The Mud Pit.  I trudged in about two steps before the mud sucked me in like something out of a cartoon.  My shoe was gone.  My only recourse was to dig it out, remove the other one, and clamor through the pit barefoot.  I did, and rather ungracefully I might add.  Then I pulled myself from the muck as the image of the mammoth at the La Brea Tar Pits came to mind.  I laughed, fell back in the pit, laughed again, scraped my way to relatively dry ground, and put my shoes back on.  We were going to do this thing if it killed us, and I was not so convinced it wouldn’t.

For 3 miles we slipped, climbed, sprinted, and limped our way through mud, water, foam, and rocks.  We cheered each other on and offered encouragement when it looked like one of us might give up and go home early.  We laughed, we danced, and we put on the most convincing smiles we could for each other, but when we saw the 2 miles checkpoint we knew we had it in the bag.  Then we came to it, the obstacle that had been on my mind since we registered for the run.

The Death Drop.  A 40 ft inflatable slide.  I don’t handle heights well.  I handle falling from those heights even less well.  The panic hit me about half way up the ladder.  My knees buckled.  I shook all over.  I froze for a second, my teammate cheering my on from the top.  The world silenced as I slowly edged my way to the top.  I didn’t want to look over the side, but I did, after which I promptly told the attendant that he could call the helicopter any time, because there was no way I was going over the side.  Well, there was no helicopter, and there wasn’t going to be any helicopter.  My only option was to let go and plummet to the bottom.

I am happy to report that I survived the fall.  I have pictures and clean pants to prove it!  We finished the race, and I have seldom felt such a sense of accomplishment and power within myself.  It’s been a long time since I’ve trusted myself to find my own strength and help a teammate find hers.  It’s been a long time since I was able to feel like there’s a lot of life left in me.

To me it’s not a coincidence that this run took place on Litha, a day of power and fruition.  All our hard work and preparation, the seeds we have sown for months, was worth it.  People thought we were crazy, and maybe we are for rolling around in three miles of mud, but not for thinking we could do it in the first place.

Go now, do something crazy!

Aloha

100_1255

English: GULFPORT, Miss. (Sept. 18, 2010) Part...

I admit I am no runner.  Since I was young I have resented and avoided running.  In my life I have danced, played sports, and done all sorts of things that include running, but I would never volunteer to run for no other purpose but to be running.  When I decided to participate in my first mud run I knew it was time to face my nemesis.  After a year of training I can’t say that I’ve developed a love for it, but possibly an appreciation.  I have learned to use it as stress relief, thinking space, and a way to get rid of excess energy at the end of a day.  Running may not be a friend, but it’s become an excellent resource.

For three weeks I’ve been staying at a hotel in Boston that has a winding trail that flows through lawns and gardens.  With mere weeks until my mud run, despite a shift that starts around 4am and lasts somewhere near 12 hours, I have started to use the trails for running and the lawns for stretching and meditation.  I believe it’s helped me keep my wits about me and pushed me to go outside in a place where I have no real reason to do so.

I’ve been in the gym twice, on rainy days.  I get bored.  I get distracted.  I get much more easily tired, discouraged, and self conscious.  I don’t look like a runner.  I don’t really resemble anyone who uses a gym on a regular basis any more than I resembled the common form of a dancer when I danced or and athlete when I’ve been active in sports.  In the gym I start to doubt myself, to wonder if this mud run was a terrible idea.

So I took myself outside in the rain.  I’m training to run in the mud, right?  What’s a little rain on a warm afternoon.  It was that moment that I felt like I might be doing something right, where I felt like myself.  I ran, walked, and rolled around on the grass for over an hour that day.  Several times I passed the windows of the gym where people ran on treadmills and elliptical machines watching syndicated TV while I ran through all the weight of the world and all the freedom in the sky.

Finally I felt like I was running on the right track.  Instead of thinking of where I was going, how long I’d been running, or how long I should be running I was thinking of nothing but the rain and the energy of the ground on which I was running.  There was no more technique or structure.  I was like a child running through the sprinklers.

This, friends, is my inspiration.  At the point where this mud run becomes too much, too thick, too long I am nothing more than a child playing in the mud, and I can do anything!

Go now, play in the mud!

Aloha

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