14 Feb 2014, 2:24pm
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happy valentine’s day!

in honor of the day and of the note i received from the multnomah county circuit court two days ago confirming the dissolution of my marriage, here are a few things i learned about love by getting divorced:

* certainty is not the same thing as security, and neither can be manufactured.

* happiness with one’s own life circumstances, or at least a sense of agency in changing or improving them, is a necessary condition for commitment to another person.

* mistakes are rarely disasters and are often opportunities for growth and discovery.

* the world you imagine when you feel ashamed is not the real world; the people who love you are forgiving and understanding.

* avoiding vulnerability is antithetical to intimacy, just like avoiding things that scare you is antithetical to growth. take courage.

* “icarus was not failing as he fell, but just coming to the end of his triumph.” (see below.)

hope your day is full of love of all kinds: self-, familial, platonic, romantic. i am grateful to have so much of it in mine.

***

Failing and Flying
by Jack Gilbert

Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.
It’s the same when love comes to an end,
or the marriage fails and people say
they knew it was a mistake, that everybody
said it would never work. That she was
old enough to know better. But anything
worth doing is worth doing badly.
Like being there by that summer ocean
on the other side of the island while
love was fading out of her, the stars
burning so extravagantly those nights that
anyone could tell you they would never last.
Every morning she was asleep in my bed
like a visitation, the gentleness in her
like antelope standing in the dawn mist.
Each afternoon I watched her coming back
through the hot stony field after swimming,
the sea light behind her and the huge sky
on the other side of that. Listened to her
while we ate lunch. How can they say
the marriage failed? Like the people who
came back from Provence (when it was Provence)
and said it was pretty but the food was greasy.
I believe Icarus was not failing as he fell,
but just coming to the end of his triumph.

5 Feb 2014, 9:22pm
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checking in

hiya, blog. it’s been a while. in december, i set some goals for 2014. somehow, it’s already february, and i wanted to check in about how i’m doing with them. here they are.

1. run enough to run healthy (i.e., stop getting injured when i push hard at road races, which happened several times in 2013)

i haven’t run since december 1st, when i totally rocked the seattle half marathon, finishing in less than two hours and blowing my previous PR out of the water. an hour or so later, my foot was killing me. my injury is similar to the injury i sustained at my marathon in april, except on the other foot. i’m not sure what is causing these injuries, exactly (my shoes? my stride? running on concrete and asphalt? undertraining? probably not overtraining), but i have been seeing a physical therapist, working on my strength, and cross-training by bouldering, lifting, swimming from time to time, and using the elliptical. at this point, my foot doesn’t hurt most of the time, but it’s still stiff and sore when i wake up in the morning, and i’m not ready to run again. i want to do recovery right, i.e. slowly — i think i said that last time, and then i got excited to be running again, and running fast, too.

here’s a way to think about this: months and months ago, when i had more free time and was spending a lot of it consuming all the media related to ultrarunning that i could get my hands on, i read this blog post, the gist of which is: training for an ultra? everything is ultra training! and then today i read this interview with ultrarunning legend ann trason, in which the interviewer says of trason’s recent decade-long break from ultrarunning:

“Sometimes, in a really long ultra, we’ve got to take a long break. We’re talking a nap on a cot, an hour in the chair, four pukes in the woods, some period of time where we sit things out and let our bodies and minds undergo a system re-set. After that, we get up and go again.”

good metaphor, right? apply it literally to running a race. apply it figuratively to training for the race. to running in general. to the pursuit of just about any goal. so, i’m still training. still pursuing these goals. one way, if not another.

2. complete a 50km trail race

see above. i registered for june’s smith rock ascent 50k before getting injured, but i’m pretty sure that particular race is not realistically in reach. in december, thinking my injury would heal quickly, i wrote out a long training plan and copied each run into my 2014 planner. every day or two i cross another one out. with any luck, i’ll be able to run the 15-mile race instead.

when i’m back to running, i’ll recalibrate my goals. some possibilities: the mckenzie river trail run (september), the oregon coast 50k (october), the silver falls 50k (november), or the frozen trail runfest (december).

3. invest time and money in my photography business and make it awesome

i wish i had more time for this, but that’s not a good excuse. i am working with a graphic designer friend on polishing my branding, and hope to get a proper portfolio website together soon. i just set up my first google adwords campaign. i photographed an elopement last week. it was great. want to do more.

4. move out of my parents’ place (heeeeey)

i think i’m less than a month away from this. i’ve never lived alone before — i lived in dorms in high school, and dorms and shared apartments and houses in college and afterwards. i’ve been staying with my folks since i left california this past summer. soon i will have my own small studio apartment. my own kitchen. i mean, shared with ravi & anoushka, of course. i’m sure they will make themselves at home.

5. do an unassisted pull-up

now this i have been really plugging away at. practicing negatives (jumping up to the bar and lowering myself as slowly as possible), practicing with the assisted pull-up machine at the gym (i can do three pull-ups with 40lbs of assist weight), bouldering at the climbing gym, working on my strength. wanna see my guns? here’s where i’m at, today –

yup, i just put a picture of myself flexing my not-very-impressive(-yet) biceps on the internet.

6. ride bikes on dirt (xc and/or cx!!)

this is something i intend to do this summer.

7. practice vulnerability and intimacy

this is #&%!ing hard, but i’m trying.