April is Sexual Violence Awareness Month

April is Sexual Violence Awareness Month. Did you know that? I didn’t, until Suzie retweeted a post at FairyBurger called ‘Sexual Violence’. Since I consider myself socially aware, that bothers me – I mean, we see all sorts of things on Twitter and Facebook and Tumblr and Instagram every day … why does THIS important issue get so little visibility?

Sexual Violence Awareness Month

The focus of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center campaign for 2015 is ‘campus sexual violence prevention’. There is WAY too much data and evidence of the incidence and impact of sexual violence in our society. As I have a child who will be heading off to college in the fall, and I worry all of the time about his safety and well being.

For young kids in college the possibility of sexual violence during this vulnerable time is all too real. While they are technically adults, for many this is the first experience away from home as an independent person, and that reality can come with some awful consequences.

From the FairyBurger post:

Sexual Violence At A Glance

  • 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives (Black et al., 2011).
  • 20–25% of college women and 15% of college men are victims of forced sex during their time in college. (Cullen et al., 2000)
  • More than 90% of sexual assault victims on college campuses do not report the assault. (Fisher et al., 2000)
  • 81% of women and 35% of men report significant short- or long-term impacts such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. (Black et al, 2011)
  • In 8 out of 10 cases of rape, the victim knew the perpetrator. (Miller et al., 1996)
  • Rape is the most under-reported crime; 63% of sexual assaults are not reported to police. (Rennison, 2002)
  • The prevalence of false reporting is low, between 2% and 10%. For example, a study of eight U.S. communities, which included 2,059 cases of sexual assault, found a 7.1% rate of false reports. (Lonsway et al., 2009)

On April 1st President Obama shared a statement regarding the month:

Nearly one in five women in America has been a victim of rape or attempted rape. Every year, too many women and too many men are sexually assaulted and abused. This is an affront to our basic decency and humanity, and it must end. Sexual assault harms our communities, weakens the foundation of our Nation, and hurts those we love most. For survivors, the awful pain can take years to heal — sometimes it never does. When an individual’s possibilities are limited by the scars of violence and abuse, our country is deprived of enormous potential. Sexual assault takes a collective toll on all of us, and it is everyone’s responsibility not only to speak out, but also to take action against this injustice.

And he concludes by saying:

I urge all Americans to support survivors of sexual assault and work together to prevent these crimes in their communities.

You can get more information about the National Sexual Violence Resource Center on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

One of my best running blogger buddies Laura is working towards her PhD in Women’s Studies, and is undertaking a huge goal – a Cross Country run to raise awareness of the impact of sexual violence. The run happens in 2016 and you can follow along here.

I wrote about this last year, highlighting many articles that seemed to keep popping up in my feed of what women runners had to endure because they were women … who were running. Far beyond lewd catcalls, they are tales of groping and grabbing and stalking – and we’ve all read about female runners who were murdered!

I noted my own experience being cat-called, saying that while it resembles what women experience in a superficial way, in reality it is critically different:

I have absolutely no real concern of being physically sexually assaulted. I know it happens, but it is so small compared to the likely hood of a woman being assaulted – even killed – for no more than being a woman out for a run. It is disgusting.

This behavior is unacceptable

Regardless of where you fall on social justice issues or the political spectrum, this seems like a topic we can all agree upon – we need to make sexual violence history and make all of the kids who head to class in the fall feel safe. And all of the people in airports, walking down streets, going to conferences and meetings and grocery shopping … and even just heading to their car after work.

I long for the day that I no longer feel the need to talk about this issue.

Going Old School – Modifying Running Shoes

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Another ‘must read’ post from Harold – I am not a ‘shoe modifier’, I leave my tinkering for technology :) But if you are dealing with minor shoe issues – especially with the way brands constantly mess with things – here are some great thoughts for adapting shoes to YOUR feet!

Originally posted on Aging Runnah:

Okay, I am going to say this right up front…

If you cut, rip out seams, put holes in the uppers or damage your shoes in any way, you did it not me and you chose to do it all by yourself.

Whaaaaatttttt in the hell are you talking about Harold?

In our efforts to find the perfect running shoe to fit our feet, we will go to extreme measure that are far beyond, simply putting our feet into a pair of running shoes and heading out the door for a run.

Some of the tools of the modification game Some of the tools of the modification game

We do this to make a pair of shoes our own or to make them fit our feet better.

View original 1,511 more words

NEDA Focuses on Athletes and Eating Disorders

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I hadn’t realized this was National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, and that in particular today is focused on Athletes … and by that they are not talking just about professionals – they are talking about US.

The focus today is on “Athletes and Eating Disorders”

Body image problems, disordered eating and full-blown eating disorders are common among athletes. Though most athletes with eating disorders are female, male athletes are also at risk—especially those competing in sports such as wrestling, bodybuilding, gymnastics, and running, which tend to place an emphasis on the athlete’s diet, appearance, size, and weight requirements.

In a study of Division 1 NCAA athletes, over one-third of female athletes reported attitudes and symptoms placing them at risk for anorexia nervosa (Johnson, Powers, et al, 1999). In weight-class and aesthetic sports about 33% of males and up to 62% of females are affected by an eating disorder (Thompson, PhD. 2010). The good news is that with information and awareness, coaches, parents and teammates can all play an important role in confronting eating disorders and ensuring that athletics are a positive experience for everyone.

Laura wrote a great post about this yesterday, and Meghan did as well today.

On Laura’s I wrote a comment: “I didn’t lose more than 100 pounds – twice – without being pretty messed up regarding my relationship with food.

I say I have ‘disordered thinking’ – and that it is PERMANENT.

And that is how I feel about eating disorders – they are like alcoholism except you have to eat every day. You are never cured of alcoholism, and I believe you are never cured of an disordered eating.

I am now at nearly 3 years within +/-5lbs of target, which for someone my size (6’1″, played line in high school football) is a pretty small and tight distribution. I eat 3 meals every day, enjoy chocolate and ice cream and pizza and even occasional fried foods. But as you mention, I am incredibly aware of what I am eating not just NEXT … but as a ‘5 day rolling average’ – and how it correlates with how I am feeling and my workout schedule.”

It took me until I was in my late 40s to realize that it was more than ‘just being weird about food’, or about being a ‘former obese person’, but that I had an unhealthy relationship with food … and that it extends to my relationship with exercise. It is something I feel I am in a good place with right now … at least relatively speaking. I find awareness is key.

I have to be honest that I see WAY too much disordered or borderline stuff out in the running and ‘healthy living’ community, and it is something I deliberately pulled back from in recent months. I have tried commenting and even the occasional message … but as I know myself, change must come from within.

I hope everyone reading takes a minute to look inward – maybe you have no issues, which is great. But maybe you are always hopping on the latest fad ‘diet’ – even if it is a non-diet like #eatclean or the latest fad cleanse or Paleo-based restrictions that seemed to be on half of the books at Barnes & Noble when we stopped in after Christmas.

Maybe you hop from obsession to obsession – diet to exercise to clean eating to … ? Who knows. Maybe you are constantly ending up injured for no good reason or have other warning signs. Maybe you have no warning signs and just feel everyone is out to get you. Maybe like another comment on Laura’s post said you want to be ‘just a bit too thin’ but not really too skinny.

Whatever it is, take a minute and think about yourself and your relationship with eating and exercise … and ask for help if you need it.

Russian Optimism – Nursery Rhymes With an Innocent Title & Horrible Ending

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I love the comic The Oatmeal, and highlighted a speech given by Oatmeal cartoonist Matthew Inman at BAHfest about a month ago. I was contacted about a new dark humor book called Russian Optimism, which they describe as having innocent titles and horrible endings. The book is an illustrated coffee table book with illustrations and translations, and I was given a digital copy to check out.

I loved this book and found it both dark and morbid, but also hilarious. Let’s be clear – you need a certain sense of humor to appreciate this. Most people will be like my wife, who reacted to most pages by saying ‘that’s AWFUL’! For example, one of the rhymes is called The Woods:

The Woods: “A little boy found a machine gun. Nothing lives in the woods anymore.”

The format is as shown on the image above – on one side you get a graphic, and on the other the text: title, English translation, original Russian and the transliteration. The author notes that rather than incorporate the original rhyming scheme he chose to focus on preserving the original context and meaning.

The rhymes are grouped in seven ironically titled chapters: Moral Messages, Parenting Pointers, Classic Cooking, Aquatic Adventures, Close Calls, Cheery Children and Explosive Endings.

Russian Optimism author Ben Rosenfeld notes that when he was growing up in New York as the child of Soviet immigrants, these rhymes highlighted many of the cultural differences between America and Russia. As he notes, whereas in America most movies have a happy ending, in a Russian movie if it looks like the hero will survive, you can be pretty sure he won’t.

Where to buy?

Direct from Russian Optimism.com – $25 ($20 + $5 shipping)
Amazon.com – $27.36
Barnes & Noble – $27.71

Here is the ‘book trailer':

Wednesday Wandering Mind – Social Media Reset, Twain, Former Fatties, more

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Hey all! Happy Wednesday! I had a few things simmering that I wanted to put out there, and a New Year’s decision pushed me to put them out today. So let’s just jump around *** with it ..

1. Social Media Reset

Over the last couple of weeks I have spent time cleaning up my Twitter and Instagram feeds (no plans to mess with Facebook) as if with a machete. Some people weren’t following me back in spite of my follow and even exchanging comments, others I had no idea how/why I was following, and on Twitter I had to get rid of most of the super-chatty folks as well as people obviously marketing stuff. It has helped my accounts become more manageable, which is awesome.

But on Monday morning as I opened up my email after barely touching electronics all weekend (yay!), I read all of the pent-up blogs in my email as well as my WordPress reader. And my thought? Well THIS has to stop right now!

So I took a ‘scorched earth’ approach and simply started unsubscribing from the mailing lists of blogs and removing any that I did NOT get on email from my WordPress reader, and also killing anything I hadn’t opened in a week from my RSS feeds. Basically, if I didn’t follow your blog before I launched this one, I no longer get an email, if I didn’t get an email this past week I no longer follow you on WordPress, and only a very few blogs remained on RSS (basically those I can’t get through WordPress or email … like Blogger blogs).

So again, nothing personal … I needed to cut WAY back, and I also need to stop feeling like I have to comment on every post I read so you know I stopped by. If I ‘liked’ it, I actually DO … and if you don’t have a ‘Like’ button? Argh! As to how and when I will rebuild? Who knows.

2. Mark Twain’s Gravesite Vandalized

The image at the top is from the Mark Twain grave site, which is in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Elmira NY, about a 10 minute drive from our house. Lisa and I did a fun graveyard tour just before Halloween this year, and the curator who did the tour took us through all of the details of many area families, especially the whole tale of the Mark Twain connection to the region.

I’ll be honest, I’m not a huge ‘know the backstory of the person behind the art’ person like seems to be so popular today, so I never dug into the Twain connection – just assumed it was a ‘George Washington Slept Here’ thing. But it was not. He was buried here for a reason.

But sadly at some point between Christmas and New Year someone removed the likeness from his gravestone. It is noted in the local paper, where they say:

“Somebody had to bring in a ladder,” Hare said. “There has been vandalism in the cemetery over the years, but there has never been any at the Twain site, which is a revered site. Desecration of any grave is a horrible thing for people to do.”

This is a pretty sad thing – awful for someone to have done in general, and also because as towns and cities are continuously squeezed to do more with less money, things like graveyard maintenance fall to the bottom of the priority list. And to have one of our country’s great authors grave site defaced like this is a shame.

The only good news is that there was a cast made of the original plaque which could be used to create a new one.

3. Tales of Former Fatties

Over at Buzzfeed a couple of weeks ago there was a video about ‘what it is like to be a former fat kid’.

As a former (recovering?) fat kid, I certainly can identify with many of the things the people list. But as we have discussed here before, we could change it around to say ‘what it is like to be an adult who was body shamed as a kid’ … because that crap hurts whatever reason it happened.

4. Feats of Dog Standing

So Sarah Palin posted a picture of her 6+ year old standing on their dog. It sparked some outrage, including from PETA. Palin replied … well, I just posted the whole thing below. But one thing she DID note was Ellen Degeneres posting a picture of a small child (2 or 3 years old) standing on a dog.

Her point? Hypocrisy, of course … and the assumption that her frothing supporters would be so quick to be outraged and butthurt that they wouldn’t even contemplate comparative analysis regarding the size/weight ratios of the children and animals (I mean, they DO watch Fox News, so facts are obvious not a priority).

Anyway, I don’t recall the Ellen pic, but we were very clear about the safety of children and animals in our house … so, no dog standing.

ANYWAY … forget the factual discussion, read Palin’s missive and just LAVISH in the crazy as it washes over you …

Dear PETA,
Chill. At least Trig didn’t eat the dog.

Hey, by the way, remember your “Woman of the Year”, Ellen DeGeneres? Did you get all wee-wee’d up when she posted this sweet picture? http://conservatives4palin.com/… Hypocritical, much?

Did you go as crazy when your heroic Man-of-Your-Lifetime, Barack Obama, revealed he actually enjoyed eating dead dog meat?

Aren’t you the double-standard radicals always opposing Alaska’s Iditarod – the Last Great Race honoring dogs who are born to run in wide open spaces, while some of your pets “thrive” in a concrete jungle where they’re allowed outdoors to breathe and pee maybe once a day? (http://iditarod.com/ http://www.irondog.org/)

Aren’t you the same herd that opposes our commercial fishing jobs, claiming I encourage slaying and consuming wild, organic healthy protein sources called “fish”? (I do.)
Aren’t you the same anti-beef screamers blogging hate from your comfy leather office chairs, wrapped in your fashionable leather belts above your kickin’ new leather pumps you bought because your celebrity idols (who sport fur and crocodile purses) grinned in a tabloid wearing the exact same Louboutins exiting sleek cowhide covered limo seats on their way to some liberal fundraiser shindig at some sushi bar that features poor dead smelly roe (that I used to strip from our Bristol Bay-caught fish, and in a Dillingham cannery I packed those castoff fish eggs for you while laughing with co-workers about the suckers paying absurdly high prices to party with the throw away parts of our wild seafood)? I believe you call those discarded funky eggs “caviar”.

Yeah, you’re real credible on this, PETA. A shame, because I’ll bet we agree on what I hope is the true meaning of your mission – respecting God’s creation and critters.

Our pets, including Trig’s best buddy Jill Hadassah, are loved, spoiled and cared for more than some people care for their fellow man whose politics may not mesh with nonsensical liberally failed ways or don’t fit your flighty standards.

Jill is a precious part of our world. So is Trig.

– Sarah Palin

5. Interesting Findings from 2014

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Being a statistics dude and engineer means that I love having loads of data to gather and play with and am always looking for cool new ways to visualize that data. This week I came across a summary of a number of things from 2014 at the Pew Research site.

The image above compares median income of kids 25 – 32 (sorry, ‘adults’) who have a 4-year college degree with those with a 2-year degree or just a high school diploma – and the results show a greater disparity than ever. Recently there has been much discussion about the value of a college degree – but that is largely in the context of the staggering debt incurred by more and more college students.

As a parent sending one child off in a few months to what was ranked the #2 Most Expensive Undergraduate School, and another heading to college next year … this stuff really hits home for me.

Bonus. Warm Hands, Happy Runner

After a relatively mild pre-Christmas to post-New Year we have gone straight back to last years Polar Vortex it seems, with high winds and a display of the ‘many ways to get to sub-zero wind chills’. But of course I still go out for my runs – and the awesome news is that the Brooks 3-in-1 gloves my boys got me for Christmas are the absolute best things I have EVER (in nearly 26 years) worn on my hands. Each year I enter in fear of frost-bite, but now I can leave the house with confidence of returning with all appendages intact.

So … how are YOU? And how’s Winter treating you?

*** Yeah, Jump Around … like THIS:

2014 in Review, and My Running (and Non-Running) Goals for 2015!

New Years Eve Run

We are almost at the start of the new year, so I wanted to wrap up my year and running and also look ahead to 2015. I almost wrote this up a couple of weeks ago … but I couldn’t manage to not have proper accounting of my running right up until the end of the year! So here goes …

To get started … what WERE my 2014 running goals?:
Run more than 2500 miles
Run at least 2 Marathons and 1 Half-Marathon
Run an Ultra-Marathon
Set a PR in either Marathon or Half-Marathon
Put in time on the trails

Yeah … so, um … considering I ran exactly ONE race – and it was a 5K, we can guess how three of the five goals ended up! But honestly I don’t think that reflects the reality of my year in running, so let’s get started with THAT!

It is amazing to be sitting at the end of another year (my third) spent as a long distance runner – and I am fast approaching my ’26th Runner-versary’ in February. It is pretty mind boggling! It is fun looking back over the last year to all of the stuff that has gone on in my running life and reflect on what I want for the coming year. I have enjoyed reading so many posts from others and wanted to share my own. I went into details about much of the year in this post, so my 2014 summary will be quick.

Here are a few highlights of 2014:
Start and Finish the year healthy and injury free – After a great 2012, during 2013 I came to the realization that for me the most important thing was just plain running – not a pace, a distance, not even ever running Boston … just being able to get up tomorrow and go for a run. And as you’ll read below … I did. And I stayed healthy from -20F temperatures to 50 mile weekends and beyond!
I ran over 3000 miles … again! – I noted back around Thanksgiving that I was breaking 3000 miles before the start of December. I tallied up my totals through the last full week of the year (ending on Saturday the 27th) and I broke 3250 miles!
More that 300 running days – As I noted a couple of times, I never intended a running streak, but I always run Monday – Friday unless I really need a day off, and if Lisa is working Saturday and/or Sunday I will run then as well. And so more than a few times I found myself running 21+ straight days, 48/49 days, and so on. Overall it came up to 312 days … or not enough rest days, really.
Major PR at a 5K – by Thanksgiving I assumed this would be a no-race year … then I got signed up for the charity run ‘Selfless Elf 5K’. Even better, it was set up for both runners and walkers and had a very organized start so I could go out running strong from the start. I ended up with a 7:21 pace for a 22:48 total. For me … that was just amazing! What a great close to the year!

Here is the chart of my miles:
Miles FY 2014

So what about 2015? Here are five goals for my running in 2015:
Start and Finish the year healthy and injury free – Yeah, this is pretty much going to be my #1 goal from now on.
Run more than 2500 miles – Why not more after two years of 3000+? Because I want to feel like I can focus more on things like trails, speedwork, track time, and so on.
Run at least 2 races – one short, one long – I loved running the 5K, but totally love the half-marathon and full marathon, have never run a 10K and would like to do the Corning GlassFest 5 Miler in May again (did it in 2012). Why only two? Between one kid graduating and then heading off to college, and the other doing college search this summer … I assume I am booked that weekend.
Set a PR in something – I really don’t care which race, nor do I care by how much. The 5K PR will be a challenge, the rest I think are in reach.
Put in time on the trails – While I have dropped the Ultra for 2015, I really enjoyed my trail time this year and want to do even more of it next year.

Of course, there is another huge victory for 2014 (and 2013) that I plan to continue in 2015:

I maintained my weight without unhealthy eating habits or restriction.

Throughout 2014 I maintained my focus on ‘food as fuel’, eating real and whole foods, a very balanced diet, three meals per day … and no restricting. Even the week and couple of long weekends of college search vacation I never freaked out when I wasn’t exercising … I just kept a healthy perspective.

I also did a lot of cooking new meals, with some being well received and others … not. We worked on a Paleo diet for Lisa for a while, which had mixed results due to allergies but helped in terms of a reset. As we closed the year I think the goal for next year is ‘balance’ … which I am working on.

And YES I have my weight as an entirely separate class … which should be obvious to anyone who has followed the blog.

So what about everything else? Here are five personal non-running goals for 2015: By personal I mean not things like repainting the ceiling in the dining room and so on. But about myself.
Music – I am finishing up making my basement studio sustainable over this break, and I really want to take time in the coming year (much more than in 2014, which I would call a ‘year of noodling’) to truly get back to composing and playing at a higher level again.
Programming – just before the holiday break I needed to do something that required me to write my own code, using the ‘C-like’ statistical programming language ‘R’. I got it done, but considering I was writing entire code-bases to run lab instruments I designed back in the 90s and early 2000s … I was less than impressed with the atrophy of my skills.
Focus on the Family – I am proud of my 2014 in this area … and my goal for the coming year is for my family to know every day that they are loved and special through my words and actions.
Reading – Reading rather than blogging/video games before bed is a good choice for me … and I want to be make most nights about reading this coming year. My goal is not extreme – one book per month.
Cooking – As I said my personal health goal is ‘balance’ for 2015, but I want to extend that to the family – we are really omnivores with healthy tendencies … we don’t need a ‘diet cult’ to improve our lives, and this year I want to expand our palette without going too far ‘out there’.

I have no intention of doing NaNoWriMo this year, but am not closed to it. I want to focus on narrower goals to ensure success. I have set up some quarterly goals to check against, and if I am blogging I will share them here. As for blogging … I have no set plans one way or the other. I love this community and general and the people who will read this in particular, love reading your posts and your comments here. So I am not shutting down as some have chosen to do, I just have no specific plans.

I am going to close with the same picture I used last year because it is perfect – me at the end of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon Marathon 2013 in compression shorts with my #1 supporter and love of my life!

Post Marathon with Lisa

Running Holiday Games, Three Gifts and a Thought

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Hi everyone! Hope everyone who got a long weekend for the Christmas holiday had a great and relaxing time, and those who (like me) get even more time make the most of that! Just a quick few things today …

Running Holiday Games

As I have done a fair amount of miles – just over 23 on Christmas Eve, more than 10 the day after Christmas and about the same on Saturday. All of those were mid-day runs, so I got to get a good look around, and I just found it interesting. I typically run the same half-dozen or so routes, so I get accustomed to the sights. I don’t know about anyone else, but when things change – I tend to notice!

– Loads of out of state plates … family all over.
– I miss when their younger daughter was in high school and they put out the big inflatable dreidel an menorah.
– On their phone … on their phone … eating … actually paying attention … on phone …
– Gone for the holidays again, wonder where their families are located?
– Love seeing four generations out together.
– Hey – isn’t that ___’s daughter? Wonder how she’s doing at ___ (small Corning world when this is more than one!)
– They’re gone … wonder if their daughter had the baby?
– Is he actually old enough to be driving?
– Interesting they put up so many decorations and are gone all of Christmas week.
– Biking around Christmas … such gorgeous weather.
– Two people I work with – one is Jewish, the other Hindu … and they have Christmas decorations up for the kids – a reminder of my ‘two Christmas’ theory!
– Loads of cars yesterday, all gone today – wonder where they headed?
– He/She looks so fast but I am catching up to them … this HAS been a good year for me.

Have you been out and about and noticing all of the little things in your area?

Three Gifts

My Christmas list was pretty short – wardrobe replacement. Changing shape means that clothes no longer fit, and at this point I want stuff that fits rather than stuff that is too large. Which means a great new set of awesome clothes and an upcoming trip to the clothing charity donation drop. But I got three really cool running-related gifts I wanted to share:

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Brooks Glove/Mitten Set – I constantly complain about how cold my hands get … so I was thrilled that my boys ordered me a 3-in-1 glove/mitten set. The liners have a fleece interior and are pretty warm themselves, but then the mittens have a wind-block exterior to keep my hands warm and protected. This is just awesome and exactly what I needed!

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Frozen Band-Aids ‘for the nip-nops’ – OK, this just totally cracked me up! You really don’t think ‘bloody nipples’ unless you are a male distance runner – or a family member of a male distance runner! So opening this package … priceless!

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A Supportive Family – This was taken at the Woodhouse pub in Corning, which is really close to the skating rink where we just did a family skating outing. Over the last nearly 3 years of me being a dedicate long distance runner my family dealt with my new focus as it helped with health and weight and fitness, then became weary of how much of an impact it occasionally had, and in the past year it has become part of our lives.

And as the gifts above indicate, along with their concern about me ‘getting in my run’ … they really get it. Running is part of me, and therefore is a part of them – but like anything else, it is just a ‘thing’, and therefore when it seems to be pushing too high in my mind I can count on them to call me out on my BS. And that is part of being a supportive family – being there behind each other, but also providing a reality check when needed.

A Thought

Earlier this year I wrote about running from the perspective of the runner, and also the non-running family member. As I noted at the time, the feedback I got about the first one was it was a bit ‘tone deaf’ with respect to non-runners.

Well, a couple of weeks ago I read a post that has stuck with me, because it is a long post that is stunning in the extent that it is reactionary … to the point of saying of non-runners “they don’t understand what happiness really is.” Which is just plain scary. I’m not linking – I left a comment on how unhealthy I found the attitudes presented (not to mention the ‘hive mind’ replies), and that is good enough.

But reading that brought me a realization: if you re-read the post substituting the word ‘Vicodin’ for running you would be concerned for the life of the writer. Running can be an incredibly healthy practice – I am thankful every day that I can get up and go out running for about as many miles as I want with almost no repercussions. But it can be a substitute for dealing with reality, an escape from life and responsibilities, and can even become an unhealthy pursuit when taken to the extreme. Which left me with a thought:

If you have immersed yourself so deeply in something that you are skipping time with family, friends, work events, things you used to enjoy, obligations, think only of that thing, ascribe to it qualities greater than it can possibly deliver, and of those who question your newfound obsession you instantly assume nefarious intentions and doubt that they ‘know what happiness is’ … you might have a problem.

Happy Monday!