Thinking On Your Feet

The year: 2009.  The place: Hot Topic.  The person: Me. I gazed in reverent silence at the decidedly irreverent graphics adorning tees in a variety of colors: black, darker black, and maybe–there’s-a-tinge-of-gray-if-I-squint-my-eyes. Metal studded belts and bracelets, slogans extolling activities which would have gotten me grounded through eternity should I participate, and a healthy dose of posters with more skulls than a graveyard. It looked like the devil

Many of the feats which trail and ultra runners attempt are so extraordinarily difficult that most people, when told about them, will either doubt the runner's sanity, question their seriousness, or both. Only through sheer, blind belief can we conquer the impossible. It requires a great deal of imagination to generate this belief, to visualize ourselves at mile 30, mile 50, mile 80. Imagination plays

There’s a monster on my heels.  I recently spent a month volunteering at a spiritual retreat center in the lower Catskills. Shrouded in solitude, I was looking forward to devoting all my energy to the pursuits which truly matter to me. During this time, I did hard workouts twice a week in preparation for the 50K I’ll be running in June. These workouts were targeted to

When the gun goes off, the stopwatch starts. When the finish line is crossed, the stopwatch stops. And when the stopwatch stops, we know who is the best. But do we really? Does that single number truly tell the whole story? Is something lost in using time as a singular reference point for performance?  Time as we know it - splicing up a day into so

The new year, and winter more broadly, is a season for rest, reflection, and rejuvenation. Time slips by quietly, and so turning the calendar provides a tangible milestone for its passage. Such a milestone accentuates the changes that have taken place over the course of one, five, or ten years, and sometimes, more painfully, the ones that have not. Perhaps the lurking ghost of a

You’re at a holiday party, work, the grocery store, the DMV. You’re chatting with someone and they look at you as if you’ve just sprouted neon purple antennae. Their eyes pop with a mixture of fascination, disbelief, and a dash of concern. Your shy smile, your shrug, are already prepped for their next breathless statement. And there it is. They open their mouth and the


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