I read this poem today, and it made me think of my team and my friends, and that made me smile.
Ordinarily, I go to the woods alone, with not a single friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore unsuitable.
I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds or hugging the old black oak tree. I have my way of praying, as you no doubt have yours.
Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible. I can sit on the top of a dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds, until the foxes run by unconcerned. I can hear the almost unhearable sound of the roses singing.
If you have ever gone to the woods with me, I must love you very much.
– Mary Oliver
Photo from @talbotcox
The feeling of pressing the mental and physical limits has been bliss. I’ve gone to bed with a giant tired smile on my face and woken up with the same smile. – Shalane
This quote is from @shalaneflanagan retirement announcement. I can’t think of anything better than the feeling of hard, good work in pursuit, and in service. Thank you for modeling that. There’s a reason I put WWSD on a post it on my bulletin board in 2016 before I even knew you. What would Shalane do.
The BTC website has an aggregation of articles on her career and retirement.
Watching world champs from the sidelines is a mixed bag. Of course I love cheering on team USA and Bowerman. But in my specific events, the 800 and 1500, there is also this sense of regret and sadness.
Running from the moment you start on your first school team is a mix of personal and group mentality. You have training partners, or teammates if you are scoring points for a group competition, but the focus is primarily on the individual performance. Everyone in that sense is a competitor.
From the beginning there is the push/pull of supporting teammates, and also fighting to win. How can someone be authentic in both? I think part of the solution is acknowledging that it’s okay to be competitive.
⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀
Sometimes I feel the “women supporting women” platitudes imply we all have to be peppy and loving all the time. In my mind, anyone in a competitive environment who doesn’t want to beat everyone else is either lying or a saint. Or maybe I’m just the worst. But no matter how enlightened I’m feeling, I’ll sometimes see a successful person and find myself searching for something wrong, some flaw. I don’t know if that will ever go away. But I don’t see what good comes from pretending it’s not there. My competitiveness is a strength in many ways. I think I can be more authentic in my support of others when I don’t try to hide it.
What I can do is acknowledge my competitive nature, and then move past it.
And how does that happen? Through practice. Saying good job to someone after they beat me. Or wishing them well and really meaning it. Practicing “loving kindness,” as they say. That’s why handshakes after competitions are so important. Sometimes it doesn’t feel authentic, maybe it isn’t at first. But it actually does get easier, more genuine. It even starts to feel good. I do believe that we can and should practice kindness like any other trait, like our lives, our happiness, our community depend on it. Because in many ways, they do. ⠀ ⠀
Photo from @idly_drifting_crackerjack
Nadia Bolz Weber talks about feeling undeserving in the face of God’s grace because it comes freely and without precondition. I feel that way about your light. You have blessed so many of us through just knowing you, hearing your story, seeing your courage. It is such a gift to the world. I don’t have words to understand or find meaning in why you, all I can say is thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have touched a community forever. 💖
This is my first time in the Swiss mountain town. St Moritz has a reputation as a ritzy resort destination with stunning natural beauty. I learn that town is split between upper and lower sections. All of the resorts and nice shops are along the hillside. Family-friendly houses dot the river valley.
Our apartment is across from a track. Athletes from all over Europe base here during the summer. I’ll look out my window and regardless of time of day or evening there always seems to be someone doing a workout.
The training setup is pretty perfect. Trails start out our backdoor, and go for miles in either direction. The town is small enough that we can walk to whatever we need. We live at 6000 ft but can drive one hour down the mountain to the town of Chiavenna (Italy!) for a track session at lower elevation.
Space is tight, so I share a room with Marielle. I don’t mind a bunk mate, after years of pairing with my sister, I find it comforting.
The routine here is no different from the other altitude camps, except with espresso instead of coffee. We run, we lift, we workout on the track, and we wait for races.