November 30, 2017

Cold Air Greets Me

Wooded Trail Washington DC

It’s not often when living in So Cal that a breath of cold air greets me before a run. This week offered me just that as I strolled onto a wooded trail that was blanketed with colorful autumn leaves in the politically effervescent city of Washington, DC.

Washington DC National Cathedral

I made my way up to Wisconsin avenue and then circled one of my favorite buildings, the National Cathedral, a gothic-clad megalith I used to explore to impress girls in college. Once I snuck myself and another through the back door and up a hidden staircase. We found our way onto an obscure balcony where we stood, solemnly, peering down on a choir performing a classic choral hymn.

It was just one of those moments that has stuck with me for a long time. 

November 18, 2017

The Dark Side of Commitment

Commitment. The word has been lingering in my head all day.

What does commitment really mean, anyway?

Now, here I sit, swinging from self-reflection to out-of-shape-neurosis, trying to come up with a blog post that most of you at least consider unique and most of all not boring. I see this massive Webster’s unabridged International Dictionary just sitting on the shelf. The book is huge! It beckons me to pick it up and open it. I turn to the last page, number 2662. This thing has 450,000 words in it!

I turn to the word Commitment.

“The act, obligation or pledge to carry out some action or policy or to give support to some policy or person” seemed quite logical and commonplace. But when I read another definition, I began to feel a bit deceived, if not betrayed. Odd, it would seem, to feel betrayed by the word commitment, a word most of us associate with positive things like strength, resolve or even loyalty. But when I read “the act of committing or sentencing to confinement (as in a prison or mental institution)” I had to pause. As I read further, positive notions of strength and resolve gave way to “the state of being obligated or bound (as by intellectual conviction or emotional ties).”

A couple of weeks back I signed up for a 100 mile race. Now I’m having second thoughts about running it. Which started me on this commitment crusade. Am I a committed runner? Or am I becoming a lazy sloth? Should I remain in the state of being “obligated or bound?” Am I really just sentencing myself to my own mental confinement?

I say there is a time for commitment. It's a powerful force. It can get us to the starting line. Yet there is a dark side to it. When it binds and confines, it makes us prisoners in our own self-made institutions.

Keep it real runners.

November 1, 2017

Hardrock 100 Mile Lottery - I'm All In!

Looking to defy the odds by getting into one of the most difficult ultra marathons anywhere. 34,800' cumulative ascent, highest elevation on the course 14,050'. May the running gods be with me.