Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

Who says Allie Kieffer isn’t thin enough?

Allie Kieffer, one of the best Americans running the New York City Marathon next Sunday, spent a lot of her life feeling as if she didn’t really fit in among the competition. She was good enough to land an athletic scholarship to college and hoped to continue running after graduating. But she wasn’t as thin as the women she raced against. Her coaches suggested she diet. She eventually gave in, and her body broke down…

After a few years, she missed running and started again — but this time was different. There were no goals, no opponents to compare herself with and no times to record. Everything was on her own terms…She began running more miles than ever, she was healthier than ever, and she was happier, too. And then something unexpected happened: She got faster. Much faster.

Last year, Kieffer ran the New York City Marathon and finished, astonishingly, in fifth place. She was the second American woman, and she logged her best time by nearly 15 minutes in one of the world’s most competitive footraces. Barely anyone knew who the unsponsored 30-year-old American with the topknot sprinting past Olympians in the final miles of Central Park was.

Suddenly, Kieffer wasn’t just trying to be one of the hundreds of elite runners in the country. She had become one of the best runners in the world…

In doing so, Kieffer has given us a powerful example of what can happen when we stop trying to force ourselves to meet preconceived notions of how to achieve success — especially unhealthy, untrue ideas — and go after our goals on our own terms. When we focus less on fixing what we consider to be inadequacies and more on reinforcing our strengths, we can realize potential we didn’t even know we had.

“Sometimes, the act of trying takes so much energy that it can prevent you from actually doing the thing you want to do,” Brad Stulberg, the author of Peak Performance, told me. “If it starts to feel like performance shackles, you’re going to want say screw it, to break out of rigid patterns and rip those shackles off. And only then are you able to really achieve what you were trying for the whole time.”

Kieffer’s story also proves that we can achieve far more when we value all women’s bodies less for how they look, and more for what they can do.

Not that being underestimated can’t serve as motivation.

“I’ve always gotten a lot of satisfaction by being the big girl everyone thought they were going to beat,” says Kieffer…

There is a growing movement telling us to embrace the bodies we’ve got — thank you — but it’s hard to drown out the other messages. Whether it’s for a race or a wedding, women are told that they are at their most valuable when their bodies are their most diminished. Resisting the impulse to feed yourself is an accomplishment we praise. You don’t have to buy into these values, but you’ll probably still be judged by them…

By conventional standards, she is doing nearly everything wrong. But she’s beating a lot of the people who are still training the “right” way, so perhaps her path shows there’s room for a more flexible definition of what the right way can be. This is probably true for more than just distance running.

~ Lindsay Crouse, excerpts from Who Says Allie Kieffer Isn’t Thin Enough to Run Marathons? Success that shows we might be able to achieve even more when we break all the rules. (The New York Times, October 27, 2018)


Inspired by:

  • Nobody is smarter than you are. And what if they are? What good is their understanding doing you?” -Terence McKenna, Nobody is Smarter Than You Are
  • I don’t think that you have to get all your inner stuff together and totally integrated before you can actually be what you’ve realized. You’re going to wait forever if you wait for that. Just start being what you know now.” ~ Adyashanti, Emptiness Dancing

Santa Lollapalooza

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More than 8,000 people take part in Glasgow’s annual Santa Dash, a 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) run that raises money for charities in Scotland. (Jeff J. Mitchell, Getty Images, wsj.com Dec 10, 2017)

T.G.I.F.: 5:00 PM Bell!

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Notes:

5:00 PM Bell!


Let’s just say Wow.

“Suddenly, I spotted a white ostrich on my left, then this beast jumped on the road from the right and started chasing my friends! The ostrich didn’t have any problem to keep up at 50km/h.”

Running. With M&Ms.

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A quick check of atmospheric conditions:
68℉.
87% humidity. 87% humidity.
Wind S 7 mph.

5:40 am.
I’m out the door.

There’s no ranting about weight gain this morning.  I’m tired of it. Tired of talking about itYou didn’t seem all that tired when you were savoring the M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies yesterday. Or the 4 you had the day before.  2-Day Count: 10. Staggering (Staggering) lack of discipline and will. 

1 mile marker: Impossible to neglect that this carriage is tired.  Shoulders heavy. Legs are anvils. Mind thick with resistance. M&M Blood clotting. 

2 mile marker: Head winds at 7 mph. I’m sweating like a plow horse in mid-August. If I go any slower, I’ll be pushed backwards.  It’s the Sabbath.  An appropriate morning to Call on All Gods for inspiration. Christian. Hindu. Muslim. Judaism. Any Creator will do. I look up. Hear nothing. Feel nothing. Appears that the disappointment in me is Universal.  All Gods to DK: Repent. [Read more…]

SMWI*: Tarahumara

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“According to the Mexican historian Francisco Almada, a Tarahumara champion once ran 435 miles, the equivalent of setting out for a jog from New York City and not stopping till you were closing in on Detroit. Other Tarahumara runners reportedly went three hundred miles at a pop. That’s nearly twelve full marathons, back to back to back, while the sun rose and set and rose again. And the Tarahumara weren’t running along smooth, paved roads, either, but scrambling up and down steep canyon trails formed only by their own feet.”

~ Christopher McDougall, Born to Run


Notes:

SMWI*: Hey! Yes, You. Move.

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Notes:

 

5:00 PM Bell

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Source: gif-tv

Running. With Flaubert.

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Let’s frame up the mood this morning.

I step on and off the scale. It could be worse. What’s of greater concern is the lack of disgust. Why not just paint a large white flag on the belly and add in large font: “Yes, I quit.” Middle aged man on the down side.

It’s 8:00 am. Zeke and I are laying in bed and I’m scanning the morning papers. It wasn’t so long ago that I would have run 10 miles by 8:30 am and be done with breakfast.  Now, I’m just thinking about breakfast.

The ladies of the house are off to Yoga. Men don’t do Yoga. This man anyway. Too many sweaty bodies in close proximity. Lululemon pants exposing things I don’t need to see. Rubber mats. Rubber room. Claustrophobia. Get me out of here.

Earlier in the week, Rachel pointed out that I’m wearing a track suit (expandable waist) with increasing frequency.  I brush her off but the hit is direct, the wound lingers.

Yes, I’ve become  Abigail Thomas‘ large and growing Inaction Figure: Torpor. Languor. Stupor. [Read more…]

Running. Out of hibernation.

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Monday AM: It’s Zeke’s annual check-up. He remembers the six-inch needle from his last appointment. He’s not welcoming John, the GVW (“the Greatest Vet in the World”).  Zeke weighs in.  He’s up another 5 pounds, peaking at his all-time high. GVW’s scorecard on Zeke sets off vicious attacks: Family v. Dad. It’s you! He only sits next to you at Dinner! You are feeding him table scraps! Do you realize you are shortening his life!”  Dad Growls in response.

Wednesday AM: GVW sends an email. He’s never sent an email to me before, but he needs to send this one. Zeke’s stool sample shows no evidence of worms. Vet Code Translation: He’s fat, but at least he’s clean. All is not lost.

Thursday PM:  It’s bedtime. Zeke’s laying next to me. He looks up and stares.  What’s up Zeke?  He tells me he’s depressed. GVWs lack of bedside manner cut deep. GVW and the Family fail to grasp nature’s natural cycle like Mary Oliver and I do: summer falling to fall, to be following by what will follow: winter again: count on it. Same with weight. Down in summer. Up in the Winter. Down in summer. Count on it. It’s a bloody cycle. No need to overreact.

[Read more…]

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