Posts

the skies never so blue

Image
There is no way to brace for this impact: I lost the baby. I've had to find ways to write it, to say it out loud again and again. It's impossible to sugarcoat it. I can't put a positive spin on it; even me, the eternal optimist, is unable to find some shining way through. There's a really good reason that no one ever talks about this, and that's because it's fucking unbearable. How do you grieve a life that never was, how do you mourn the loss of not only that life, but of hope? Why do we say it this way, my child has been lost , when I think it's actually my own soul that will forever roam, invisible and misplaced at sea, when it's me who has vanished into a violent squall of heartbreak? It is my body that feels quiet and desolate, hushed in unfamiliar stillness. I am the one that can't breathe, that has been blown apart, that is not surviving. A week or so after it happened, I was chatting briefly with a friend, and he said something that resonate

before I ever knew you

Image
And now we've come full circle. I'm a storyteller. I said it last fall, in a post weaved through the crappy Snow Patrol song that is somehow marking time around the beginning of it all. I may not do it well, or properly, but it's never so much about the story as it is about the telling, the things I learn about myself as I pour words onto a blank page. Hoping for nothing more than to dig through the tumbling waterfall of adverbs and commas and murk in order to unearth the mirror I'd like to hold up to my soul.   I've learned over the last few months, maybe in the hardest possible ways, that sharing my story is what creates forward motion. It's how I grow, and to hell with anyone who judges me for what I have to say or how I choose to say it. I'm not going to stop being who I am. And who I am is ready, now, to weave an intricate thread through this particular story, of how I've arrived into my stunning and startling destiny, to tell the tale that the univ

and then we were two

Image
There is something I have been dying to tell you...

they don't get your soul or your fire

Image
I will either win or learn from this experience.  That's one of the mantras I carted around with me when I raced ironman. If memory serves correctly, Nelson Mandela said it first, before triathletes imported it for their own abuse. I used to flippantly comment that it meant I was ready to make a whole slew of brand-new mistakes on race day, none of those old tired mistakes would do. For instance (I've been writing too many papers), in my second ironman, I thought that it was a terrific idea to eat about twelve nut-and-date-bars on the bike. I tried to run with a belly full of fiber and ended up doing the bow-legged porta-potty shuffle until a friend threw some Imodium in a puddle on the ground up ahead for me to pick up without an outside assistance penalty (ah, the glamour, I miss it so). I didn't win that day, but I never tried to fuel another marathon with 6000g of natural laxatives, either. I've got endless 'look how hilariously stupid I was' stories from a

finally come up to breathe

Image
In 2017, I was in the pool one early April morning when something tweaked deep inside my shoulder. I was accustomed to little weird bites of pain popping up, it's normal when you're haul-ass up to your eyeballs in ironman training. I was working more and harder than ever, seeing numbers, times, watts and paces that I had never seen, so niggles were to be expected. We roll through them as athletes, we add some crap we should be doing anyway like foam rolling TLC and it calms down. But this niggle didn't shake. A few days later, I woke up and couldn't turn my head to the right. That's happened a few times, old age is a monstrous bitch, and a quick check-in with one of the ridiculously smart bodywork people in my village usually sorts me right out. I was racing that weekend so I had a session already lined up with a magician and I still remember his voice as he dug through layer after layer of the spasming muscles that connect my neck to my right eyeball. This is real

if the curve of you was curved on me

Image
I am a creature of habit. My morning routine is kicked off by dogs petitioning for breakfast. I brush my teeth, take my vitamins, get dressed, make my toast, play the silly addicting puzzle game on my phone in the early quiet while I eat and then I'm out the door to move my body. It's always the first real thing of the day, my brain doesn't function until I've shaken off the night with sweat. Once I roll back in, I cook a real breakfast and usually make it to my desk with my first of nine billion cups of mint tea no later than 8:30 or 9. I'll pause for lunch and a bit of sunshine, then back to work until it's time for the walk-puppies-their-dinner-my-dinner evening circus. The day ends crashed out on the couch with my laptop, trying to fish a few more hours of writing out of my head before I stop asking is it too early to go to bed? and just go.  Years of ironman training beat a structured lifestyle into me. I basically eat the same three meals every day, not be

if anyone sees me dancing

Image
My grandma was one of the best people I've ever known. She died almost six years ago, now. I've tried to use the shape of her memory to guide me, particularly in times when I feel the most at sea. I'd like nothing more than to know that I am making her proud. I wish I could have called her when I started my PhD. It would have tickled her to know that I was going to be a 'doctor.' She would have told everyone, including the guy who made her Quizno's sandwich every Friday and her morning mall-walking friends. Some of my earliest memories are of her protecting me, keeping me safe. A few months after she and my grandfather passed, I got a tattoo in her honor. I wanted a constant reminder of what's most important in life, what I'd like to embody: always learning, always growing, always evolving towards light. For a long time, a big part of the reason why I stopped writing in this space was because I didn't think I had anything new to say. I felt like a se