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one extraordinary voice

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A year ago.  It seems a logical place to start.

Every October since we transplanted to Colorado, I’ve celebrated my birthday with a ride (and every year, I describe this day; please don't mind as I gaze lovingly at my navel for a while).  I step away from work and responsibility and the ping of the phone to wander the mountains alone on my bike, returning home late in the day, blown with wind and grit and sunshine and sweat.  Filthy, exuberant.  Sated.  
All these years.  I'd boogie through the shower to scrub off most of the dirt, blow-dry my hair, pull on the cowboy boots that constitute dressed up in Boulder and head out for a fall evening that has somehow always turned up delightful & perfect, crisp, cool, a black sky thrown with stars.  The day ends with red wine, far too much ice cream and the warmth of love laced with friendship; at this point (in my advancing age) it all blurs together into one soft memory of bracing sunlight, miles traveled over the earth, deep huma…

a tiny box of graham crackers

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He came home at seven weeks old.
We had picked out several possible names for him, a whole list crowd-sourced from coworkers and friends.  None seemed to fit.  As we drove up I-95 through light snow, I tried them out.  Winston?  Kalai?  And then a few minutes later, off-handedly to the poet, he smells like a tiny box of graham crackers.  He said, Graham? and I said, with only slight irritation to my boyfriend of about two months, Did you just name my dog?!
He was sugar-cookie-sweet right off the bat.  He learned how to sit at eight weeks old, peed on the Christmas tree rug at nine, charmed my dad into remarking, dogs are so much better than kids at ten. I would say that he was mine but the truth is, I was his.  Madly, deeply, immediately, I belonged to him.
He got sick when he was two, and everyone saved him.  It changed us.  It is hopefully not a lie to say that it made me a better person and it is all because of Graham.  We gave back everything that had been given to us and kept giving…

whether or not I should

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In life right now, everything is being measured in tiny increments.  I recently passed four months post-surgery.  I've been exercising again for eleven weeks.  My long run has gotten five to ten minutes longer each week, last Tuesday I graduated from the pink 2-pound dumbbell to the blue 3-pound dumbbell in PT-prescribed bicep curls.  My shoulder can tolerate fifteen more minutes on the trainer, I can unload the dishwasher, chop cucumbers (but not sweet potatoes), open windows, walk two dogs.  To be in this place actually feels quite sweet; I have a phenomenal amount of appreciation for the small wins.  I'm not thinking about when I can next race an ironman, I'm thinking about whether or not I can run ten miles next Sunday and how fucking happy I'll be to see that final mile flip over on the watch.
After almost every huge race I've done, I've taken some time off.  What that has meant in the past is a few days or maybe weeks spent noshing on the oh-so-trite cupca…

all I know is that I do

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Lately, I've been studying success.

I work with athletes and entrepreneurs, two very different sets of people that share a lot of similar qualities.  They tend to be type-A overachievers who are looking for something in the world to push them to their limits.  These may be intellectual or physical or mental limits, but it's the edge they are searching for in business or sport.  And a month or two ago, I got a few emails letting me know that someone had nominated me for a TED talk (thanks, mystery nominator person!).  I applied once four or five years ago, and I didn't make it past the first cut.  I think I struggle with the original idea; as a lifelong educator I am far more qualified to regurgitate the intelligence of others and strain it through into my athletes, clients, students.  I also struggle with the comparison game as well as the intimidation game (but those are topics for another day).  So I spent a few weeks shoveling around in my head the work I've been doi…

in good spirits

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For some reason, it makes people laugh to hear that I went swimming the morning I had surgery.
First of all, have you met me?  I didn't have to be at the hospital until 6:30am and the pool opens at 5:00am so in my head, the math was simple.  I was in the water at 5:04 and swam every last little second until I had to get out.  I ripped through the shower and showed up to check in with my hair still dripping and uncombed, my swimsuit clipped to my bag and a monster set of goggle eyes.  It is good that some things will never change.

Swimming - triathlon - is not about the obsession.  None of sport is for me, that is not my why.  It's not about burning calories, or getting faster, or selfies, or being able to flash an asshole number of watts on the Strava.  (Maybe a little bit, on the selfies).  It is an honest and deep passion for the art of movement.  Swimming is my meditation, it is a safe space, where I work out angst and anger and sorrow and joy.  The dive into the water, the r…