Learn to Crawl Before You Learn to Fly

Trying to write in advance about my first half marathon this Sunday is kind difficult to do. On one hand, the good old fashioned rail trail turkey trot isn’t going to end in me getting electrocuted and face planting in a pile of mud, or even scaling 16.5 miles of mountains for four hours.

On the other hand I am nowhere near being one of those dedicated inspiring runners who train hard for half marathons, no matter what their current skill level is.

I kind of fall into that category of, I know I can cover the distance, I have a rough idea of how I’m probably going to fare time wise, now let’s go outside and do something fun with a big group of people who share that love. No matter how it ends, I get a t-shirt, and my long run for the week is done.

When I became so pragmatic, I don’t know. It’s probably a side effect from being out in the woods alone for too long.

Something I learned out there on the trails, though, is the fact that every experience you have, no matter what the distance or technicality, helps bring out something new to you.

From my first trail race in June where I found myself walking within the first mile, feeling like I was a fool for even attempting such a thing, to that 14k that I personal worsted on in September because I trained on the trail in the opposite direction it was run…

To that time that I whipped out a 5 mile PR and felt like I was the king shit… These were all my little stepping stones that helped shape my passion for the sport. It was my way of crawling along, trying to find my legs, trying to find my place… Trying to make sense of why I am so drawn to an activity that I vehemently despised for so much of my life.

Sunday is my time to fly. Not just because the trail is flat, and I know I will make a decent time, but instead because I’m finally running with my heart. Not for the medals, not for the PR, but just because it’s something I do. The crawl will persist as I continue to grow and change as a person, but Sunday, I get my legs.

Writing just Because – I Love Journaling

Don’t get me wrong… blogging can be pretty fun.  You can share as much or as little as you want.  You can cultivate a voice or identity that is as true to you or far away from your actual ego as you desire.  You can paint a pretty picture of your day to day life or you can be a total asshole all the time.  Whatever you want to do, your blog is essentially an open book.

Still, it’s easy to fall into a rut, especially if your blog has a very specific niche.  Sometimes things get stale, sometimes you have things you want to express, but it’s hard to do without going off the deep end and horrifying your readers.

Since I started blogging a few years ago, I started moving away from writing just for me, writing just for fun, and writing about whatever was on my mind.  When I was younger I was always taking writing classes, writing poetry and having it published, and I even started teaching creative writing at a local coffee house.

It is sad that things like school, career, and the internal need to piece together a coherent blog got in the way of continuing to foster my love for writing, so when I took a social media hiatus this summer, I made it a point to journal frequently.

My journal isn’t fancy, it isn’t a dear diary, it’s just a giant notebook that I pick up and write in when I feel like it.   Sometimes I will start writing a story, sometimes I will try to work out feelings, other times I will be inspired and write a poem.  I even write about work or fitness, but without limits or concerns – just complete artistic freedom.

If you aren’t journaling just yet, or you would like to or you don’t know where to start, look no further, because every Saturday, I am going to post a few “I Love Journaling” prompts to get your juices flowing, as well as some resources about why journaling is so awesome.

I think writing candidly without fear of judgment is a great mental health booster, and writing on a wide variety of topics helps you thrive in your own genre and may even spark ideas for new blog posts.

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