March 6, 2014 § Leave a comment
Both legs were airborne for only a few seconds, and then I crashed into a cart.
The headstand wasn’t pretty, but it counted.
March 5, 2014 § 1 Comment
It’s Day 5 of March Madness (my month-long challenge to try something new or scary every day), and this is getting harder as I go along. I made contact with a psychic and am waiting for a call back. (Which got me thinking — if she’s psychic, wouldn’t she know to call me first?) Also looked into Double Dutch classes (kids only), paddle board lessons (out of season), even skydiving (no, thanks).
But there’s always my good ol’ standby, running. One of my goals was to find a new path or route I’ve never run before and try it out. I searched online for running paths in the Twin Cities, but the typical ones kept coming up — the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes, Mississippi River, Summit Avenue — all of which I run regularly. And the other recommendations were out in the woods, where I didn’t feel comfortable running alone, especially at night.
One site recommended a trail between two golf courses in Saint Anthony Village. I wasn’t too familiar with it and had vague recollections of walking with a friend to a nearby dog park many years ago. Foreign enough for me.
I drove, I parked, I ran.
It was perfect — a few steep hills (but not too many), a plowed trail, and, most of all, a welcome change of scenery.
Like life, running takes on different properties and dynamics when you’re able to take a new path. The mind wanders and time passes quickly as you inhale the unfamiliar and just go. Not knowing what’s around the corner or up over the distant hill keeps you going farther than intended. I enjoy that push, the need to take in a new environment and atmosphere and place.
March 4, 2014 § 3 Comments
It’s Day 4 of March Madness (my month-long challenge to try something new or scary every day). I tried tracking down a psychic I’ve heard good things about. No luck. I worked late and didn’t have time to pick up art materials or shop for a new camera or try a new exercise class.
But I did make time to revisit journaling. Many years ago I did it for 30 days, inspired by the exercise as it was outlined in The Artist’s Way. I wanted to return to this habit in order to harness creative ideas and unearth writing topics.
This evening I spent 20 minutes writing freestyle. No objective, just writing nonstop for the time allotted. I’d like to keep this up for the rest of the month, preferably daily, but I’ll settle for tackling it a few times each week.
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I now offer you a week’s worth of daily photos. Documented below are February 26-March 4 (some posted previously, some not):
March 3, 2014 § 4 Comments
It’s Day 3 of March Madness (my month-long challenge to try something new or scary every day)! Let’s see how I fared (it’s not pretty).
Although I suck at twisting my body into many yoga poses, I fancied I’d enjoy headstands if I ever managed to learn how to flip upside down. I don’t remember ever trying one, but I had hopes I could learn this puppy relatively fast.
I took a couple of breaks from work today and pulled up many YouTube tutorials on how to do a headstand. As with most things I can’t do (triple toe loops, tightrope walking, making pie crust), it looks like a breeze when the professionals do it, but tackling it in real life turned out to be a painful lesson in humility.
After numerous attempts and nailing (I believe) the form, I think I pulled something in my inner arm, if that’s even possible when trying to stand on your head. It didn’t help when one of the instructors on a video mentioned it can take years of practice to do one.
What?!? Turns out you don’t have to have a strong head and forearms to hold you in place. They claim it’s all in the core. Obviously I need to work on strengthening that all-important stabilizer.
I’m not giving up on this one. But this failure requires I attempt a different Day 3 challenge if I’m going to keep this thing going. So let’s move on to tennis, shall we?
I just spent an hour online and on the phone trying to find a place to take adult tennis lessons and finally found a program nearby. I took lessons many years ago, but have forgotten everything I learned. I don’t know what has been keeping me from signing up. Probably my discomfort with competitive sports and having other people watch me fumble around with my pitiful serve.
I registered for a program tonight. The lessons don’t start until April, but it’s one step toward accomplishing my goal of getting back in the game, and with any luck, my backhand will outshine my headstand.
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Ten weeks into the year already. Eek! Let’s get reading:
- A Choice of Weapons by Gordon Parks (1965)
- “‘Act of Killing’ Film Fails to Stir Indonesia” by Joe Cochrane (The New York Times, March 1, 2014)
- “The Kidnapping Case: Narrative of the Seizure and Recovery of Solomon Northrup” (The New York Times, January 20, 1853)
- “Putin Goes to War” by David Remnick (The New Yorker, March 1, 2014)
- “A Thousand Words: Writing Through Photographs” by Casey N. Cep (“Page Turner” blog, The New Yorker, February 26, 2014)
- The Unwinding by George Packer (2013)
And then there’s this:
March 2, 2014 § 9 Comments
It’s Day 2 of March Madness (my month-long challenge to try something new or scary every day). Yesterday I started a nearly two-month sugar fast.
A friend recently nudged me, as she has for several years, to enter our hometown’s creative writing contest that coincides with the annual Bob Dylan celebration. The contest is also named after a close family friend who passed away a few years ago, so I’ve had intentions of entering it for years, but the deadline always passes quickly along with the opportunity.
I awoke today determined to submit a piece of fiction I’d written last year but needed to refine. I spent a good chunk of the day editing and, with any luck, improving it. Along with my bio and other requested information, I submitted the story late this afternoon, a day before the deadline.
While I have no expectation of winning, I, of course, want to at least receive an honorable mention. And I’ve learned you can’t receive an honorable mention if you don’t show up. Indeed, we must take risks (and sometimes fail) to find true happiness. Connecting with others through writing makes me happy. So anything that goes from my brain to paper that others deem readable is a little thrill for me, for I always wanted to be a writer but for many years believed I wasn’t good enough.
For the winners, no money is involved, just publication, bragging rights, and the honor of having your name alongside two admirable people. Regardless of the outcome, I hope by taking this step today, it’ll push me to continue striving to be a better writer. And to have faith that I’m becoming one.
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Winter persists. So do warm clothes.