Mina Wants to Be Noticed

These last six months, running and I have been on a rollercoaster ride together—queasy stomachs and screams of joy. In March, I agreed to do a half-marathon with a friend on her April birthday and immediately started dreading it. I swore off road races about a decade ago. The running events I participate in once or twice a year are off-road. Runs on forest trails or in the mountains. To compound my dread (or perhaps because of), I trained poorly and my race result was disappointing; actually, extremely so. I wish I’d read these wise insights right after, it would have helped me process: So You Had a Crappy Race … Now What? I don’t want you to notice that crappy…


Why Reading A Book on Self-Worth Plunged My Self-Worth Into The Garbage Can … And How I Got Back Out

Last week I read Tea and Cake With Demons, by Adreanna Limbach, a clear round up and explanation of the fundamental principles of Buddhist thought on suffering and the relief of suffering. The author’s voice is sensible and compassionate. Yet, as I read about how worthy I was, just by virtue of being me, I felt less and less so. So that, the day after I learned that I was on the cover of a Florida magazine, Healthy Living, for my own recently published book, I sank into a massive sinkhole of self-hate. Snippet of internal dialogue between my I-Am-Worthy mind and my Who-Are-You-Kidding? mind as I swam desperately toward the sinkhole shores to pull myself out: IAW: I’m a…


If You Stack A Cord of Wood, Do You Still Need to Workout?

Functional fitness (aka functional movement) is a thing now. That’s exercises that train our muscles for regular life activities, like squatting to pick up something we’ve dropped, or reaching for something on a high shelf (or even climbing onto the kitchen counter to reach something, as I did a few days ago). But, do our regular life activities support our workouts? Can movement with a function substitute for a workout? I asked myself this question a couple of weeks ago, when a cord of wood was dumped in our driveway at 8 a.m. Just looking at it was pretty daunting. Even though I knew from previous years the stacking wouldn’t take more than an hour (for two of us), all those…


Watching My Mind for 225 Days Straight (or The Daily Personal Soap Opera)

Watch your mind. Without training it might run away and/leave your heart for the immense human feast set by the/thieves of time. (from Joy Harjo’spoem, For Calling the Spirit Back from Wandering the Earth in Its Human Feet, in her collection Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings) I’ve been watching my mind for the last 225+ days straight. Despite the immense human feast, I have agreed to be present on the cushion at least once a day. The thieves of time are held at bay, even if only for ten minutes. This is the longest meditation streak of my life by a long shot. My last and only other streak was 100 days after my father died in 2015. The experience…


How to Be Present: Using Wordless Sound to Connect Body and Mind

Sometimes I read poetry aloud to my partner. I love the poetry. I love the pleasure it gives him. And, I admit, I love the opportunity for the mini-performance. Our habit is for mornings, before we get out of bed. Propped up on my pillows, it’s one of the only times I wear my reading glasses (which I hate for the way they make me feel old, except for this moment of poetry, when I slip the bonds of age). I mostly read electronic books now (oh the privilege of adjustable font sizes, which help us feel young again). But, for our poetry custom, the books have to be old-fashioned-hold-in-the-hand-and-turn-the-page. I don’t know why I need this tactile experience, though…


Sweat First, Glow Later

I was talking to a woman the other day about that wonderful feeling of working up a good sweat on a run, when she interrupted me to say, “You mean glow, not sweat.” Aack. I remember the expression from growing up. Horses sweat. Men perspire. But women merely glow. And no, I absolutely did not mean glow when I said sweat. I didn’t even mean perspire. In fact, I really, really meant sweat. The idea that women should only glow obstructs our progress, keeps us docile, fragile and dependent, and interferes with our strength. Can you tell I hate that expression? Even if it’s used as a euphemism, I don’t like what it implies. Back in the days when I practiced…


Is Grit Good or Bad?

It’s Monday. Even though I don’t work a Monday-to-Friday job, nor do I have children on a school schedule, Monday morning always feels like a moment to re-up my commitment to … well to pretty much everything, from work to sports. Monday is for grit. For courage and resolve. And I think of that as a good thing. So when Samantha shared The Case Against Grit with us on our Fit Is A Feminist Issue Facebook group the other day, I thought: What? Grit is in the doghouse now? Being a quitter is cool? Great. I don’t have to persevere anymore. So much more relaxing. I’ll just stay in bed on Mondays. Turns out, the article was not actually anti-grit,…


Magic Mushroom Monopolies Threaten The Benefits of Psychedelics: The Chicken Who Laid Golden Eggs

Psilocybin has just gotten “breakthrough” status with the FDA. Meaning that magic mushrooms are one step closer to being available to treat a range of mental health conditions, starting with end-of-life existential dread and more general depression. I almost want to get clinically depressed, so I can be eligible for the drug trials. Michael Pollan’s book, How To Change Your Mind, changed my mind. As did a recent panel at the World Science Festival on developing psychedelic research. I believe the science that suggests that psychedelics have the potential to alleviate a great deal of suffering in the world. I believe they also create the possibility of a much-needed shake-up in our current norms of behavior and our priorities for…


Between America and China There Is No “Right” Side: The Wolf Testifying Against the Fox in the Monkey’s Court

The trade war with China escalates. We try to sort out who did what to whom. If we are not knee-jerk patriots, we wonder who is “right”. We attempt to cut through the jungle of contradictory opinions to find the path of resolution. One answer comes to us from the 17thcentury menagerie of Jean de La Fontaine’s fables: A wolf said that he’d been robbed. A fox, his neighbor, with a pretty shady life, was called to court on charges of theft. They pleaded the case before the monkey, no lawyers, each party representing himself. Themis, the Titaness who personified the divine order, fairness and the law, had never had to deal with a more convoluted case. Her emissary, the…


I Recommitted To Running, But There’s Been A Bump

I want to renew my running vows. I want me and Running to hold hands and skip through a flurry of confetti in great outfits; the way we did back at the beginning of our relationship 25-years ago. As some of you know, I did a half-marathon in April (The Half Marathon I’m Dreading). I was not proud of my time. I self-sabotaged. My training was not exemplary. My head was not in the right place. Not the first time. The run made me realize—I love you, running, but I’ve let our relationship go stale. I love you more when we spend quality time together. When I pay more attention. When I push, even a little. When I commit. I…




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