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Why am I here?

Celebrate running!

Don’t worry — this is not some deep psychological question. I just want to tell you why I am here, on Word Press, committing to doing more regular writing, when I already spend a good 50 hours a week writing, editing and putting together five magazines.

I am the managing editor at an outfit in Dallas called Advocate magazines, where we publish five hyper-local magazines in five areas of Dallas.  One day several months ago, after I wrote this story about local Ironman triathlete Clay Scheitzach, my publisher gently asked me if I thought I dedicated an “inordinate amount of space to running and sports, and that sort of story.” I answered sincerely that maybe I do, but there are just so many stories out there — Good stories. Inspiring stories — on the roads and trails.

I also write about runners/running for a very selfish reason: unlike stories about retail development, city politics or knitting clubs (no offense, knitters. I know you are totally in these days), I thoroughly enjoy writing on this topic. It doesn’t feel like work. That’s when I started mulling over the idea of a running blog—a place to get it out of my system.

But once you start a blog, you must commit to keeping it fresh, interesting. You must actually write. A lot. Or no one will visit you and you won’t have comments or get feedback, and it won’t be fun. So I put it off.

Today, following a 5k race, I was running with my fast friend Mark Olateju, who knows just about everyone in the Dallas running community. If you aren’t his friend, believe me, he’ll be your friend, so look for him.

*He starts telling stories:

“That guy ran two back-to-back marathons this week, both under 3:10 … it’s all just training for Boston next week,” he says, pointing to a runner on the Katy trail. “That guy is a coach and he has been hosting free track workouts at Hillcrest for years,” he tells me about another passing runner. “Oh yeah,” I say, “I’ve heard of him.”

I say something out loud about my blog idea, noting again (mostly to myself) that there’s so much out there to discuss. So when I got home, sitting here in my sweaty clothes, I set up this Word Press account. Now it’s one of six blogs to which I contribute, but this one won’t have any editors or proofreaders or publishers telling me what I should and shouldn’t write about (don’t get me wrong, I desperately need all those things in my professional writing), but I will welcome (and beg for) feedback and suggestions from all you running fools out there.

“Kick” is my favorite word. In competitors, it refers to that final push, those moments of pain and deep digging. It also alludes to getting rid of bad habits. I used to have some very self destructive habits. Running, in large part, has helped me kick those habits and open doors to a better, more fulfilling life. So “kick” will be the name of this blog.

*note: I took some liberties in quoting Mark. I may have jumbled a couple of things.

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4 thoughts on “Why am I here?

  1. Very inspired to read your stories and super thrilled to keep up w/ you through the blog. A dear friend of mine that is also my youngest’s Godfather (you know him too… 2nd oldest son of a well-known deacon at SPX) has also been keeping me motivated to get in shape. While it’s not much in the eyes of a runner such as yourself, I am “wogging” (walking/jogging) my way towards a 5K in May. So excited and constantly wondering if I can do this.

    1. Laura, I think I know exactly who you are talking about! And … are you kidding me? I think it is wonderful that you are starting to appreciate and USE your body — you will see that it can do increasingly amazing things. We all start somewhere. I stood at the finish line of a race a few weeks ago and had this realization: there are people near the end of the race who are pushing their bodies, minds and spirits to the limits to the same extent as those leading the race. That is part of the beauty of running: you get the benefit of community, friends, bonding, if you want it, but it is also an incredibly personal journey.

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