Turn and face the strange

Happy Good Friday and almost Easter.

I’m just coming off a little break from blogging. Call it winter hibernation.

Actually, I did intend to write sooner. Initially about my goals for this year. And then about how my main goal was to be less competitive.

But then, time passed and I realized I’m already not very competitive. I also didn’t run a heck of a lot this winter. It was kind of a blessing in disguise that a multi-day snowstorm kept me from driving down to Auburn for what was supposed to be my first race of the year.

Now the snow is melted and the Easter season has me focused on the theme of change.

Yesterday I finally cleared away the dead leaves from my garden, turned the soil, and planted new starts.

Today I tried to find a Good Friday service to attend, but my town is so small it seems like they don’t do that here- or at least don’t know how to advertise it. (Sorry, Jesus, but I don’t want to drive all the way to Yreka to mourn you amongst strangers.)

Two weeks ago I attended a memorial gathering for a friend who passed away very unexpectedly, and, in doing so, reconnected with people I haven’t seen in years.

Spring is so beautiful, not only for the blooming flowers and singing birds but for the way it offers contrast to the death and decay that’s so necessary to complete any cycle here on Earth.

I always have, and still do, love the Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services at church, (even though I now understand that the Easter we celebrate is a warped version of the pagan sabbat, Ostara.) Even as a kid, I liked sitting in solemn mourning, wearing dark clothes before the celebration of Easter Sunday.

I was, maybe, a little goth. But I liked to think about what Jesus was going through, knowing he was about get nailed to the cross and just meditating on that fact beneath an olive tree all night.

For some odd reason, I think Spring is the perfect time to think about death. Not in the end of life way, but in the major transformation type of way.

The way you need to let something die to create room for change. How green shoots break through layers of decomposed organic matter. Even the cells that make up our tissues and organs are constantly dying… and, hopefully, regenerating too.

Jesus didn’t run away from his fate, he just stepped right up to it.

It reminds me of something I read about caterpillars sometimes resisting going into their cocoons.

Do you even know what happens to a caterpillar in a cocoon? It’s gruesome. They basically digest themselves and build a completely different, arguably more majestic creature from the genetic soup.

Breakdown and then break free… with wings this time.

Why am I talking about all this? In a running blog?

Because I’m no longer satisfied with devoting this space to race reports and such. I started blogging years before I laced up my first pair of running shoes as a means to express myself.

I feel like in recent years, maybe in an attempt to conform to what a blog “should be,” I lost focus. I narrowed it down. I inadvertently built this image of myself as, “Lauren the ultrarunner,” and neglected everything else that makes me, in my opinion, a wonderful, kind of regular, kind of a hot mess, kind of… um, maybe relatable? human being.

I love running, but recently I’ve celebrated so many triumphs and heartbreaks that had absolutely nothing to do with the sport and I felt like they didn’t fit here. So I didn’t write about them.

Basically, I’m writing about all this change and transformation because I’m ready to take this blog in a new direction and I’m not sure exactly what that’s going to look like.

It felt good, really good. Sooooooo deliciously good! to briefly write about my experiences with depression and get the feedback I did. It made me cry to receive donations from people who chose to show their support that way. These things connected me with my audience in a way that made me feel like I wasn’t just writing to myself.

And so, I’d like to take this opportunity to ask you, my dear readers, what you’d like to see more of here?

What topics really resonate with you?

If you’re not a runner and you read my race reports- what is it that makes you want to read- or finish reading? I have a shitton of stories and I’m writing for you, so if there’s something you like, please share!

Again, I have no idea what’s going to happen here, but I’m okay with that. I don’t know if caterpillars have any fucking idea what they’re in store for when they go into a cocoon.

They just hang there. So vulnerable. No guarantee they’ll ever even fly.

Okay, I’m down.

I’m going to use this blog to write, creatively and authentically, at least twice per month.

I promise.

And here I leave you with this juicy nugget:

To win at life, you have to be willing to die a thousand deaths and be reborn a thousand times..png

ps- since you started reading this, your immune system destroyed old cells and new ones were formed. You’re not even the same person you were five minutes ago.

Thanks to Jesus, RuPaul, and caterpillars for showing us the way.

Happy spring, Easter, and life!

xoL

2 Replies to “Turn and face the strange”

  1. Keep writing Lauren, about whatever moves you. Please keep running and writing about that as well. Compete against yourself and, in doing so, you will become your best self.

    1. Thanks, Margaret! I can do that ;) although I’m not sure about the competing against myself thing. I’m kind of trying to free myself of that whole mindset.

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