Tired of the Meanness

Also…before posting or sharing anything on social media.

As I walked through Costco today I could sense a change in the people. It seems as if we were all a bit subdued, quiet, going about our business by rote. Of course I’m the first to admit that this could also be just me projecting my feelings onto the world around me. Is it? Are you too feeling it?

It seems as if we are on tragedy overload. We’ve dealt with natural disasters, but I don’t remember them coming one after another with such rapid succession.

Now we have human made disaster and with it, a sense of powerlessness. We want to do something. This was immediately seen in the rush to donate blood and even food for those waiting. These are wonderful things to do and if I were in Las Vegas I would do them too. Some of us have donated money to the victims. That is good too.

But in finding other things to do, we seem to be a bit lost. I feel lost in this. I don’t want to turn on the news one day in the future to news of another such attack. Pessimistically (or realistically) I know that we will experience more attacks like this. Its as if we resigned ourselves to such a future. I hope and pray that I am wrong.

Meanwhile Facebook is as (I guess) its always been: a mix of pet photos, chain prayers, recipes, inspirational stories, and downright mean memes. You know what I’m talking about because you see them too. The inspirational stories and the pets are so helpful. But they sometimes are overshadowed with the attacks from both the right and the left. Attacks that have important issues at their root, but because they are attacks, will never result in needed dialogue.

Today I think I’ve reached my saturation point with the meanness. As I scroll by I’m tempted to comment, “just stop!”

I also wonder about these posts because I’m not sure the target. These questions run through my mind:

  • Is the poster trying to change the mind of someone?
  • Is the poster throwing “red meat” out to like minded friends?
  • Or, is the poster just sharing something that he/she thought was funny?

As I contemplated this I remembered coming across a different set of questions. I think they originally came from our Quaker friends, but I could be wrong. Regardless, I will make sure that I use these as a filter and I’m hoping that you would choose to join me. These questions use the acronym THINK.

Before you speak – & post or share anything on Facebook or Twitter – THINK

Is it True?
Is it Helpful?
Is it Inspiring?
Is it Necessary?
Is it Kind?

Let me know what you think.

Gratitude 3/22

While in Paris and admiring the history all around me I’m going to share some photos from Torgau, Germany. We visited this city a little ove a week ago. I have two strong memories! First, it was sooooo cold! Second there was an unbelievably beautiful spiral staircase.  I’m grateful that I thought to look up for a photo.

Today I’m personally thankful for: hanging out with Scott in Paris, the creativity of those who lived before us; and the care with which people have saved artistic treasure from the past.

My friend Katie looking down the top of the staircase.

The view…looking down

Heading down the stairs

Looking up

And most beautiful…looking straight up from the bottom! This stairway was built 1533-1537. Amazing!

Gratitude 2/23

Beautiful light pattern with the afternoon sun and a baby window.

Are you familiar with wavy glass? It’s the glass in the original windows of old houses. In some mysterious way glass, I’m told, is liquid (I read up on this a long time ago but don’t remember the details). The point for today is that wavy glass creates beautiful patterns as the sun shines through it. These two photos are from yesterday’s sun shining through two different windows.

Today I’m personally thankful for: our 100-year-old Craftsman Bungalow, with its original windows ; beautiful sunshine; and the opportunity to run this morning.



This is in the living room…light from wavy glass along with a prism from another special window.

Just Go! Gratitude 2/18

Ventura Pier after the storm. Photo by Matt Switzler

Today’s long run was 11 miles…and I was looking forward to it! But yesterday’s storm wasn’t quite done with us, so we woke to a nice steady rain ( thankfully not the downpour and wind of yesterday). As we left the house (Matt and Megan ran with me) the rain continued, and our normal route was detoured due to flooding. Joy! We parked in downtown Ventura and did our warmup in the parking garage to delay the inevitable soaking.

Photo by Matt Switzler
We’re not used to seeing water in this river. Photo by Matt Switzler

Then we were off! We had a light rain for about a mile then nothing. The normally dry river was flowing strongly and we discovered the RV park next to it was evacuated and flooded.

We continued on and shortly encountered mud…it was at the 2-mile mark. We slowly waded through…. ran… encountered more mud… ran…mud…ran…and then experienced the worse mud as the Emma Wood trail encountered the highway. The highway was also buried in mud. Because he was only running 6 miles, Matt had already turned back. Megan and I had just under 8 miles more to run.

This wasn’t the worse of the mud! Photo by Matt Switzler

Those next miles were wonderful…beautiful weather, beautiful scenery, beautiful running! Megan and I decided to run the next 8 here so as not to return through the mud. Thankfully Scott agreed to pick us up on the Rincon (and he arrived just as we hit 11 miles).

All this is a reminder that even when something doesn’t look promising, just go. You just might be pleasantly surprised! And if the workout (or task) isn’t pleasant, you still accomplished it!

Today I’m personally thankful for: my kids who are also training partners (I even kept up with Megan today!); the photos that Matt took of today’s sites; and for successfully completing week 2 of Mountains2Beach training (30.9 miles).


Gratitude 2/13

I twisted me knee a bit during an exercise class on Friday. At the time I didn’t think of injury, but was very careful to not twist it again. On Saturday I had my glorious 9 mile run up and down a hill and felt to very brief stabs of pain (almost like a cramp) during the last couple miles, but no other pain. Sunday I went for a walk and it began to hurt a bit during the walk. I almost skipped this morning’s strength, just to be careful but decided that the upper body and core work would be beneficial. The knee was fine during class and so I did my six miles after…and it was fine for that. I think (and hope) everything is ok, but the potential for an injury is sure stressful!

The entire episode reminds me, and so I am reminding you, of the importance of strength work for endurance sports. Strength work helps to prevent injury (just be careful not to do any weird twisting-haha), it helps to correct imbalances, and of course properly done it makes you stronger and more efficient in your movement.

With all that in mind, today I am personally thankful for: the strong body that God has given me; the group exercise classes that I have been taking since November (this work is more fun in a group); and for all the evidence that shows you can start strength and endurance training at almost any age…ie, you’re almost never too old to start!

Happy Monday

Gratitude 2/12

Yesterday’s run was so beautiful I decided to take Scott with for a walk today. 

Today I am personally thankful for: beautiful sunshine and the sound of running water; Girl Scout cookies 😬; and the call of Jesus to love our neighbors…even if doing so leads to breaking unjust laws. I’m thankful for this call even as I recognize how scary this call is.

Gratitude 2/11

This week I ran 25.5 miles, and except for the week of the Carlsbad Marathon, this was the most mileage for 2017. Taper and recovery account for all the other low mileage weeks. This 25.5 marks the first week of training for Mountains 2 Beach on May 28, only 15 weeks away. Yikes!

Up up up and down down down is pretty fun!

Today’s long run of “only” 9 miles was and out and back that was also an up and down. I’m pleased that my climbing wasn’t too slow and that my heart rate pretty much stayed in the right training zone. I might even be able to quit saying sometime soon that “I suck at running up hills.”

Then the run down was glorious! It was at a perceived easy pace that was at or better than my goal marathon pace. As the next marathon is down the very same trail I’m thinking that I just need to get my legs used to that downhill for a much longer time and then I will have my BQ!

My heart rate only went above 150 near the top of the climb and then when I was having a fun fast finish.

The best part of this week and today’s run is that in every other training re-start after marathon recovery (I’ve run 5 now) that first long run has made me ask myself while running, “how did I ever make it through a marathon?” This didn’t happen today and hopefully with won’t happen next week either!

So, today I am personally thankful for: a good start to training for marathon 6; for the beautiful sound of rushing water as I ran along a stream that was actually filled with water (a rarity here in SoCal); and for the mental and spiritual health benefits of endurance sports (especially in these trying times).