New Running and Writing Perspectives


I'm developing new perspectives 
regarding running and writing,
perspectives I hope will sustain me.

I am a creature of habit
and while there's no harm in my many years 
of ordering aloo gobi at Indian restaurants
or my drawer filled with black shirts,
black shirt   black shirt   black shirt

I'm realizing I do myself a disservice when I,
for example, get so focused on how fast I can run a certain
trail that I get locked into that one workout.

Last summer I ran three or four times a week
on the trails in the open space,
trails that include lots of rocks and inclines.
When it came time for the annual road race 5k to benefit my kids'
high school I was sure I'd kick butt.
Well, I did cut some time but nothing close to what I'd hoped for,
and I didn't know why.

Now I think I do.

Every run was on the same couple loops,
starting from the same place 
and ending at the same point.
My muscles got used to those runs and settled in at that level.

Here's what the trail system looks like where I run:
Hayden Green Mountain trail map
image from

While it's true there are many trails, 
not all those trails are great for running.
Many are so steep I'd be faster hiking them than "running."
So I gravitated to the trails that had long sections of tolerable inclines,
wanting a decent-length workout. 

This summer I'm trying something new:
I go off on tangents, even if those trails are short or quickly turn steep.
I'm keeping my muscles on their proverbial toes as I mix up my workouts.
As a result, I'm not obsessed with my time and allow myself the luxury of 
watching coyotes or jumping sideways at the sight of a snake.

Jim Fixx cover
Every step I take is a good step.

So what does this lengthy screed have to do with my writing?
I'm back working on the project I set aside in April in order to focus
on other revisions, the project that's different from any other book I've written.

This project intimidates me and I really have no clue whether I'm hitting the mark.
But I'm using new writing muscles and that can only make me a stronger writer 
(assuming I don't run screaming into the night).

Something else I've learned?
New perspectives are not only good for the muscles but nourish the soul.