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Suffer for Fun

“What were you thinking?” is my father’s laughing jab while I stand, half-crippled, in my parent’s guest bathroom, brushing my teeth. I’ve just run 32-ish miles around Mt. St Helens alone, and the answer is, I wasn’t thinking much. Funny thing about running (and walking, shuffling, hobbling) around a whole damn volcano is that you might assume you’ll experience a kind of profound enlightenment, and instead you end up singing the same two lines from a Pink Floyd song for ten-and-a-half hours straight with no relief. Mostly you think about nothing. Except for water. Continue reading Suffer for Fun

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Running Wild

Our adventure starts as so many do: playing gear Tetris with an already-full car, followed by a brief stop to pick up breakfast tacos. Then, we are off, leaving Austin behind for the dusty scrub desert of southwestern Texas. We make several stops at forlorn gas stations in the middle of nowhere, and finally around 7pm we make it into the park and are reignited by the stark change of scenery—a rugged, chossy mountain range rising into the dusk like towers guarding secrets. We snap photos at a pullout, hungrily scarf dinner at the lodge, and drive to our campsite where we sleep on dirt under a full moon to the lullabies of distant coyotes. Continue reading Running Wild

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We may know only it by the light

It’s taken years to figure out how to wear these bones whole. Now, they feel all mine, but days yet come when a missed rung on the playground ladder can break my clavicle the way it did when I was two. And still, there are places where the absence of noise and a vastness of shadowed corridors console as a mother’s touch. In the desert, space opens the door for time to spill outward into each crevice and canyon hollow. It passes, time, but we may know it only by the light chasing its own ghost across the desert valley into hushed amphitheaters and up the red stone walls like bloodhounds treeing a phantom coon. Continue reading We may know only it by the light