I’d have to say one of the shots that was published in my full page spread in the Red Deer paper of the recent Terry Fox Run.
My folks sent me a snapshot of their newspaper as it appeared this past weekend.
Admittedly it’s usually a fluff piece about community spirit and all that fun stuff, but it’s nice that the local paper doesn’t even bother sending out a staff photographer anymore because they assume they’ll be getting a choice cut of quality pics.
And they actually credited me properly this time. It only took five years.
Now, if I could just work out a way to get paid to do this kind of thing…
I imagine that there are just as many parents out there who enlist their children into their hobbies as those who can’t be bothered. We were noting candidly as we sat on the bleachers that the types of folks in attendance, the types of folks who sign their own kids up for a junior triathlon, are well within the fitness bell curve. The mom does tri, so the kid does tri, too.
I run. I’ve never done a tri. I’m a noob to this whole thing. But I thought it might catch her interest, y’know, fitness-dad style…
I didn’t force Claire to sign up. I told her about the event. I explained to her the effort she’d need to do. And she casually said “sure… I’ll try it.”
She did her first triathlon yesterday — 100m swim, 2km bike, and a 1km run — and she did it exactly like a kid who’s never competed in a triathlon before: she gave it 110% until she crashed, oh-so-hard, about half way into the run. And then she went home, crashed even oh-so-harder (complete with a low-grade fever and a self-induced mid-afternoon nap).
She was kinda-sorta proud. She showed her medal to her friend and then flopped it onto her dresser and that was that.
First tri: done. What’s next? What’s on Netflix?
I had this thought in my head that she’d push through it all, no matter the pain or whatever. I have. I do. At least I think I do.
She’s not a competitive kid, I often joke. But serious: she just doesn’t give a fig if she wins or –as became apparent late in the triathlon — even finishes. I don’t know how it looked from a spectator point of view, but I had to run out there, take her by the hand and pretty much drag her across the finish line.
She was (literally) going to walk off the course and give up with a hundred steps to the finish line.
I don’t get it.
It struck me as a bit of a disappointment at first, but as the day progressed, and we talked about it, and then I saw that she’d literally made herself ill competing in the first couple stages, I had to step back a bit and put a new spin on it all: (a) she gave it her all but (b) when she ran out of gas her motivation went with it. Completely.
It’s that disconnect between physical done-ness and mental done-ness: I don’t know how to bridge that for her. She ultimately needs to face that on her own.
I left my fancy SLR camera at home this weekend which means most of my best photos were blind shots with the GoPro.
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Like this one, probably one of the few selfies that will make it into this daily photo effort, but there was probably no better way to share the awe & and spectacular grandeur of running along one of the most scenic roads in the country, in the world, on a perfect afternoon in June.
The Banff-Jasper Relay is an annual run through the 260 km stretch of mountain highway stretching between Banff, Alberta & Jasper, Alberta where 15 runners tag along and each travel a bit of the distance on foot over the span of a single day. There are amazing views, wildlife encounters, epic challenges of endurance, absolutely no cell phone coverage, and opportunities to take selfies while hot, sweaty, and staring down a fifty-thousand year old mountain glacier.
Leon and I went for a run while Claire was at swimming lessons.
One of the goals of this little Photo Every Day project is, as usual, to gain a few levels of comfort with my various cameras. Recently I picked up a new GoPro Session, and I’ve been carrying it with me when I run.
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The quality, I would argue, is about equal to that of my phone… in that it takes reasonable pictures with the right conditions and with very little control. Less control than point-and-shoot, actually. More like: turn on, point, and hope a picture is taken while you’re pointing it somewhere.
There was a storm. Two storms, actually. And we were right between them. This pic was taken as we were swinging back for the return to the swimming pool to collect Claire, just before we ran towards that great big dark cloud.
A little bit of post-processing was me playing with the colours, but this picture is more about feeling than reality.
From the “You know you’re running in Canada when…” files comes another tale of wildlife encounter.
Add moose to the list of wild animals I’ve stumbled across on my foot-based adventures through the city trail and beyond. We were barely two klicks into our Sunday run, a ten klick casual wander through the suburbs, swooping along the fringe of a new-ish neighbourhood that borders the southernmost end of our creek valley adventure land, and there they were.
Moose are big and a little bit aggressive, so when two eight-foot-tall wild animals decide to have a staring contest with you as they contemplate their escape options, fight or flight, you keep your distance. Well… at least I kept my distance. We had rounded the corner pretty quick and that had startled at least one of them into dashing into the trees as fast as it could, but the other was just hanging there probably wondering if it should turn tail too… or show those puny bipeds who really owned the creek.
The lingering presence of six of us probably helped make up its mind –I wouldn’t have wanted to face it down alone– and barely two minutes later, and one carefree stomp right through the thick woods, we were all pretty stoked at the random meetup.
That was a long road to run for a pretty lame joke. But when we got our Bluray copy of the latest Star Wars film in the mail today, and I realized that it was April 4th… the fourth day of the fourth month, I went out and ran 4.44 km, stopping my watch on the mark, knowing damn well that I was going to do the old “dad joke” routine online later.
That’s all I’ve got.
I’m here all week.
It seems like spring. I wore shorts for an eight klick run and I only had to leap over a few stray puddles. No snow. No ice. No blisteringly cold wind. It’s March. It doesn’t feel quite right, but I’ll take it.
I saw lots of birds in Maui, but I missed my magpies.
There is a stretch of trail along which I frequent, between the lake and the spray park for those who know my regular haunts, where I always –always– see magpies. It can be thirty below, and I’ll catch a glimpse of one in the trees. It can be thirty above, and there will be my little black and white pals poking for bugs in the sun baked soil. Always.
I pushed it today. I wanted to keep my pace below 6 min/km and didn’t even look at my average pace until I got home. And when I did look: fast. Thought while there was nothing magical about my 5:39 average today, it’s been a while –thank you injuries, thank you bronchitis, thank you winter– since I’ve seen anything longer than a couple klicks –or my typically fast January First run– with anything approaching that. So that felt good. It’s a confidence booster, for sure.
It was very cold today. Very cold. The temperature on my phone said -19C. And apparently the windchill made it feel more like -28C. So, my camera with full batteries, lasted about twenty minutes.
I lasted nearly an hour and covered a slow (due to camera setup and other things) not-quite-eight.
For all the frozen-ness of the world this morning, there were more than a few brave souls out. Not lots, but I passed more than ten people on my route out through the south stretch of Terwillegar and back. The sun was the only thing keeping me going. I was basically solar powered. Had it been cloudy, I think I would have turned back two klicks in and called it a close-enough-to-four that I was happy.
It took me half an hour and a hot shower to warm back up to normal. But I got some cool pics.
It was my standard Friday off. I’d run hills on Wednesday and was still achy from that. Then I did a fast four late last night and pushed myself with some matched time on the bike… and I was really still achy from that. So, I set off to do a bit of an adventure run. Down into the valley, a short stop for some photos, and another short stop to chat with the construction worker who was monitoring the new trail installation on our favourite roller coaster trails: that’s right… they are gone, folks. I climbed up through some off-road trails back to the neighborhood and felt the ache a little more, resulting in a lazy little adventure of a little more than five klicks. Luckily, no wildlife.
a mash-up of war & adventure
One word that has been defining the shape of much discussion over the last few months in western culture is “radicalization.”
Radicalization (or radicalisation) is a process by which an individual or group comes to adopt increasingly extreme political, social, or religious ideals and aspirations that (1) reject or undermine the status quo or (2) reject and/or undermine contemporary ideas and expressions of freedom of choice. [Wikipedia]
As I understand it, this term has gained popular traction because it is really meant to do two things: (a) convey the gravity felt by a our culture as (mostly young) men and women get caught up in the allure of something much bigger than themselves, run away, join a far off army on the other side of the world and become cannon-fodder in a religious war that we suppose that they only partially understand, and (b) distance the latest incarnation of kids-doing-stupid-things from every other historical instance of kids-doing-stupid-things, all the while assigning a sinister motives to the same.
Having just completed my dutiful eleven klick run on a day filled with a bright blue sky, the sun low on the horizon but lighting the brisk and frosty air, and not the slightest hint of a breeze making the mid-winter morning’s twenty-three degrees below zero temperatures just barely bearable for about an hour of snow-bound plodding, I’m enjoying a cup of tea and thawing on the couch with an affectionate puppy. I would have attempted a classic trail-location selfie, eyelashes laden with miniature icicles and a toque frosty with frozen perspiration, but my phone had sucumbed to the elements and was not cooperating. Apparently Cupertino doesn’t design in Canadian winters. It’s a stretch imagining that on this particular Sunday last year I was running a marathon in Florida.