Over the past two years or so, I’ve had the chance to take a closer look at life, love and how fast I was running. And I was startled at what I found. The faster I ran, the more my life slowed down– and the better it tasted.
Now I’ve never been one to spill the beans about what’s really cooking inside my kettle, no matter how much pressure was building. I just kept the lid on tight and carried on with a half-smile dotted by sighs and eye rolls at life’s frustrations. I’d open the lid to peek inside occasionally and stir the pot, then go back to work and leave it unattended. Which is fine for awhile as life simmers, but long term, the unexamined pot of chili is not worth eating.
Predictably, as my life became more complicated, and the heat got turned up, the beans boiled. I woke up to find a hot mess all over my kitchen. So I did what came naturally– went for a run and wrote about it.
The untidiness of my life became quite beautiful in its own way. The more I wrote and talked about what I was going through and the training I was doing, the more I learned, the better I felt, the better I trained, and the faster I ran.
Writing helped me notice and remember the details of what was happening in my life– and became not just a healing force in my life but a way to connect to others who were experiencing their own ups and downs.
So I just kept writing and writing. In spiral notebooks, in fancy journals, in dime store tablets and legal pads — with old fashioned ink smeared dead trees.
I also started a secret blog, the legacy of which you are reading now. Here I kept my training history and observations as I prepared for a midlife lark: running as fast as I could in the 2012 Fifth Avenue Mile. The work from those secret blog entries became the foundation of a major feature article in Runners World in September 2013 titled “The Mulligan Mile” and gave me the courage to take parts of this secret blog public.
The reaction to the article — and the idea that we can all use some mulligans in our life — has also encouraged me to further develop the story into a book, which is currently being developed. The book is about how running, and a healthy dose of mulligans, can get you through almost anything in life.
In Taking Mulligans: The Blog, you can share thoughts and see if my observations and stories ring true to you. Together, we will build an understanding of what it means to run like there’s no tomorrow– and live today like there’s no yesterday.