I’m late for a very important date.
I just watched the Boston Marathon on ESPN.
I often end up in tears at sporting events, and watching the Boston Marathon this morning was no exception. Five women, after twenty-five miles, battled, yes, battled to win. Watching reminds me to continue showing up fully in my sport — performance. You see, both my daughters are runners, and, yes, they’d say I am too. They say, therefore, I am. We compare our disciplines. Within every discipline lies a wealth of lessons. This blog, for example. Every month my “cloud” goal has been for it to release on the same day as my newsletter, but as I sit here and write, I know that today, showing up on the page is the goal. Showing up is winning; it is the goal. I sit here staring at a blinking cursor while Hellen Obiri of On Running — for whom my daughter works — is, I hope, taking a massive nap after winning Boston! Her run was poetry.
Reading is fundamental
Three ground-breaking books about women’s running have recently been released. All three have come highly recommended to me by my daughters. Reading together with my daughters always keeps our conversations lively. I’m in the middle of the third book, titled Choosing To Run, by Des Linden. Des won Boston in 2018, and she finished eighteenth this morning. These women just keep showing up, and Des’s book title makes an important distinction. She’s choosing to run. I love the title. I struggle with resistance in many practices, from meditating to learning lines.
How can I reach a place where I am joyfully choosing to do what I do in each moment? Am I there yet? Today, I am mustering up all my courage to get back onstage after COVID forced me into early retirement. My younger daughter will also have to muster her courage and decide, on her own terms, whether to choose running or not after leaving the collegiate scene. We three women compare notes on our disciplined paths. All performance, onstage, in a race, or on a work project, requires careful balancing. One hand holds a toolbox of honed skills, and the other holds spontaneity and joy. On certain days, when the chemistry is just right, they add up to brilliance. You are the only one who truly knows when your goal has been achieved.
These three running books, Des’s, which I mentioned above, Lauren Fleshman’s Good For A Girl, and Kara Goucher’s The Longest Race: Inside the Secret World of Abuse, Doping, and Deception on Nike’s Elite Running Team, are terrifying and beautiful. They expose the dark side of coaching practices. In my case, I equate coaches to directors and other artistic collaborators who may employ abusive tactics that hurt the minds and bodies of trusting humans. The beauty part comes in when these women, as well as you and I, decide on what terms we’ll show up and how we’ll do what we do.
So, I’ve decided to get back onstage in a show. It’s been a long absence. I’ll likely announce where and when soon, but until then, these books will continue to fill my heart with the courage I’ll need to show up at my start line, the first day of rehearsal, in the fall.
Who will buy?
I often refer to a special bookstore my daughters, and I frequent, so here’s a link to Broadway Books. They have some terrific events coming up, and you can order all the books I mentioned above there!
Hot off the presses
Doors at Artists Rep are expected to open in ten months! Construction has begun. Read Marty Hughley’s article here.