Monday, April 30, 2012


   The city of Chicago plants thousands upon thousands of tulips throughout downtown every year. It's one of the many signs that winter is fading away, and that summer is around the corner. I've never actually seen anybody planting them though. They always seem to simply appear. One day the downtown sidewalks and medians are bare, and the next day they are singing with color.

   In those early days of spring, when all of the flowers are new, it seems as though they could never grow old. They're bright and beautiful. They stand tall and proud. And they seem as if they'll be that way forever. There is no sign of fading colors. No limp stems. No fallen petals. Just pretty flowers. And for a moment, it just seems so simple.

Friday, April 27, 2012


"I always work out of uncertainty. But when a painting's finished, it becomes a fixed idea, apparently a final statement. In time though, uncertainty returns... your thought process goes on." - Georg Baselitz

   I'm 16 days away from the Prague Marathon, and once again I am not healthy. I don't know what my injury is. I woke up last Monday with a sore left knee. By Wednesday it was worse. Swollen and painful. I had a severe limp. It was better on Thursday. Today is Friday and I think it will be manageable.

   I put ice on it and the swelling went down, but I can't rest it forever. I have to work. And I have to be on my feet in order to work. I'm going to go to the gym today. I won't run. I couldn't run if I was being chased. But I can lift. I can swim. I can do the right things to keep the rest of my body feeling good. And I can hope that this blows over. Whatever this is.

   But it is frustrating. I try to remind myself that this is a part of it. People that run long distances will usually suffer through some injuries from time to time. It's part of the package. I was lucky to make it through the first several years of marathon running without any significant injury. And now I just need to weather a few storms. Because the payoff is worth it.

   But I wonder. I wonder if this is just the beginning. I turn 38 years old this summer. And I am starting to feel like the middle-aged man that I'm becoming. I don't have health insurance. I have a job that requires me to have healthy legs. Perhaps this is a warning sign. Maybe I should be "slowing down". Whatever that means. Maybe changing direction is a better way of putting it.

    I don't know. I don't know what to think right now. And I probably won't have it figured out before I finish my morning coffee and this blog post. But I probably should be giving more time to these thoughts. Honest and constructive time.

   So I'm 16 days away from the Prague Marathon. I am also nine days away from a three week vacation in central Europe. So my life is still pretty good, and that's worth remembering. I'll get a lot of time to myself. A lot of time to spend on (hopefully) long walks. Time in beer gardens and sidewalk cafes. Time in art museums and old castles. Time picking through fruit stalls. Time to meet some new friends. Time to catch up with an old friend. And with a little luck, some time to clear my head and sort some of these thoughts out.