I started keeping a journal when I was 19. I wrote almost every day for the two years of my LDS mission, and about every week or so for several years after that. Sort of like my running, there were some pretty significant gaps from then until ten years ago when I started this marathon thing and found the Loop. Since then I substituted my bloops for most of what I would have written in the journal. The vast majority of that writing is about running, and not so much about the rest of my life. But the point of journal writing is to leave a record of yourself, and that's a big part of me, even in this, my advanced stage of life.
One of the things that drove me to be so prolific (I went months of writing every single day of marathon training) was the positive response from the Loop for it. Sharing my new experience of running and racing marathons with a supportive community was exciting and validating. I'd spend a good portion of my runs thinking about what I was going to post. It made for a heightened awareness of my efforts in training as well as the sights and sounds of the world around me. I have a fair level of (although not professionally diagnosed, Dr. Google seems pretty clear) ADHD, and knowing I was about to "report" on those miles helped me stay much more focused.
No lament here about the death of the Loop as it was, or nostalgia about the way it used to be. But there's no doubt that seeing just a few posts here and there besides my own has reduced the incentive to put it all out there, as it were. If no one but me is interested, why go to the effort? A big part of the fun was the post-posting interaction. Did I write something funny? Who laughed? Was I going through a tough stretch and got some much needed encouragement from runners who were going through the same or had gone through it? Did a workout or a race go especially well and dozens of comrades gave me kudos? And that's just about the running. The good will, condolences, virtual hugs, tension-relieving jokes, cheers and advice extend to whatever part of my life I cared to share.
Those are all still there and appreciated just as much, just from a much, much smaller group of friends on this forum nowadays.
But, it's been ten years since I started here. Since I'm old already, things don't change for me as quickly any more. And I no longer have things like searching for romance, expecting and raising children, buying that first home, new jobs, finishing my education, and all those other things that shift our circle of acquaintance and the activities that fill the days of a lot of my old friends from the Loop. It's been joyful to watch your lives unfold. Great memories for me. My rotating desktop picture right now is a shot of ten people, most of whom had never met before the day it was taken. But you'd never know it looking at the smiles, shoulders leaning into one another with familiarity, arms congenially on shoulders, a few glasses raised in a spontaneous toast to friendship. A couple of them I've never physically seen again, but count each one as a warm and good friend. I've seen them gain friends, spouses, children, grandchildren. I've shared joy and heartache, triumph and defeat. We created something very special on the Loop.
Anyway, where was I?
Oh yeah. Since most of them (unlike myself) have moved on to Crossfit and/or babies and/or world traveling, or just receded away from online blogging, our little corner of the internet has gone kind of quiet. I'm not complaining (OK, maybe a little). Nor am I announcing my own departure from the Loop. Just reminiscing.
The point is, if there is one, I'm still here. I plan to keep writing here and leaving this bit of myself as a record that, "Hey, world, I existed." Thanks for reading.
I'm enjoying a well-deserved break from marathon training at the moment. Still need to decide on a spring race. Still thinking about Atlanta since there will be Loopsters there. And the Olympic Trials. But it's March 1, which makes for a tough training environment here in the frozen tundra. Not that Michigan is the worst place in the country to run in the winter, but it can be messy. Of course, I have a treadmill in the house now, so ... Anyway, then next fall will be another BQ attempt. I'll try to pick an easier course next time.
Think I mentioned the local 5K that I often run in November. I have a string of AG wins there and it supports the school where the boys ran. Then Connor got this new job and he starts in a week and a half and I'm helping him move 1600 miles to Tacoma, WA. Leaving on Friday to load the truck and drive it west. That's the day before the 5K, so I'm a scratch for 2019. Now I'm thinking about finding a race in the PNW while I'm there, because running.