Compassion, Compression, and Resisting Rest

Compassion, Compression, and Resisting Rest
A stacked stone gathers no moss.

Happy Friday. What's good?

Not me. I am not good. Indeed, I almost wrote to you this morning to tell you there'd be no newsletter today or Monday. I'm having a very hard time with everything right now – that collision a few weeks ago has really upended my world, mentally and physically. That and starting therapy – scratching at barely healed wounds – has me feeling slow and heavy and pained. My runs have become the literal manifestation of all that too.

I could not-run – that would certainly help heal my still sore knee – but then I'd have to sit still, and as I'm already prone to over-thinking everything, I cope by keeping busy, keeping moving.

It's okay to stop, it's okay to sit, my therapist reminded me. It's okay to feel.

Ha. She would say that, wouldn't she.

As a freelance writer, I feel duty bound to be productive. And as a runner, I feel compelled to follow the training plan. Thank you, yes, I know that neither of those things are entirely accurate. But that's how I feel, as such it's true enough. If you don't consistently practice your writing, just as if you don't consistently practice your running, you fall out of shape far too quickly, and then you'll fall behind or fall apart. That daily practice is hard enough as is, but at least if you're in motion it's easier to stay that way. (This is what I tell myself.)

Of course, when you're depressed, it's almost impossible to put pen to paper, to put one foot ahead of the other, to sort out your ideas as you type or as you run. I have several fragments of ideas to share with you – over the weekend, I watched Iron Claw (the film about the Von Erich family), and there's something to be said about patriarchy and fitness and toxic masculinity. But I sure can't tell you what. I sat staring at my computer screen for a long time the other day, waiting for more insights to come. Nothing did. So I spent about an hour falling down a Wikipedia rabbit-hole on the history of professional wrestling, instead trying to figure out why my grandmother – born in 1907 in Port Arthur, Texas – was such a fan. (Greg Gagne was briefly the quarterback for the University of Wyoming Cowboys, but that hardly seems the reason as she didn't give a damn about football.)

Anyway. That's all I got.

Some random sports stuff: "Girls Drop Out of Sports at Twice the Rate of Boys by Age 14. What Can We Do?" asks Christine Yu. "Can an 84-year-old make the WNBA?" asks The Athletic. Via The Intelligencer: "Women's Sports Are About to Explode." That's thanks in no small part to Caitlin Clark, who just broke the NCAA scoring record. The New York Times looks at golf courses that have been shut down and turned into nature preserves, and I wouldn't be mad if this happened to every single one of them everywhere.

A new notable news items from the world of fitness tech: A workout mirror that is "powered by AI" and comes with DNA testing – because someone had to squeeze three dumb ideas into one expensive product. From dumb to dangerous – IV therapy franchises keep expanding. "Has running technology gone too far?" asks T3. Nah, but when you write stuff like "we’re only a step away from becoming cyborgs," you, the writer, probably have.

There are several other stories that I could include here – the whole parkrun data saga, obviously – but I want to be able to say more about these, and so I'm just going to post this missive to you all, wish you a good weekend, and hope to be back at it next week. Strained smiley face.

Thanks for reading Second Breakfast. "The worst is behind you," my therapist said on Wednesday. She was talking about my loss, not my writing. So I really do appreciate your ongoing patience and support.