Thursday, April 20, 2017

The story behind the book. Or WTF am I even doing here?

So if you didn't know, I wrote a book. It's not a big deal. It's a pretty short book, more of a booklet really. That's not the interesting thing. The reason it came to be is. So this is that story, the story behind the book.

Flashback to the beginning of this year. I found myself struggling with a lot of personal (non-running related) things. Watching the country devolve into a terrible dystopian reality show was stressful (America's Got Talent Racists! Misogynists! Homophobes! Xenophobes!). Work was stressful (in a bad way). Figuring out how to actually live with the person I married was stressful (in a good way, the kind of way that forces you to be a kinder, better human. See: Stop taking shit personally that is not personal. And: Rut-roh! In your efforts to avoid making the same mistakes you've made in the past, you've overcompensating so hard that you're venturing awfully close to kind-of-an-insensitive-jerk territory. See also: Don't assume someone else can read your mind, even if you think it's glaringly obvious that no, you don't want cold water thrown on you as a "surprise" while you are taking a shower).

When it rains, it pours. But even when it pours, I run. And I'm just happy to be out there. One stupidly early morning, I was running, generating neurons. You know, as you do. And I realized that I'm the best version of me when I'm running. It doesn't matter what happens, if I'm having a good day or a bad day, if running feels effortless or nigh impossible, I'm just excited to be there. Somehow I have become that (borderline insufferably happy) runner. I decided to figure out how it happened so that I could become that relaxed/non-judgmental/easy-going/insufferably happy person in the rest of my life. (Because I do not half-ass things. I am a whole ass or I am nothing!). So it began. I ran a lot. I thought a lot. I cried a lot. I felt all the feels. Like what the fuck am I even doing with my life? Things are sad and mean and I'm not doing anything to make them better. And I'm letting Pete down by not being the best life/adventure partner that I can be. It was heavy. Like there's-something-wrong-with-the-earth's-gravity heavy. But I kept running and writing and I found the things you can only find by getting lost.

I learn many things the hard way. I then forget and have to relearn them. That's why I'm always writing things down. This blog, the book, everything I've ever written is just me leaving little word breadcrumbs for myself to find my way back to I-Love-Everything-Land and Be-A-Better-Person-Ville. With my extensive vault of faults to work through, I'll probably end up being quite a prolific word-slinger. Apologies if you thought you were going to be rid of me anytime soon!

So I wrote the book, then spent a while hemming and hawing and realizing I could spend forever editing it to death. Instead I decided it was good enough and released it out into the world, where it could be ignored or judged or used as firewood. I do not care if this book is a "success" by anyone else's standards. If even one person gets even one iota of happiness or feels even one tiny inkling less alone in the world, it will be a success in my book (I could not resist using this expression here. Language, man. It's endlessly entertaining). I enjoyed the process of creating it and putting it out there for those who choose to read it. Most importantly, I caught a glimpse of an answer to the question, WTF am I even doing here? I'm not particularly talented at anything. But for some reason I have this gift of finding love and happiness in everything. So I'll keep doing that and sharing my experiences along the way. Because the world sure could use more love and happy.

Party on, my friends. As always, infinity of thanks for being here.

If you want to check out the actual book, you can find it on Amazon as an eBook Running For The Thrills: The art of running and living happy. Now available in a new print version! Or on Barnes & Noble as an eBook for Nook here. There may soon be an audiobook as well - I'm undecided on that. Feedback and opinions are welcome! Please share the links with anyone you think might be interested. I will now stop talking about this as I fear it's becoming annoying.)

running, happiness, ultrarunning

Lyric of the moment: "Let me assure you, friend, every day is ice cream and chocolate cake. And what you make of it. Let me just say, you get what you take from it. So be amazed. And never stop, never stop. You gotta be brave. All this beauty, you might have to close your eyes. And slowly open wide. And watch the sun rise..." ~The Weepies "All This Beauty"

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