march 28/5.75 MILES

49 degrees
the ford loop

What a beautiful day! Hardly any wind. Bright sunshine. Low humidity. Nearly 50 degrees. As I left the house, I didn’t know how much I would run. When I started running, and felt stiff and sore, I was sure I would only run 3 miles. But then, as my body warmed up and I listened to the birds and absorbed the calm stillness, I decided to do more. 5.75 miles in all. In past years, when I was running too fast, spontaneously adding miles was not something I’d ever consider. I’m glad my new training is helping me to run longer so that I can enjoy spring days like today. 

failed experiment

I tried experimenting more with recording my thoughts on the run. I turned the voice memo app on and put it in my right breast pocket. The plan was to  keep the voice memo app recording the entire time I was running and to try and speak as much as possible. To record as many of my random, stray, disjointed, jagged thoughts as I could. That was the plan but it failed. While I had been a little self-conscious when holding the phone up to my mouth and recording my thoughts, I refused to speak at all when my phone was in my pocket. It felt strange. I felt weird. Beyond self-conscious. Why? I’m not sure why holding the phone up to my mouth makes it easier.

I did manage to record some interesting rhythms with my phone rubbing against my jacket. And some cool sounds of birds, cars, kids playing at their school park, fleeting conversations, dogs barking. Every so often I’d say hello to someone. But, this recording is 57 minutes long and I’m not really interested in listening through the 95% of it that is just my phone rubbing in my pocket and me breathing, just to find the 5% of interesting noises or me saying “good morning” or “hi” or “hello.”

Addendum: After writing about the failed experiment, I decided to experiment some more. THis week in my poetry class we read Bernadette Mayer’s poem Failures in Infinitives. One experiment we could try was to do our own failure poem. Here’s mine:

Failures in Infinitives, Sara’s Version

why am I doing this? Failure
to speak into my phone while running
so as to record my thoughts
to remember my ideas
to access my truths
to bust the mind/body binary. Failure
to stop creating barriers
to find ways to speak
to invite openness
to not be afraid
to not care if others look at me strangely or dismiss my ideas so as
to be valued
to be understood. Failure
to avoid exposure so as
to be left alone
to not be bothered
to be given freedom to do what I want without the need to justify it in the only terms that have currency: Success! Validation! Status!
Failure to stop second-guessing my visions
to believe in my ideas. Failure
to reject a system that reduces me to my use-value. Failure
to undermine a system that sees products while ignoring process. Failure
to dismantle a system that actively discourages my need
to create new things
to experiment with im/possibilities
to see failure not as failure but as an opportunity
to take risks
to be uncomfortable
to learn new ideas and perspectives. Failure
to understand that the vulnerability that failure produces is not a weakness but a strength that enables us to be open to others
to say “good morning” or “hello” or “hi” to a person instead of an iPhone