Monday, February 17, 2014

64 is 2 to the Sixth

The title of today's blog is a statement of mathematical fact.  Why is it relevant today?  I did not run 64 miles.  I only ran 6.4 miles.  For a total of 273 one day before the end of the seventh week of the year (tomorrow will be day 49).  That puts me at an average of 39 miles per week (with a week of only 33 miles over just 4 days).  On track for my 2000 for the year.  And I'm on US 40 in Ohio now.  State #4 on my journey.

So why the mathematical statement.  Well, I ran 6.4 because I got to the Y a few minutes late to do a full hour.  And I wanted to get to 273 total.  So, 6.4 worked.  And being the nerd I was as a kid (the guy who had all the powers of 2 up to 2-to-the-sixteenth memorized), I made a connection.

So, on yet another day of treadmill running, Since one of the themes of any additional art that I might commission some day (tattoo or otherwise since Sherry is not thrilled with the idea of another tattoo) is a cornucopia, I thought about six things that have doubled (rather than just doubling one thing six times) since I started my serious running again in 2006/7.

(1) My love of running.  This year so far it has been solitary again, but it is social as well as physical.  It is spiritual.  And it is critical for my sense of well being.

(2) My appreciation of the talent it takes to play music well.  While I have stopped playing so much music myself over the past year, I watched how little progress I was making.  And I watched my oldest son and his girlfriend continue to develop.  I saw what it takes.  I saw how long they worked and how hard they worked.  And I realize now more than ever just what it takes to become an exceptional musician.  Similar to what it would take to be an exceptional academic.  Or an exceptional writer.  Or an exceptional runner.

(3) My appreciation of art and what it takes to make good art.  This started with my tattoo.  Observing the creative process.  But it continues even more from watching my second son who will likely follow my oldest to the Baltimore School for the Arts but this time for visual arts rather than music.  Seeing what it takes.  Even occasionally giving it a try myself.  And realizing just how much effort is required.

(4) My appreciation of how much effort it takes to parent my kids.  I have done the single parent thing for a week at a time now and then when Sherry has had the opportunity to go on short vacations by herself.  However, over the past six weeks, I have spent a lot more time doing the single parent thing repeatedly while Sherry has taken Christopher (or in one case both Christopher and Kelsey) to audition at various colleges.  I really do appreciate what Sherry has to do.

(5) My self-expression.  When I began running again in 2006/7 I had not even journaled seriously in ages.  Now, I write all the time.  And I share.  And it relieves a lot of stress.  And my self-expression is not just writing.  The tattoo is a part of that as well.

(6) My search for answers.  Particularly in the past year with numerous sudden and unexpected passings.  And my search for answers in ways that combine what I do at work, what I teach in Sunday school, what I hear in church, and what I think about while I run.

Which brings me to say that I have a pretty amazing and complex life.  An interesting constructed reality in which things like the fact that I happened to run 6.4 miles could lead to an entire entry about things that I appreciate at least twice as much as I used to.   

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