May 13, 2014 It all starts with the feet. The birth-place of injuries. I'm a life-long heel striker, and I've paid the price for it. When I started running in the seventies, proper running form didn't exist. Well, this isn't true, but my cross-country coach never once mentioned form. He talked about strategy. "Crest the … Continue reading Portrait of a Runner
Wary, maybe cautious. That’s a nice way to put it. Distrustful. Suspicious, is more accurate. Four sets of eyes, watching. A couple and their dogs. Unleashed Dobermans, they seemed in control, all of them, but menacing still. No one moved, no one said a word. Half off the path, glaring. I gave a wave, and … Continue reading A Chance Encounter
I had a plan. Wednesday night, I heard about the coming weather. Back to back snow storms. Eleven inches between Thursday and Saturday night. This was my chance for a long, snowy run. Years ago, a friend once accused me of Overuse of Superlatives Syndrome. With me, everything is either the best or it’s the … Continue reading But I had a Plan…
I’m between assignments. Yesterday was my last official day at Survivors—the domestic violence non-profit where I worked over the past year. Tomorrow is my official start date at the Adams County Library System—the job I hope to keep until I’m ready to move to Moab, Utah when Eli gets out of college. Today is the … Continue reading Hiking In Between
My long-awaited eBook is now available. Yes, it’s about running, but it’s also about life. It’s also free. Smashwords $0.00 Amazon $1.27 Download it now! PDF version available on Smashwords for those without an eReader.
The sun already set, not below the horizon, but behind the cauliflower clouds, a halo hanging just above the earth. Orange-brown light bled through the thin spots like an iodine stain and rimmed the crest with a subtle ember glow. The entrance to my trail shrouded by the gloom. I was late, too late. Helping … Continue reading Twilight
“Dancing with tears in my eyes, cause the girl in my arms isn’t you, dancing with somebody new, when it’s you that my arms are calling to. I’m trying to smile, once in a while but I found it wouldn’t do. Dancing with tears in my eyes, cause the girl in my arms isn’t you.” … Continue reading Dancing with Tears in My Eyes
6/20/2015 Jenn Shelton keeps popping up in my life. You might be thinking "Who's Jenn Shelton?" She's a minor celebrity. A world-class ultra-marathon runner and a pretty good writer. She had a bit part in Christopher McDougall's massively bestselling Born to Run. Mostly as comic relief. The book made it seem like when she wasn't … Continue reading Jenn, Lance & Me
One o’clock in the afternoon. I’m heading home from the office. I’m working part time at a local company. It’s a great set-up for me. It’s right in my town, a mile from home, and the organization’s mission is right up my alley. It’s a domestic violence and sexual assault non-profit. We advocate against... we … Continue reading Going for a run
“Mr. Cann, we expect you to stay off of that trail. You need to give the woods a chance to rehabilitate.” Eighteen months ago, a pair of park service cops arrived at my door. They gave me crap about the wooded-trail starting behind my house. Decades ago, I was a hardcore runner. A serious ten-miler, … Continue reading Newbie, again
The whistle pig whiffed. The groundhog goofed. The woodchuck choked. Punxsutawney Phil botched his forecast. Six more weeks of winter? That was a fail. Saturday, February 20: sunny, breezy, seventy degrees. It looks like we’re going to get a week of this. This is not the winter weather Phil predicted. But I’m not complaining. Typically, … Continue reading Cold Laser
Babywater! Remember that? It’s the phonic rendition of my personal acronym BABWTR. Those who have been reading my blog since the beginning (possibly that’s only my wife, Susan) know all about this. For those of you who weren’t around or can’t remember, I’ve written ten posts about my half-assed attempt to become a Bad Ass … Continue reading Bad Ass?
I’m easily distracted. Eight months ago, I embarked on a journey, a quest if you will, to become a Babywater. Right, I know that sounds stupid. It’s the phonic rendition of an acronym I made up—BABWTR. At the time, I thought it sounded tough and edgy. Reminiscent of Jason Bourne’s Treadstone. No, I don’t see … Continue reading In Search of: Coach!
The Fairyland Loop. A sickly-sweet name for a trail; evoking images of a four-year-old girl skipping down a grassy path in her ballerina outfit. One week into my family vacation, my legs were itching for punishment—my heart and lungs had taken plenty of abuse, but only due to the elevation. Susan, my two kids, and … Continue reading Fairyland FKT
This story appeared in Like the Wind Magazine #8. The artwork is the original artwork that accompanied the piece when it was published. It is used here with the generous approval of Brittany Molineux. Please visit Brittany's website: www.brittanymolineux.com, or connect with her on Twitter: @blmolineux. Saturday, November 8: Susan's Grandmother died today. This was a long … Continue reading On Death and Living and Running
A popular Buddha quote: “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.” Clearly, the Buddha wasn’t a trail runner. There’s a more recent quote about suffering, this one by Greg LeMond, but I can’t find it anywhere but in my memory – so I’ve probably got it all wrong. My recollection: LeMond said “getting shot in a … Continue reading Suffering
This story could be considered a prequel to my BABWTR series. It was featured in Issue #7 of Like the Wind Magazine under the title "Grunting." ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ It's unseasonably cold, the edge of freezing. The sky is glazed with dawn. But I'm not expecting a sunrise – they’re calling for … Continue reading Symphony of Sounds
It’s been years since I’ve gone for a jog. In fact, it’s been so long that the last time I jogged, we still called it jogging. Now it’s called Zone Two running. That sounds cooler, but it’s the same thing. I’ve always called jogging Junk Miles. Not easy enough for recovery, not hard enough to … Continue reading Junk (BABWTR #3)
Part of my BABWTR (BabyWater) series. My quest to turn myself into a Bad-Ass Back-Woods Trail-Runner. The series is most satisfying if you start reading at #1. * * * * * * * * * "What I really want is a way for Susan to track my location while I run... oh, and I need to … Continue reading SPOT On – (BABWTR #2)
Kill your TV. This is a bumper sticker on the back of my pickup truck. I'm not trying to be cool. I'm not trying to set myself above the hoi polloi, the masses, with their Walking Dead and their Games of Thrones or whatever TV show is popular right now. I just don't like TV. … Continue reading BABWTR #1 – The Beginning