This isn’t really a great blog post, but Babe Ruth didn’t hit a homerun every time, either. I’m on vacation this week, so while the writing part of my brain is loading up with fresh, new insights to share, the typing parts of my fingers are taking some time off. This is a good week to give you some updates on a couple of situations that I have mentioned in earlier Upstairs Project posts.
Earlier this spring (Gotta Run, March 25, 2017) I wrote about being 50 years old and wanting to continue to wring the most out of life as long as I am able. I was trying to start running - hoping that by the middle of summer I’d be able to rip off a quick 5K without it being a big deal.
Well, it’s a big deal. Actually, it’s a no-deal. I got hurt, again, as I always do when I try to run. About four weeks after I wrote Gotta Run, something weird happened in my knee and I won’t bother you with all of the details, but it hurt for more than a month and it still feels strange. I was hesitant to go to the doctor because I was afraid he’d use the S-word which would screw up my entire summer. I can walk without pain and riding my bike is not a problem, so I’ve just given up running until I get past the bike races on my calendar. It is a disappointment because last year I was able to do a Tough Mudder run (Hands), and was kind of looking forward to another one.
On May 5th (38:55) I told you about another kind of competition: I submitted two essays to the Writer’s Digest annual contest. According to the folks at WD, there were more than 5100 entries overall. I do not know how many entries were in my category of personal essay. Awards were given for first through sixth place, and a handful of honorable mentions were handed out. One of my essays received one of those honorable mentions and the other earned 5th place. Considering that writing essays is just a hobby and this is my first competition, I’m thrilled with these results. 5th place doesn’t get me up on the podium with a champagne bottle to spray at my adoring fans, but does get me fifty bucks and a ton of encouragement, so I’d like to thank the academy, my wife, my parents, etc.
The honorable mention essay is one which has been posted here: Last Call. The 5th place entry is one you haven’t read yet, but will, I promise. It’s a story of visiting a prison and meeting someone rather notorious, and having my sense of justice collide with the possibility of her freedom. I’ll publish it here sometime this fall, in exactly the form which it was submitted to the competition. But I’m still struggling with the issue and I’ve met her again, briefly, since the first encounter, and there will probably be a sequel as I continue to wrestle with her changing circumstances.
But enough of this heavy stuff. I’m on vacation.