LOPSIDED

LOPSIDED

The temperature outside is a rough sixteen degrees, though it is more tolerable now that the wind has died. A thin carpet of new snow covers the earth and my car windows, meaning this is the day I get to use the once-a-year windshield scraper I carry at all times. It does not feel like your ordinary day of reckoning, but there is a clock ticking and a few issues that need to be addressed.

HEY, NINETEEN

HEY, NINETEEN

There are thirty-seven days to the State Meet. Five weeks and change. Take away Sundays, which cross country's local governing body has declared "no practice" days, and we're down to thirty-three days to get better. Consider that we'll have at least two recovery days per week, and that lowers the number to twenty-three chances to improve.

SO IT GOES

SO IT GOES

I try to keep these missives non-topical in order to give them an evergreen quality. But last night's loss by the men's U.S. national soccer team to Trinidad-Tobago needs to be addressed. The immediate sense of confusion is that America will not have a team playing in the World Cup next year — not that anyone will miss them. They are three and out at best, a nice sideshow to the real competition.

GROWING UP

GROWING UP

I don't know what triggered the memory, but the other day I was suddenly overcome with a wash of humiliation. Sometime in my early twenties, at that point in the wilderness years where I was so deep in the woods that I couldn't remember which way I came in and couldn't possibly see a way out, I decided that the most logical way to fix things was to . . . wait for it: join the French Foreign Legion.

CHRISTMAS IN AUTUMN

CHRISTMAS IN AUTUMN

Cross country season officially began last Saturday. As a forest fire raged in the mountains above Pasadena, the first gun of the season sounded. I am always reminded of “Hollywood” from Top Gun’s comment about dogfighting when I hear that first gun. It signifies so much that feels right to the world for me.

A LETTER TO MY TWENTY-FIVE YEAR OLD SELF

A LETTER TO MY TWENTY-FIVE YEAR OLD SELF

Calm down. Trust yourself. You've just met the girl of your dreams and you know it. Be your best. Let's not screw this one up. OK?That means you need to finally finish college. You keep dancing around the finale because you don't know what you want to do with the rest of your life. You say that's the purist in you talking, but it's fear.

ACCOUNTABILITY

ACCOUNTABILITY

It was one of those days when the jet lag was hitting hard like a bad hangover. Stuck between half-awake and desperate for a nap at 10 a.m., I went for a long walk to pump some fresh oxygen in my brain. I have a theory — never proven — that exercise after a long flight helps get your head straight. Something about the benefits of fresh air and getting the blood pumping.

THE RINGS

THE RINGS

I started this blog by writing a lengthy and mean-spirited rant about the cancer known as club soccer. . . . In the name of positivity, and with full realization that my mental health is affected by this ongoing frustration far more than those I ridiculed, I hit delete. . . . Surprisingly, all of this started as a warmhearted story about my own befuddlement.