…I wouldn’t change anything. The timing was perfect. I grew up alongside my sport. Our growing pains and glory days have bound together like sorority sisters.
At the time, Ironman was king. We ultrarunners weren’t just fringe. We were freaks. The triathletes shaved their arms; we surgically removed our toenails. It was easy to disdain then, with their expensive gear and extensive press coverage. When we crossed the finish of a 100-miler, we had to wake up the lone volunteer to tell someone we’d arrived. We were punk rock.
Our sport was bound to change, as Ironman itself had from its own quiet beginnings. The fresh baby face of ultrarunning would harden; its fashions would commercialize and its simple heroes would fall and be replaced by more traditional icons. Or maybe either sport could have gone the other route and faded to a tired obscurity…
Jenn Shelton, ‘Things Fall Apart’, TrailRunner magazine, Issue 97, July 2014, p. 70.
Nathan Englander: “Write what you know” is the best and most misunderstood advice on writing. (via Big Think)
This reminds me of what Geraldine Brooks contributed to the ‘Writers on Writing’ column in The New York Times. The following quote appears on the second page:
Write what you know. Every guide for the aspiring author advises this. Because I live in a long-settled rural place, I know certain things. I know the feel of a newborn lamb’s damp, tight-curled fleece and the sharp sound a well-bucket chain makes as it scrapes on stone. But more than these material things, I know the feelings that flourish in small communities.
And I know other kinds of emotional truths that I believe apply across the centuries. I delivered my son in a modern hospital, but his birth was a bloody, protracted, life-threatening obstetrical emergency. Of what I know from this, which matters more? That the doctor used precision-engineered forceps, or that I was terrified of losing my child?