It Almost Wasn't

Talk about a roller coaster morning. A few months ago, I had planned to go up to Montana to visit my brother, run a race and get out of the Texas heat and flat for a little while. The rental car was cancelled when things went down but the rest of the trip was still in place. I looked at rentals this morning and holy fuck. There was almost nothing available and it would have been between $100 a day and $500 a day to rent something locally. I was pretty overwhelmed and talked to my dad who reminded me that I have family in Bozeman and I just needed to ask for help. So…I did. And things are going to work out and my cousin Andrew and I will have a chance to catch up after growing up close at least through middle school.

Spent the last couple of days with the kiddos. We went to the waterpark on Monday, swimming with friends on Monday and no sunburns (at least on the kids). Yesterday, Sam and I went to Golden Boy without Sophie since she had a rough evening on Monday night. Sam really enjoyed sitting in the yellow chairs and eating one of Storie’s lemon beehive cakes. We had just about wrapped up when Sophie called and asked me to come get her since she was feeling better. We grabbed her and then we saw a movie and just kind of tried to take it easy after entertaining all day Monday.

I went climbing after I dropped the kids off and I can really start to see some improvement in my skills. My hands are starting to get torn up a bit but I think that is just part of the process. After that, went to the hill workout and ground out a tough workout before the race on Saturday. Matt’s mom made him a lasagna so I actually ate some real food for once.

This trip to Montana should be pretty great. Geoff is playing a show on Saturday evening in a town we used to live in for a year or two when I was really young and my uncles are coming to hang out on Sunday, I think. Mountains and family might be what I need this weekend. Enough landmines around here to trigger emotional tsunamis and I’m sure some up there too. My cousin was asking about where the mind goes during long races and we both agreed it was more like Zen than anything. So I’m going to the mountains to Zen out for a couple of days.

Up Early

Since things have been headed the direction that they are, I’ve been sleeping later than I used to but the last couple of mornings I’ve woke up back on my regularly programmed time. 5:30 yesterday, 5:15 today. I’ve been running but it’s been pretty unproductive due to not taking in enough calories during the day, yesterday morning was a change. I’d eaten enough the day before and had energy and since it was early enough that it wasn’t really that hot, I went for 5 miles. I ran through the neighborhoods around Denton High and even came across the XC team running hills at McKenna park.

I spent the rest of the day with the kids, took them to swimming and lunch with some friends and then came back to the Bolivar house to hang out. They are still doing mostly ok, it is just hard when we are together all day to not have access to their stuff to keep them occupied. Nothing here is theirs and that is hard for them, and me, because they don’t feel like they have any ownership over what is here. After I dropped the kids off, I was feeling pretty much like I didn’t need to be alone and tried to hit some friends up for climbing. They were just getting off work and weren’t up for it so I went back to McKenna park and ran the DARC Hill Workout instead of climbing. I let Ben know I was kind of amped and I shouldn’t probably be doing a hard workout but did anyway.

As much as their are moments or days where things are starting to feel like I’m getting into a routine, there are just as many moments in the day when I feel pretty bleak and out of control. We took a picture at the end of the hill workout and I got called out for mean-mugging. I’d love to smile, just didn’t have it right then. I’m still struggling with asking for what I need, even going through this process, but I’m getting better at asserting myself (in a nice way) and hopefully there will be some returns on that willingness to step up.

Today, I’m going to run a bit and then talk to my kids and then probably go climb. And breathe.

The day that was

Spent the day with the kiddos today. Picked them up at 8 and rather than grab donuts from the local spot, we went down to my neighborhood and had breakfast at Loco Cafe. I always run into old students working there and today was no exception, I saw at least three.

After breakfast, we drove up to Lake Ray Roberts - Isle du Bois Unit and walked around on the paved trail. The kids had a good time in the woods before we had to make a break for the restroom near the boat launch. Lake levels are way up due to the unseasonably wet weather we’ve had since, well since November. Most of the park was shut down due to lake levels but we still had a chance to enjoy the weather.

We met up with my dad for lunch and then spent the rest of the afternoon playing at the park, getting rained on and then playing some games. I dropped the kids off and was pretty proud of myself for keeping things together for most of the day. Until I didn’t.

Dropping them off and getting back in my car is the hardest part. My counselor told me to just get used to these tsunamis of emotion that wash over from time to time. Don’t pick up the phone, don’t do anything, just sit with the discomfort. It is so hard to do but I know that this is the right path for me to be on right now and I have to live with that and deal with the hard parts as they come.

I was going to go to a show tonight and see some friends play but I don’t have the emotional energy to make it through a concert tonight. The past couple of days have really taxed my available emotional reserves and I’m pretty raw. I opted for a beer and some unexpected company.

Progress

I spent most of the day today at the Peach Street House (Spiderweb HQ) with the crew helping with recording of pieces for the DMA project that we have coming up in September. It was gorgeous outside and a small group of us hung out talking about the work and relationships and how we navigate the world.

I’ve been worried about how I would be able to make it through the piece that I wrote for this project because it dealt specifically with what I’m going through right now. I wrote the piece while I was coming down from the panic attack that set all of this in motion and I knew that reading it out loud would be brutally difficult. True to form, I made it through the first stanzas ok (first poem in almost 18 years) and then had to stop. I kept going back in to get enough for a full take and then took some time recovering. The piece is a little longer than it needed to be and I know that Conor will cut things to work with the project. I re-recorded the piece when I got back to the Bolivar House after climbing with Josh and Chris, clean take after some computer issues and it’s right here.

I had a really meaningful conversation about parental abandonment with Morgan as they unpacked the baggage around an absentee, emotionally abusive father and resonated with them mostly because of my experiences with my mother.

Tomorrow is Father’s Day and I’ll spend as much of the day with my kiddos as I can. They have been so great during this process and I know it isn’t easy for them. All I can do is promise that I won’t be a future conversation about a parent who isn’t one.

Settling

I’m starting to get into a new normal, at least as much as I can. A friend had a room open in his place and so I’m staying with him until I move into my own place at the beginning of August.

Monday we had the first run of the Summer Series, I think this is the third year that we’ve put this on. There were around 200 people that showed up to run around the Southridge neighborhood and then hanging out after for the pools and food. It was nice to see so many people, a lot of new faces and people who only come out and run with us during the summer.

Yesterday, I got to spend some time with my kids. This has been the hardest part of this whole process but I hope that they will benefit in the long run. We played at the park, checked out a new shop on the square (avoid the lego place), had lunch, checked out Summit, ice cream and then the Courthouse Museum. They had a good time and it was good to see them enjoying themselves through all of this.

Social run last night as a crossing guard we always stop runners, not vehicles. As usual, there are always a couple that ignore the big group waiting at the cross walk for the signal and take off on their own. Drives me crazy and I cussed them out pretty loudly in front of the polite runners waiting for the signal. If you can’t figure out how to run in a large group, don’t.

I’m going climbing here in a bit with another teacher/runner and then to the chiro for a work over on my back. It has been tweaky, sleeping on a cot probably isn’t helping the situation, and I need to get things un-tweaked.

I am still here

It’s been pretty crazy the past few weeks. After the show two weeks ago, I had a major panic attack and now I’m getting divorced. I’ve been trying to lay low and make sure I’m taking care of myself, not been too successful on the second part of that.

I got to spend some time with my kids today, something I never took for granted. We spent a few hours at Free Play and had lunch together before they went to check out their new living situation. Life is full of the things you don’t plan for and I can only hope that the future holds happiness on some level for all of us.

I’ll be ok. I have to believe that. I’m really fragile right now and trying to give myself the necessary time to process and heal and try to plan for the future.

My friends took me out climbing today, it was a nice distraction but my mind kept going back to where I’m at right now. Looking at routes and thinking about my kids. Shaking out my hands and then thinking about the future. I’m staying at my other friend’s house for the rest of the summer and then I’ll be in my own place for the first time since 2003. It’s pretty surreal.

If you see me walking around looking lost, you know why. Feel free to say something because I probably won’t.

Real Talk

It’s pretty fair to say that I struggle with depression. It isn’t anything new and it certainly isn’t going away or being helped by my current situation, which is entirely of my own making.

I’ll be back on here when I have my head straightened out and hopefully continue sharing running, teaching and writing experiences.

Last Night

What can I say about last night? Last summer I did a lot of work on myself and I feel like everything broke open again after last night. I performed a monologue for the Spiderweb Show and unlike last year, I got into some really dark emotional territory. I’ve already posted about what I spoke about, the phrase “You are worth showing up for.”

I don’t remember exactly when I started to feel unseen by people around me, it really goes back to when I was a kid and became the kid who could eat the most and that was about it. I struggled with an eating disorder in high school, and probably still do to some extent if I’m being honest with myself. Part of showing up for yourself is making sure that needs are met and I don’t always/almost never make sure that I’m taking care of myself the way I need to. Others first, always. Empathy is such an important tool but it can also cut back the other way if it only goes one way.

Need to work on my transitions.

The monologue went really well, Jacob and Carlo and Machelle created a beautiful soundscape and I made it up to the point where I started walking this student back to my office and I started to lose it. We always used to make fun of my dad when he would cry preaching but when one is repressed enough, anything can be a trigger. I went through the rest of the performance trying to keep words coming out and not openly weeping on stage. I knew people I cared about were in the audience and being that emotionally open is scary to me because it opens up all kinds of shit I’d rather not deal with.

No one wants revolution because revolution is painful.

I barely made it through the phrase at the end of the monologue, I was making eye contact with people and this guy Scott in the front row, another teacher, was balling right there with me.

I made it through but had to put the mic back on the stand and hurry off-stage to weep into the arms of Courtney who was waiting in the wings. My friend Josh came over and talked to me about how I helped him through some rough shit in the past when we were training for our first marathon. Scott came up and talked to me after too, among others, and I didn’t know what to say.

I think I understand where these misunderstood, invisible kids are coming from because I feel that way frequently. It isn’t anyone’s fault, there is plenty of blame to place squarely on my own shoulders.

I didn’t sleep after the show. I went and had a drink with some friends, went home and couldn’t shut my eyes. I had this deep feeling of despair just forcing my eyes open. I tried reading, tried just closing my eyes, but nothing seemed to work. I’ve honestly been up since 3:30 yesterday morning and I’m sure that doesn’t help my emotional state. I’m sitting in front of the computer with tears pouring down my face trying to make it through this post.

I feel unmoored. I feel lonely, and lost. I always appreciate people reaching out, it isn’t really about being alone. I’ve got wonderful people around me and a supportive community, a couple of them. I don’t know if I need to start seeing my therapist again, it doesn’t really help if you already have things figured out and there isn’t any easy way to deal with it.

Maybe I just need a nap?

Somebody got up early...#nosleep #trying

Smell the Barn

This morning, I woke up at 4 am for no reason. I hope this isn’t a trend for the summer.

Adding a new piece to my maintenance routine. Roll and then apply. Trying a new CBD muscle rub from @lone_star_naturals and excited to see them open nearby!

I’ve been working through some lower back pain, associated with a tight hammie on my right side and have been using a new CBD balm on it to see what I can do to work it out. Saturday I was supposed to go down and run a half marathon with Kristin but because the weather turned foul, we decided to cut the drive short and reconvene for a few miles in town later in the afternoon. We’ve gotten so much rain lately that the ground is saturated and anything else that falls just runs off flooding the sidewalks and parks that we usually run in when trails are closed. Options are pretty slim but we made it work.

Sunday I was up early again for a run with Heather, Terry, Ben and John. We started at 6:30 and the group grew by the time we were done with our 10 miles. At the end, there were maybe 15 people with us exploring a new route through the neighborhoods around Denton High and Calhoun. It was a nice day for a run.

I’m staring down the barrel of the summer and there are plenty of things to be excited about. It is not an easy thing to go from a packed schedule to an unstructured day, I always struggle with it. This summer, I hope to keep myself focused on a couple of new skills and to write more. Next few weeks are pretty busy with race timing and a Spiderweb show at Dan’s on Saturday. It should be a blast!

Next week, I’m headed out to Palo Duro Canyon to time a race and I’m looking forward to a day in the canyon.

Ups and Downs

Sunday last didn’t quite go as planned. I have a pattern at Germanfest where I go out too hard and then the sun and the heat beat me down, or wind and cold, and end up right around 1:31 something. The hills and trail run on Saturday didn’t really help any because I was burning myself out on the hills Saturday and was totally cooked on Sunday. I usually run with Anyah, or at least in proximity for some of the race, and we spent up till about mile 5 together and mile 6 in spitting distance. After mile six water stop, I knew I was cooked and just had to hold it together as much as I could until the end. I pushed hard and felt that woozy dehydrated feeling, like if I had kept at that effort level I would be in danger of a DNF so I backed off and came in at 1:36 something. Not what I wanted but I didn’t set myself up for success with Saturday.

I also didn’t put sunblock on my face and head so I got to deal with that for a couple of days while my forehead and face healed up.

After the beautiful weather on the weekend, we had four straight days of severe weather and even made it into the national news because one of our neighborhoods in Denton was hit by a tornado. We usually get a few hours in the bathroom waiting out storms while the sirens go per season and this is not an exception. What is new is that now we have two large dogs and two larger children to pack into the tiny bathroom that isn’t on a wall.

On Tuesday, I was in a recertification class for CPR and I knew the storms were blowing in. Made it home just in time to eat and get in the bathroom. Wednesday was darker and more ominous but I made it out and ran with Terry and Becca before the social run would have happened.

Saturday I headed out to Eagle Mountain Park again for some trail miles, ended up running with a much larger group than anticipated and packed in a half marathon on the trails. They were a little more wet than I’ve seen them and it will take some dry weather to move things in a positive direction. Sadly, we have more wet and stormy weather in the forecast and it doesn’t look like that will be changing soon.

Today, Sunday, I went for a 4-miler with the club and then came home to get the kids out on a bike ride to the park down the street. Kristi bought a bike as well so we all headed down. It was nice to get on the bike again after it being up on the trainer for most of the winter, I’ll probably try to work in more cross training with the bike as the weather improves. I also went up to Summit Climbing Gym with some friends and got on the bouldering wall for the first time. It was definitely something I’ll do again and as the summer gets here, will probably spend a good amount of time climbing and hopefully get the kids into it as well.

So far, just some figuring out what all the holds on the wall mean and how not to die!

Spiderweb is working on a new show and one of the things we did was take this creative types quiz that helped each of us discover where our creative focus is. It was a really beautifully built quiz and I showed up as an Adventurer for my creative type.

Art Week

This week, for the first time, I made my way down to the Austin area for the UIL OAP State meet, courtesy of our Fine Arts Director. I drove down with some of the other middle school theatre teachers to check out what all the buzz is about, what that “we made it to state” thing really means.

It was a mixed bag, to say the least. There were a couple of shows that stuck out to me, both heavily ensemble based and using very little of the unit set to accomplish engaging and innovative stage pictures that didn’t rely on any one actor to carry the show. The interesting thing that I noticed as well was that my middle school program is the same size as many of the 4A and 5A schools and there is not any reason that we can’t create work at that level if the kids are up for it. Challenge laid, I guess.

There was also work that we saw that wasn’t really mind blowing and didn’t seem to rise to the level of what the expectation was for shows that have risen above what is being created around the state for this contest. A few director concepts that didn’t quite pan out and relied too heavily on overdone ideas, some blatantly stolen from other productions and rewarded for that theft of intellectual property. Sigh. Can’t expect everyone to play fair, especially when they win with it.

The highlight of the trip was a jaunt down to the Blanton Museum of Modern Art on the UT campus. I’ve made it to two museums in the past month and the Blanton, while smaller than the DMA, was still worth the trip. Thursdays are free so we got a chance to explore without the added cost of admission. I took a bunch of pictures and even started working on my piece for the DMA project on a typewriter at the Blanton, a nice piece of synchronicity. We also had the opportunity to tour the Scottish Rite Theatre, one of the oldest west o f the Mississippi River. It was so cool to see a space that had been in continuous operation since the 19th century and still had elements that were in place at that time, 80 backdrops with forced perspective legs that were last refurbished in the 1930s, old stage elements and even Masonic ceremonial weapons.

Yesterday, I took the kids down to the Arts and Jazz festival to check things out. Our MS jazz band was playing so we stopped by to support them. Sophie thought it was too loud and Sam entertained the kid sitting next to us by pantomiming along with the music. We saw Matty at his booth and brought him an ice cream and then went over to Oak Street Drafthouse for a cold root beer (I had a regular beer of course) before heading home for the day. I had done 8 miles with some club folks earlier in the day and forgot that I hadn’t really eaten enough during the day so I got pretty tired when we got home.

Today, I’m heading up for the annual pilgrimage to Muenster for the Germanfest 15K, one of my two road races for the year. I’m looking at maybe taking down my old PR but will just have to see how things go once we get out on the course.

These Things Too

The past few weeks have been the kind of busy that I have tried to keep myself from since last fall. From early August until December last year, I was booked solid on weekends with rehearsals, races, work obligations and family obligations. I reached the end of December pretty spent and promised myself not to overbook to that extent. I cut back on pretty much anything during the week and limited my weekend responsibilities…ok, I didn’t. I’ve stayed busy since January as well. And February. And March. And now I’m here at the tail end of April, at the end of another cycle of being too busy and I’m tired.

At least now we are moving from the sudden spring into the inevitable summer heat and I couldn’t be more excited. I love running in the heat. There is something about knowing that I can feel my fingers the whole time, that I can drink and fuel appropriately to keep moving and if it gets too bad, I can always shed a layer. Sunday we went out to Eagle Mountain Park, one of the few trails with significant elevation and one that doesn’t close when it is wet, and glided through a 12 miler under perfectly blue skies, the sun crawling from sunrise to almost high noon and I am feeling hopeful.

Big things happening are the DMA project with Spiderweb, summer projects with Spiderweb and a book project with...Spiderweb. A new race is also in the works for June 8 at Johnson Branch and since TWU canceled our summer theatre camp, I won’t be pulling double duty that week.

For the DMA project, I working from a painting called Portrait of My Mother painted by Philip Evergood. In the next few weeks, I’ll create a piece that will then be recorded along with 49 other creators and programmed into old handset phones. People that come to the installation will dial up a piece that corresponds to one in the collection of the museum. I’ve always been fascinated with the way people process an artistic experience and this is such a unique way to experience art through another person and their given circumstances. Mine, with relation to my own mother, are decidedly complicated.

This week on Wednesday, I’m headed down to the State UIL-OAP contest to watch the shows that made it to state at the high school level. I’ll be gone Wednesday and Thursday, decided to take Friday off and then am timing a race in Plano on Saturday. It’ll be a long week but I’m hoping that Friday will be a good day for a long run in the country and some relaxing before I get back into the push for summer.


Heavy

It has been a heavy couple of days. Yesterday morning we found out that one of our regular social run folks committed suicide and was found near an abandoned nursing home in a drainage ditch. He was 25. I’m honestly surprised that we haven’t had something like this in our running community already, it is a large group and statistics would suggest that we’d have lost members of our community to other things (cancer is a big one right now) and I’m heartened to see our community respond to this loss in the way that I hoped they would; by reaching out to each other and sharing memories of Zach. It is strange but I can even remember his running gait even though we never ran near each other during a social run.

I know that it isn’t something I can fully understand because self-harm and suicide aren’t part of my own tendencies towards depression but I think that creating the space for a conversation about community support is important. My dear friend Courtney shared and article that speaks to this, in a way, because it talked about people living with suicidal ideation as a part of their daily lives. Again, I can’t really imagine living with that on a daily basis, or really at all, but it poses important questions about what our responsibilities as a community are towards people in that situation. I had two friends reach out to me last night to share their own grief about this and I know that this is what we can do.

Grind

It can’t all be great but I’ll try to make the best of it. When my retiring principal asked me to be department chair last year as they were leaving, I thought that I would love being able to help build up my team and be an advocate for their needs. It quickly became apparent that the outgoing head hadn’t been informed of the change and would do everything short of telling me to go fuck myself to make it a difficult year.

This isn’t about them but about how things have gone. For the most part, good. Other than having my department planning period forced into the 15 minutes between my lunch and lunch duty and fits and spurts of passive aggressive behavior from the other side of the building. Every year, around this time, we are all trying to make sure that we have what we need in place to be more successful than the year before. When programs get to a certain size, adding staff makes sense because it serves the students more equitably than a teacher with an overcrowded class and one adult.

Using technology, I’ve found a way to handle a larger group of students working on a couple of unrelated projects that break them up into smaller groups and are pretty student paced, other than deadlines. Some classes this isn’t possible and having more staff makes all the difference in the world. It is so frustrating to have that kind of situation and not be able to just fix it.

Just keep swimming, I guess.

A fool, at leaSt, knows when to say when

Last week was pretty fucking rough on the running front. I had some really obnoxious tendinitis that flared up in my feet after a long road run on Sunday and spent most of the week working out in the garage rather than running. I did one speed workout while Sophie was at swimming and the rest was on my bike and kettlebells. After some poking around, literally and figuratively, it looks like some peroneal tendinitis that radiated from my shin down to the lateral side of my left foot and required some deep trigger point and scraping to get things sorted.

Last week at work was an uphill slog through some departmental stuff that has been festering while I’ve been trapped in lunch duty every day during my department planning period. Hopefully things will be dealt with in a sensitive and timely manner since there are some egos involved and territorial disputes.

We planned on camping last weekend but the gorgeous weather turned nasty Friday afternoon and we realized that camping in near freezing temperatures with rain and strong winds wasn’t something we wanted to put ourselves, the kids and the dogs through. Instead, we worked on the bathroom remodel. Not quite camping but if needed to be done.

Grasslands

Last Saturday, I spent the day out at the LBJ Grasslands north of Decatur timing the 50M, Marathon and Half-Marathon for Chris and Anne Barnwell. We’ve spent some time helping out with each other’s races over the years and it was fun to be on the other side of the line, working instead of volunteering. They were kind enough to offer dinner on Friday and a place to sleep Friday night so that I wouldn’t have to drive the 45 min from Denton the morning of the race (leave my house at 3:15, wakeup at 3) so I was able to get a little more sleep than I would have. My plan was to sleep in my car out there but I haven’t worked out my car camping rig yet and it would have been a very cold night to be sleeping outside.

I rolled up to the start line at 4:25 am and got everything situated for the 50 mile start at 6:00 am. Kyle was there to test out a new timing line so he walked me through the more delicate procedures of editing runners during the race (DNS, DNF, time adjustments) so I was actually able to take care of a lot of the maintenance of the timing files throughout the race. We did lose power when they ran out of fuel for the natural gas powered generator, something I hadn’t seen before and is a great thing to have when you are transporting fuel in a vehicle, so he had to close out the files. It was fun to get a chance to see a bunch of familiar faces while I was running around doing timing duties and chat with some Denton local volunteers who were out at our aid station at the start/finish.

My buddy Brant was out on the hunt for his first 50 mile finish and it was great to see him in between loops and at the end when he came trucking in at 11:55 and change. We’ve spent a few years running races together and most of the time we are right on pace together. His last few blowups were also on my list of DNFs so we’ve got some work to do now that he’s stepped up to the 50 mile distance, Palo Duro we are coming for you.

Art news! I’m honored to be included in two new projects that Spiderweb Salon has coming up. The first is a publishing project with Goliad Media where I will have 2-3 pieces included in our first legit publication as a collective. The second is a partnership with the DMA beginning in September where pieces will be recorded and experienced by the audience in very private, intimate settings. I’m really excited to be involved in these projects and it has been a minute since I’ve had time in my schedule to focus on creating some new work. Look for more details soon as this will be very cool and very tangible!

We had auditions for my advanced theatre class on Friday and will have a few more on Monday that couldn’t make it due to scheduling conflicts. This is something that I pushed for for 6 years and when I finally got a mixed class, it was just filled with 34 or 35 7th and 8th grade students with little to no consideration on whether they should be in advanced theatre class or not. They were dumped in there, kids with lots of experience and kids with absolutely no experience trying to make things work in a way too big class. I dealt with it because I knew that if I freaked out about it, they would just say “this is what you asked for” and take it away for good. This year, more what I was looking for but with 4 or 5 randos who hadn’t had theatre and didn’t audition so it killed the vibe a bit. Next year, I am hoping to have the class where I want it to be and have a dedicated, hard working group to take a deeper dive into some techniques and do some higher quality work. We are moving our one-act contest to the fall this year too so our contest show will be the first out of the gate and a good way to jump start the year.

Almost forgot…Johnson Branch Trail Race is a thing! We’ve got June 8 booked out at the Johnson Branch Unit of Lake Ray Roberts and registration is open.

johnson branch trail race.jpg

Spring Break

This week the kids and I have been off of school and work for spring break while Kristi has been working from the home office for her job that does not have a spring break. Over the weekend, I did some running in beautiful weather on Saturday and shitty weather on Sunday and I came to the realization that…I don’t like running in the cold. I really need to have a better backup plan than just freezing my ass off (read fingers) but the one type of treadmill I would be interested in owning again is $5000-$6000 and there aren’t any gyms in my area that have one.

My in-laws met Kristi in Terrell on Saturday so the kids could spend a few days with their grandparents for the beginning of spring break, and so that we could have a break from being “on” constantly. We went over to Armadillo Ale and had some beverages and then proceeded to eat pizza for three nights in a row.

I’ve been playing at entertaining the kids since I picked them up on Tuesday afternoon and we’ve been getting up to some mischief. Wednesday we went to LSA downtown and followed that up with a trip to the candy store and then the park. Go SAHD week. Yesterday we mowed the lawn/picked up after the dogs, went grocery shopping and did laundry and all that fun stuff and ended the day at a workshop put on by my buddy Matty Sallack at the GDAC. He’s been making custom plushies for a couple of years from his own art and this was an opportunity for the community to come and make them too. The kids had a great time making a UFO and a No-Face plushie and getting out enjoying the community. I had the chance to make a connection with a fellow theatre teacher from a private school not far from my house and I’ll probably end up sharing resources with her since it sounds like she didn’t really have a lot to draw on.

We also made some sourdough yesterday…cue the bread porn.

After I dropped the kids off at home, I went over to wish Conor a happy birthday and hang out with the Spidercrew for a bit. I have missed being as involved as I was in that group the past few years, after crashing pretty hard from #PLEASED last summer, I think I’m finally in a headspace where that is a possibility. It is always a challenge to balance work/health/family/art and I’m going to work harder on making that happen.

This afternoon, I’m headed up for a meeting about a potential race in June and then out to the TADRA Point at the LBJ Grasslands north of Decatur. I’ve been a volunteer at this race for a number of years and while I don’t run this particular race due to the close proximity of horses to the trail, I’ve enjoyed being a part of that community. This time, I’m working the race so I’ll stay overnight tonight out at the start/finish so that I don’t have to leave my house at 3:30 in the morning to get to the site on time for setup. Brant is running his first 50 mile tomorrow and I’m happy to be out there to support him. There is something about pushing limits that is intriguing and watching people push theirs is equally interesting to me. I’ll be out pulling timing chips all day and probably subbing in at the DARC aid station at the start finish as needed. It’ll be a busy day and a nice way to end the spring break week before we head into the mad dash that is the end of the school year.