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I started running last week; it became apparent that yoga was going to take some working to make happen (I may have to drive to school for one of my classes on yoga days, to make yoga without completely sacrificing the whole evening, just with the placement of schedules and the general awfulness of buses) and my shoulders were sore and I'd just been generally neglecting my body. Starting to drink soylent in the mornings for breakfast got me past worrying about not having enough calories in the day (eating can be a challenge for me, let alone eating within my time and money budget) and so the next good body step was exercise.

So it has been a week. I'm starting the same couch-to-half-marathon schedule that injured me a couple years ago, but spacing it out a little but more to avoid that same outcome. It was pretty magical, last time, the way following a relatively scientific schedule got my body doing so much so fast, and I'd like to experience that again. I'd also very much like to be in good shape when I start work in May.

I still need to find a way to get yoga in, but in the meantime I'm not doing nothing.

And of course, my sleep is better now, my energy level is up, the swings in mood I was starting to experience have settled a little bit, at least so far. And... I'm feeling things better, as in, my emotional apparatus is working in a more nuanced way, and is more integrated with my thinking bits. Also, food tastes better, etc, all that normal exercise stuff. So I guess school wasn't as far from hitting my depression triggers this year as I thought, I was just maintaining a high mood while losing a bit of functionality.

Good save, self. Keep running now.

Incidentally, my mom completely self-medicates her depression with running. My mom's life is always both an inspiration and a warning to me, in this as in so many other things.

This whole thing is helping a great deal with sorting through my complicated poly/partner/identity/desire situation. My identity seems to be stabilizing somewhere between relationship anarchist and solo poly. I'm finding a middle ground between trusting my misgivings and just plain trusting. It helps to remind myself that I can place my trust in the future, in my ability to navigate the future, rather than in particular outcomes. It still leaves me in a shaky place sometimes, wanting things from people who in turn care about me and therefore don't want to hurt me (but maybe can't give me what I want) but wrestling with the issue is no longer taking up all my spare thoughts.

Without interpersonal demanding all my attention, I'm free to get back in touch with myself, and also with my career. The issue of stewardship is arising. Stewardship is forestry code for thinking in the long term, thinking in the bigger picture, thinking outside the axe and pile of logs that comes to mind with the word forestry (okay, fellerbuncher and processor, but those didn't start attaching to the idea of forestry till I started doing it). Stewardship over the forest is something that arose this summer: I was working with a 'stewardship-focused' person when I found a happy place this summer. Principles of stewardship also apply to friends and community. There's an underlying responsibility, I think, that if I can gently steer the future towards a place I consider to be better, I should do so. With forestry that might mean not cutting certain areas, replanting with a wider species mix than necessary, working in partnership with people who have other interests than I do. With community and relationship that has meant, lately, making safe space for emotions and human tenderness and just generally those things that make us feel a little vulnerable and also connected.

Well. Time's up, so have a lovely day. There will most assuredly be more later. And: this is also more, from later. For instance, my life will once again be mine soon:


Jan. 6th, 2015 05:16 pm
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I'm halfway through training for a half marathon I mysteriously signed up for that'll take place in February. I didn't think I'd ever be a runner, mostly because mom is one, and I still don't think I *am* a runner... but this sort of exercise regime suits me down to the ground. In building physical capability the basic idea is to do low level stuff for awhile to build a "fitness base" or basic capability, then to add intensity for while (in my case, distance) in small increments. So I got through the part where I built a base by running and walking various proportions of 2-4 miles for awhile, now I'm maintaining the base by running 4 miles twice a week and adding distance by running a long run every weekend.

Every weekend I add 1 mile to the distance I ran last weekend. A half marathon is 13 miles. My previous longest distance run ever was just under 5 miles.

So right now, every weekend, I run further than I ever have before in my life.

This is amazing and motivating to me. I may try to keep running as a sometimes-hobby-thing, not at this level of intensity, but I don't really like running. I do like something where I top my personal best once a week in easy-to-understand numbers (5 miles! 6 miles! 7 miles!). It's great.

Semester has also started; I'm two days in today. I don't know how it's going to turn out, but a couple of my classes seem to be going better than expected from the weird start-up stuff around them. We had a lab today that was tromping around the botanical garden looking at plants and I don't think the instructor thought much of me (I didn't need to look at a hemlock, I can ID it at all scales from a distance) but before I could feel too antagonistic towards him he mentioned that he has ghost tree moments on campus -- moments when he'll be in the middle of a building, or a road, and be aware of how not too long ago there were huge silent forests there, maybe a tree on that very spot. I feel that all the time, and I haven't met anyone else with that awareness, so it's hard to be antagonistic now, isn't it?

I also have a class that's four or five people, mostly masters students I think, and we're going to sit around and talk about the politics of land tenure in forestry and its effect on the environment and especially on different groups and also about the history of it. How great is that?

So we will see. I'm definitely too busy, but my first-ever student loan is coming in to fix that (I think) and I'm starting to get a handle on how my time will flow this year. I'm applying for summer jobs far and away, and making bits of time here and there to be social, and that's about it right now.

It's not perfect, but it is pretty good.


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