“In the eye of a hurricane/there is quiet/for just a moment …” — I Wrote My Way Out, Hamilton the Musical
Hurricane Florence provided me with an odd opportunity. I traded the adrenaline rush of working out for chasing flooding and winds. In the quiet, being stuck inside, surrounded by kids yelling at video games and sleeping dogs, I had a chance to reflect on where I am, where I want to go.
This is a look at that.
When I was a kid, I loved adventures — running around, playing in places I wasn’t supposed to go, pushing myself to exhaustion.
As I grew older, however, the world got colder. I grew more fearful after one-to-many times in which neighborhood kids I sometimes played with threw rocks at me on the way home from the bus stop. In high school, peers questioned my sexuality because I was tall, not as womanly as all the other girls. Hanging out with people my age was painful, so I gave up many childhood joys or kept them around only to help entertain my younger siblings.
In college, I found something else that was just as exciting — being a journalist. I loved capturing a moment in history — through either photographs or words.
Eventually, my love of journalism faded too. Journalism offered me a way to connect with people who scared me because of my past. I covered everything I could as honestly and unbiased as I could.
But, asking people how they feel after they lose everything to a fire or standing your ground while someone arrested for a felony yells at you for writing about them … that isn’t my cup of tea either. My skin is thicker than when I started out in the industry, but I know somethings journalists see are hard to shake.
Having bosses tell you a monkey could do you job, and probably better than you, didn’t help either.
So I found athletics again. Athletics feeds my writing and those feed my soul.
Hurricane Florence brought out something in me I haven’t felt in a while. For several hours a day, I would work for the job that pays me money — a pagination position for a regional copy desk (we work on several newspapers). When I was done, I was helping my husband — part of the Main Street media — give daily updates via Facebook to anyone who paid attention.
Standing near rising waters, capturing photos of city workers cleaning up tree limbs, listening to town officials give their assessment of the situation … I live for that stuff.
Even as I saw other people running in the wind and rain, I didn’t feel that bad. I was running on adrenaline until today (Sept. 17). And now, I’m exhausted. Running on coffee and sweets has run its course.
I’m ready to get back into finding a balance between mental and physical fitness — exercising both without sacrificing anything. In reading “Living with the Monks,” by Jesse Itzler, I found that I needed to recapture this balance. I need to fill my soul in a way to meets all of my needs.
What I’ve discovered
As much as my husband would disagree with me, I’m more a member of the Main Street media than the mainstream.
With the advent of social media, big media outlets focus on how many hits your report gets online and how many newspapers you sell. For example, one newspaper I worked for intentionally put arrests and car wrecks on the top of the front page because it sells more papers.
Main Street media uses social media as a tool to cover gaps in coverage. For example, small communities love seeing their friends and relatives on social media. A video of a band performance will get more play in a small market than a lot of other things. Giving residents as much up-to-date information is any newspaper’s job, but Main Street media also preserves the history of the community it covers. Families love to snap up weekly newspapers featuring someone they know so they can put it in a scrapbook.
I love covering that kind of stuff. I miss that kind of stuff, except the super serious stuff — like covering fires and meetings.
Exercise wise …
So what does this mean in terms of exercise? I’m more of an all-around girl. I like testing my body and have been neglecting this aspect of my fitness.
I’ve been concentrating on running and maybe a little tai chi. There’s more to fitness than just cardio. There’s more ways to cardio than just running.
So, taking a cue from Jesse Itzler and the We Do Hard Stuff crew, I’m in the process of rewriting my daily routine. It had to include things I want to do but haven’t tried and things I love and miss.
Writing and creating will be a part of this.
I hope you enjoy the journey with me.