Monday, October 18, 2010


Can there be love
without that intimacy of words,
discourses of deep thoughts
that neither of us truly have?

Can there be love
if you know nothing more of me
(and I of you)
than a young body and demure wit?

Can there be love,
me never loving before
a man who also loved me? ...

This poem, which I wrote almost three years ago, continues.

It is a reminder, a fragment of the 450+ poems I have composed during a decade of my life that actually does not seem that distant from me.

I had wanted to be a writer when I was a pre-teen. My user handle, "Nobel4Lit," came from the fact that I wanted to win a Nobel Prize for Literature. Yes, I liked to write THAT much. But several things came in between me and that dream -- teachers in high school who brought me down, comparing myself to other people who write better than me, emotional instabilities, intellectual changes, and my gravitation toward the "pseduo-science" they call psychology. Since then, I traded poems for research writing and embracing and expressing my feelings with running them the heck away.

The writing in my blog is typically not what I am capable of, but I accepted it as the persona I wanted to put out there. It's Julie, not "Nobel4Lit." This is a runner's -- not a muser's -- blog. But I am starting to think of this blog as a reflection of myself, and that self is starting to realize my other passions besides running. What passions? I've always liked to create and express myself -- from making toys out of paper as a kid to glee club, choir, drama, band, video-making, music-mixing (I had a DJ profile on MySpace, which I think is private now), and then poetry.

But for these past few years, I've invested so much energy into running, and I don't regret that. But I have felt myself starting to move on from this (example). And really, I can't have my heart in it the way I used to, so although I am still training, something inside of me is different.

There is a life beyond running, and even a life beyond my other obligations. I have experimented with driving with running sitting in the backseat, and I definitely think I've started enjoying all the "other things" more, whereas before I looked at them with disdain knowing they were more distractions.

Runners are compulsive, but I've learned to move away from this compulsion. I do not always need to be "the runner." I refuse to bond with others just because they run like me when I otherwise would not have befriended that person. A colleague of mine made me truly realize that there is much more to me than that, with four hours of conversation containing only but 5 minutes about my running and associated adventures.

I don't think this blog will change, because after all, I am still training and racing. But if it does, at least this would explain some of it. Either way, this "case of the runs" is just that -- I might be one of the few runners composing lines of poetry during long runs.

Besides work/school/running, this week I am concentrating on making my Halloween costume, planning a dinner party, and yes, writing.


  1. Just found your blog, your title made me laugh : ) Very creative!

  2. Like you, I also always aspired to be a writer, and the going with that has been slow and filled with rejection. However, I've had some moderate successes in the past few years, and while I know it's not a direct product of running, I do think that the discipline that runnign taught me has been applicable to many areas of my life. Writing included.

  3. I started my blog as an creative outlet away from academic writing because, like you, I had slowly (and perhaps unintentionally) made the transition from creative nonfiction writing to the PhD track.

    I love being able to tell stories, and the blog has provided the space for that - whether about running, adventure racing, apple picking, or hiking across the alps.

    Sounds like you're ready for some new challenges in your life - I'm excited for the blog to grow into them with you.

  4. I love your blog! Keep it the way that it is.

  5. And they say poetry is dead.

    I like to think that life is an ever changing tapestry. We are constantly adding and changing our tapestry as life takes us where we want to go.