Dispatch from Middletown April 5th 2020

I have no idea if I am going to make these posts a regular thing or not, but these seem like important times and somehow I’m feeling the desire to write. These dispatches won’t be just about running, more thoughts of the day.

On the running front though, I was supposed to run the Middletown 10 mile race today. Obviously I did not. I *did* however run it yesterday – race report coming soon with more details.

Today I ran in Wadsworth State Park on the beautiful trails. There were a few other people, but not many. I’ve heard so many complaints about lack of social distancing that it seems worth reporting that I often observe people being exceptionally careful.

Today is Palm Sunday and our church had a beautiful online service, including communion. We celebrated with chocolate wine (real wine!) and the last two slices of homemade whole wheat bread, much to Geneva’s delight. We remembered that last year we celebrated in Boston on the day before the marathon.

Today we did a lot of Zooming. I’ve done some grading. Kevin is making white beans with sage and garlic for dinner. Life is kind of normal and also so very weird.

I’ve been thinking all day about one of the emails I received this morning. I subscribe to a lot of running newsletters (really, an excessive number…) and the one from Jay Johnson arrives each Sunday. Today he talked about the “Stockdale Paradox.” Admiral James Stockdale was held as a POW for 8 years during the Vietnam War. He was frequently tortured during this time. In a book called Good to Great, by Jim Collins, Stockdale was asked how he managed his situation:

“I never lost faith in the end of the story. I never doubted that not only would I get out, but also that I would prevail to the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade.”

Collins (via Jay Johnson) reports the Stockdale Paradox to be:

“You must maintain unwavering faith that you can and will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties, AND at the same time have the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”

Sounds like good advice to me. Maybe I’ll be back tomorrow with another dispatch or that race report.

Be brave. Be kind. Take care of each other.


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