Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Becoming an Athletic Type

I think the last time I went shoe shopping was more than four years ago. About that time, I found a pair of shoes that worked for me. The Merrell Pace Glove. It fit perfectly, required no break in period, and had plenty of room for the wide spread of the toes of my right foot.

I originally bought them from REI, but then I started buying online, because I knew the shoe I wanted. Whenever a pair wore out, I'd buy another. Same size, same style. Color was irrelevant, which is how I ended up with a lime green pair with purple trim. But mostly I had black ones.

They upgraded the style once, from a 2 to a 3 or something. And I didn't like the changes, but they weren't significant enough to stop me from buying them. Wearing them. Wearing them out.

But this time, when they wore out, I discovered something awful.

Merrell had stopped making that style.

I know women are supposed to enjoy shoe shopping, but my feet have always been an awkward fit. So I have always hated it. And shopping for athletic shoes was a special torture. I consistently felt like I did not belong in specialty shoe stores. I would get nervous and upset and sweat a lot. I'd feel awful that the shoes wouldn't fit and it wasn't unusual for a trip to end in tears.

So I really girded my loins before making a trip to the Nike store to try on CrossFit specific shoes. I tried on several pairs there. None were wide enough, but I didn't panic. I didn't feel guilt at wasting their time. I just left without buying anything. We tried REI and DICK's Sporting Goods. No dice. No shoes that felt right on my feet.

When we went to Costco for our regular grocery shopping trip, I decided to check out what they had. Why not? I ended up buying a pair, because my old Merrell's were worn out to the point of hurting my feet and these were only $25 and felt wide enough.

But the big trip was when I braved the specialty store. A running store that I hoped would carry something close to what I needed; a shoe good for CrossFit that would work for the Spartan Race. I explained that to the clerk, leading with the CrossFit, and I didn't feel like a fraud saying that I do CrossFit. Even to this very fit young woman.

She measured my feet, analyzed my gait and brought out four pairs of shoes for me to try on. One of them was wide enough and Ambrose and I left with a pair of shoes for me to wear. I didn't even get a little upset. No crying.

And I realized that I'm finally not feeling like an impostor athlete. Sure, it's taken about four and a half years of CrossFit, and I know I don't really look that athletic at first glance. But I know what I can do. I'm comfortable and confident that I am a person who needs expensive shoes for my hobby of exercise.

I'm thinking my next boot purchase will go a lot easier.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018


Well the guide book took a little longer than I wanted it to, but I'm still done before heading out on the coast trip. And I finished the solo trip write up, so that's another bonus. Between the two goals, I'd say I broke even.

I like what I managed to do with the guide book formatting and presentation. It uses the same template as the Chamberlain guide without being identical. The colors are a little different, and of course, the details are changed. For some reason, I especially like the flower borders. The one on the Queens guide has a huckleberry along with the flowers.

I am satisfied with what I've put out, but I haven't been writing any fiction since I started working on the solo trip. Does that writing even count as writing since it isn't fiction? It is story telling though. I am trying to tell a story, and it's a story that I know. It's a story I enjoy sharing.

One of the things that I read a lot on Dean Wesley Smith's blog is about not outlining. And I wonder if I am writing from an "outline" of sorts when I write these hiking books, because I have the "outline" of my experience. I look at the photographs that I took to remind me of the events that took place and the order in which they took place.

Like an outline.

So do I find it easier to write the "story" when I know the ending? Sometimes, I'll think about scenes in stories, imagine them in the shower or while hiking and get a good picture of what I want to write next before I actually write it. But with fiction, I don't usually know where I'm going. And when I think I know, I'm usually wrong.

And with fiction, I find myself staring at that blank screen more often than not, wondering what comes next.

So I'm going to work on the solo trip book next, which will involve choosing photographs, captioning them, and editing the text now that my husband has reviewed it. I'm going to keep plugging away at writing and publishing. I'm going to keep practicing.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Not as Much Progress...

I've got the proof copy of the book, and I'm glad I ordered it. It's easier to find typos or mis-phrasings on a paper copy than it is while reading on a computer screen. Also much more satisfying to mark the paper with a pen than to use a computer program to highlight or strikethrough or whatever.

But I'm going a little more slowly on the read through than would be ideal. I'm putting the blame on the fact that I signed myself up for a Spartan race and so I've been focusing more on training. And the training has been wearing me out just a bit. Like to the tune of having to take a three hour nap last Sunday...

I'm also trying to watch what I eat in the hopes of losing a bit of weight before the race. I figure, the less I weigh, the easier it will be to haul my body up and over obstacles. Even a pound or two could help.

But I fully anticipate having to do a lot of burpees due to incomplete obstacles. I mean, I aim to make an attempt at all of them, but I doubt that my upper body strength is truly up to the task. So I'll be doing penalty burpees. I've been advised to wear gloves for those, because the grass has stickers in it.

The new goal for having the book ready for sale is June 18th. I'll make time for it this weekend or during the week. I probably could have done more work on it last week, but I went and had a social lunch at work on Friday instead of working on it. I'd been skipping those social lunches to do the write up of my solo trip, but that's done now, so I went and did the social thing.

Seeing as I hadn't been social in quite a while, that was reasonable, but now I'm going to avoid being social until this book is ready to go. Maybe I"ll get it done sooner than Monday.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Progress Is Progress

I wanted to be done with my Queens River Loop guide book by June 4th. I guess whether I succeeded or not depends on the definition of the word done. The writing is complete. All the pictures have been captioned and placed into the template document. The cover has been designed. The files were submitted for review and accepted.

I could have been done by June 4th, but I decided to order a proof copy instead. This is only the second guide book that I've done and I want to make sure it looks good and has minimal typos before I release it into the world. So it's done. Mostly. There's just the final review to complete (and any little fixes to implement).

I feel accomplished.

Not only that, but I finished drafting out my solo trip book. I'm still working on transcribing my handwritten notes, and I might add to the draft if I discover that I forgot something vital, but the bulk of the work is done faster than I thought possible.

While I had been thinking to combine the write up of this trip with the write up of the segment I'm going to complete later in the season that will bring me as close as possible to the Frank Church wilderness, now I'm leaning the other way. Rather than one huge book, why not make one medium and one small? They will be on totally different segments of the ICT. Hiked in different months. Written in different months. 

And if I do a Hike with Me book for our July trip to the Washington Coast, then I could be releasing three Hike with Me books in one year. I kind of like that idea.