an athlete photographer's blog

Keep moving forward

The finish is around the next bend…you just can’t see it.


The Run
3.80 miles

The Picture

Birds in the Bracken

The Recap

Everything was brown today.  And not the golden, earthy Kansas brown that is fun to photograph and warms your heart; no, today was dull and depressing brown.  Today was the kind of day that yearns for a hot cup of coffee and a good book.  Whose grand idea was it to start a running blog in the dead of winter?  Mine.  And if running wasn’t hard enough, who was the genius that thought taking pictures of the drab winter would be worth blogging about?  Me.

I’ve said it before, but there is always a challenge in each picture run.  The challenge to be athletic and creative at the same time.  It’s difficult.  It messes with your mind, but somehow it’s what keeps me coming back for more.

How many times have you heard the cliché – Starting is the hardest part.  I disagree.  Just like in a race, at the beginning is all the excitement and motivation.  At the beginning is all the support and encouragement from the fans.  It is in the middle of a race –where you’re alone, when your breathing is labored, and your legs feel like lead–that is the hardest part.  You haven’t succeeded and you’re starting to falter.  What keeps you going?  Sometimes it’s making it to the next water station.  Sometimes it’s making it to the turn around.  Sometimes it’s realizing that walking a few paces could be the best thing.  Keep moving forward.  The finish is around the next bend…you just can’t see it.

I couldn’t see it today.  There was nothing.  Nothing to take a picture of today.  I was crushed.  I told my daughter I couldn’t find anything to take a picture of.  And she said, “That’s ok, mommy.  At least you got to run.”  How could I not smile at her sweet six-year-old wisdom?  She was right.  I love running and I did have a good run, but I spent most of the time feeling like a failure.

I wasn’t eager to get back and download my images onto my computer.  It was more like coming back to drudgery.  I had considered earlier that today might be good black and white day.  I was surprised to discover I really like this picture.  All these birds were gathered in the bracken and singing beautifully.  Even in color it looks gray.  There is a hint of blue in the color photo.  But I like the sepia.  It reminds me of The Wizard of Oz.  It fits with today’s brownness and my own gray attitude.

This week I made the mental commitment to stick with this blog through 2015.  It’s hard to keep it all in perspective.  I feel like I’ve been getting discouraged too easily.  So not every race is victory and not every picture run is a masterpiece – It’s OK Alexia!  In fact, isn’t that part of the challenge – dare I say, part of the fun? Let’s face it, even if I don’t feel like it, I’m gaining photography experience; my legs are getting stronger; and my blog content is growing.  The only way anything improves is if I keep on moving forward.

Plus, Kansas won’t be brown forever.  I’m going to hold on and, before we know it, spring will be here.


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