Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Getting here from there: a blogstory

It all started with running 34 miles around a lake in Appomattox, Va., in February a few years back. It was 14 degrees and a sufferfest for me after mile 20 or so, when the leg cramps kicked in. The race director, uber ultrarunning legend David Horton, asked for race reports to post on his website. I wrote one to wrap my head around the experience. And that became the first blog post on The 4-1-Run.

The name, The 4-Run, was/is a play off of 4-1-1, the phone information hotline, and the idea was that it would be running stories, information in general, and the adventures and thoughts of one runner, me, slugging away and seeing what it was all about. And that was the case for a couple years. Highlights include two yayhoo's multi-day trek through the White Mountains, "The Adventures of Tuckerman and Wood Frog," finishing the JFK 50-mile run, and heady/thinky/soul stuff like "Why do you run?"

I dug it, and enjoy going back through those posts, but it also became a bit of a grind. How much do I have to say about running? There's a ton of other stuff I'm writing about and I'd like to do more with it all. And the posts that weren't all running, but more a look at life in some way, like when my sister's son, our nephew, Samuel was born with hypoplastic left-heart syndrome. That place where running and life intersect, shifting the focus more to life.

So then I decided to try an experiment in the fall of 2009. Writing something and taking photographs every day for 30 days. I outlined the 30-day challenge here and opened up the subject matter to whatever it wanted to be, posting writing and photos here and a photo a day on Facebook. And it's been on like Donkey Kong since.

This blog became a creative writing outlet, a cyber-memoir of sorts, a chance to riff on, contemplate and work through whatever moves me, in whatever way it takes shape. And that's where/when shit got really fun.

And that's the very short history of The 4-1-Run and how we got here from there.


Stephen G. Bardsley said...

And thats why we keep coming back to read your new stuff! Because most of us are not writers, and you stimulate the thought process within us. We start to create our own 4-1-run response blogs in our own heads! Baseball and Star wars memories from when I was a kid. When would I ever be reminded of those things in my own mind? Thanks! Bards

Kelly said...

heady/thinky/soul stuff is my new favorite tag.

i enjoyed watching the creative writing transformation back when you took on the 30 day challenge. not sure about you but having an archive in the form of posts has been one of the most contributing elements of my journey of me. it's pretty cool, right, these web logs? who knew the gifts they'd give back!

Michael Valliant said...

Thanks, Stephen and Kelly! Always dig hearing back from each of you, as well as seeing what you are up to with art, with writing, with life.

And agreed, Kelly, the archiving aspect is stellar :)