my ultimate metaphor

Everyone warned us that January in Berlin would be dark, cold, and wet — and indeed, it was so. But because I’m making a sincere effort not to complain about the weather, I’ll say that the last month had its definite good points. Chris and I both tucked in behind our laptops and got a lot of work done. From time to time we even braved the elements and got out a bit. The highlights for me were:

  1. a screening of Fritz Lang’s 1921 film Der müde Tod at the Berliner Dom
  2. a private tour of artist Jeanne Mammen’s studio in the Ku’damm
  3. my long and winding runs through the city

These images are from my most recent long run passed the East Side Gallery to Treptower Park. I couldn’t run with the big camera, so you’ve got iphone shots that I tinkered using instagram.

To explain: a week or so ago, I was feeling pretty cooped up and somewhat unjustifiably frustrated that I didn’t knock out my first chapter in four weeks of writing. It’s true that it was unrealistic to think I would work that fast, but still, part of me was hoping…

At any rate, in my world there’s only one cure for such late-winter/writing malaise.

I googled some training plans and summer marathons in Europe and now I’m signed up to run 26.2 miles through the Thüringer Wald in early June! Regardless whether or not I end up making it through my training, or I decide to drop down to a half, or feel I’d rather hang out in Berlin that weekend just because, having some structure to my runs as a result of my new goal has been amazing.


I feel like a brave explorer dashing through the streets and parks, and when I come home exhausted and pink from the cold I feel a warm glow of accomplishment in my chest. Lacing up my sneakers in the mornings, I give myself a physical reminder that long-term goals are met through a daily practice that builds over time, that the best performance requires intermediate days of rest, and that the experience of working toward a goal is much more valuable than meeting it.

Now, back to my draft.

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