A Temple + an Oasis + a Tour Bus = “Alt Kent”

“Hey, we’re kind of close to Temple Street, aren’t we?” Hard-packed snow covered the sidewalks. The larger thoroughfare beside us was busy with traffic. So walking and talking on a smaller side street seemed desirable. And I knew Nick had previously discovered this obscure avenue to a bygone era of Kent history — though I had never seen it for myself.

“Yes!” he confirmed. “It’s just ahead on the left.” We were in the middle of our weekly Wednesday Walk, but we didn’t have a destination in mind — other than personal connection. We usually talk while walking out to Standing Rock on the Portage Trail. But it seemed like the trail would be too snowbound on this particular winter morning. So we were just wandering through some of the side-streets in Nick’s part of town, as we caught up on life. So Temple Street happened to be a serendipitous sidebar. Following Nick’s lead, we turned off of Lake Street and started walking towards an unusual building at the end of the road.

The “Temple” at the end of Temple Street was low to the ground, comprised of cinder blocks painted the color of an avocado’s flesh. Its doors and windows were painted the color of an avocado pit. They didn’t look like they’d been opened for quite some time.

There was no signage indicating the history of the building. I’d guess it might go as far back as the 1920s or 1930s, but neither Nick nor I had any actual idea. Even the internet didn’t prove very helpful. We did, however, find a clue as to its current usage on a sign on the front of the building. The sign said Lucky Penny Farm Creamery. Supposedly a business selling cheese and ice cream made out of goats’ milk? Out of an old cinder-block temple? It was all a bit bizarre, but in a charming, quirky way.

In the end, there actually wasn’t much for Nick and me to see. So we turned around and walked the short distance back to Lake Street from Temple Street.

Back to the main road, I noticed another sign that I’ve passed a thousand times but never bothered to turn off the beaten path and observe: Smithers Oasis. The spirit of adventure was still strong in us. So I said, “Hey Nick!” I said, motioning to the sign on a telephone pole. “Do you want to go and check this place out? I’ve always wondered what it is.”

Nick quickly agreed, so we ran across Lake Street and ambled towards Smithers Oasis. I strongly suspected it was probably not a literal oasis, like a spring of water surrounded by palm trees in the middle of a desert. But I wondered if maybe it was a figurative oasis, like where semi-trucks are repaired and truckers can rest (I had previously observed a tendency for big rigs to turn from Lake Street right around the signs for Smithers Oasis). The closer we got, however, the more mysterious Smithers Oasis became.

It felt like an industrial park. Mustard-yellow, corrugated metal buildings low to the ground, with narrow alleyways between buildings. At the end of one of the alleyways, there was a building that looked kind of like a greenhouse, glowing a strange, fluorescent pink color from inside.

None of the signage was helpful in establishing the true purpose of Smithers Oasis. Some signs told us they were taking precautions against the spread of COVID-19. Other signs indicated there was a place for trucks to make deliveries. But even the logo on the signs was geometric and generic. It started to feel like we had stumbled across a secret munitions plant. Or maybe a nuclear waste dump. Nick seemed like he might be ready to turn around, but my curiosity got the best of me. “C’mon, let’s walk towards that greenhouse thing and see if we can figure out what this ‘Smithers Oasis’ actually is.”

As we walked up the alleyway, however, a strange, scuzzy-looking man stepped out from one of the buildings. His hair was stringy, salt-and-pepper colored, pulled back into a ponytail. His goatee was braided like a Viking warrior. He looked us up and down, with suspicion. And as I looked back, for some reason, my eyes landed on a set of three thin padlocks dangling from one of the belt loops on his stone-washed jeans. “What’re you guys doing here?” He asked.

I adopted my friendliest face and voice to respond. “Oh, we just saw the sign out on Lake Street and were curious to explore this part of town. I’ve lived in Kent for eight years and never been back here. Can you tell us anything about this place?”

“It’s Smithers Oasis,” he responded. No further explanation, just a reiteration of its mysterious name. “You guys can’t go this way; there’s chemicals back there.” His thumb pointed towards the greenhouse, where the pink fluorescent lights had suddenly gone out.

Later, I would get on the internet and learn that Smithers Oasis is not nearly as cool as the secret weapons manufacturer I imagined it to be, while walking away with Nick. The company is most known for the green, absorbant foam used by florists for floral arrangements. Which is kind of boring. Still, it’s a company that makes an interesting product with which I’m familiar. And it’s headquartered and produced right here in Kent! It also apparently has a cult following with the ASMR crowd on the internet. Who knew?!?

As we walked away from Smithers Oasis, Nick and I turned onto another couple of small side-streets that I’d never traversed previously: Starr Avenue to Lock Street. Shortly before we rejoined Lake Street, we found a fabulous old bus. It appeared to be the kind of bus used for a music group on tour in the 1970s, painted white, aqua, and rust, emblazoned with the words: “Ethel Delaney (and Her) Buckeye Strings” (I later found an album by this group on the internet). It was a beautiful old bus that seemed somehow perfectly synchronized with the quirky character of the Goat Dairy Temple and Pink Fluorescent Glow of Smithers Oasis.

The city of Kent has been looking to revitalize the northeast quadrant of its downtown area. They’re calling it the Mill District, and I’m pretty excited about what I’m seeing with all the new offices, restaurants, and brew-pubs. But they may also want to think about preserving and promoting the outer rim of this Mill District, where visitors can encounter a sort of “Alt Kent.” I don’t exactly know what type of crowd would be most inclined to view such places as a Temple, an Oasis, and a Tour Bus as tourist attractions… but I think there’s some kind of audience for these things.

Posted in Culture Shock, Home, Kent, Recommendations, Recreation, Travel | Leave a comment

Groundhog Day = Half-Way

Groundhog Day is not a national holiday. Nobody gets a day off of work for the occasion. Still, it makes an appearance on almost every calendar I’ve ever seen. Why is that?

Groundhog Day

I used to joke with Marci that Groundhog Day is a day for honoring groundhogs and celebrating all their accomplishments. (See the illustration I made for her in the early days of our relationship, here to the right >>).

But even if you’re going off the idea that a groundhog has special predictive powers when it comes to the length of winter, it’s weird folklore. The logic behind the mythology is questionable. The results are unreliable (a quick internet search seems to indicate that the groundhog’s prediction accuracy is in the range of 35% to 50%). And most people don’t even understand the purported significance, anyway. Do we want the groundhog to see its shadow, or not?

It wasn’t until this week that I realized that the week of Groundhog Day is actually the half-way point of Winter.

For awhile now, I’ve set January – February of 2021 apart in my mind as the potential nadir of the COVID-19 crisis. Cold, lonely, fearful, hopeless… These months represent the wintriest-winter bringing the deepest hardships in a really hard year. Then yesterday, I heard Mark Johnson (meteorologist for News 5, WEWS out of Cleveland) say that this Thursday (February 4th) represents the official half-way point for winter. Presumably equidistant from the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. I found it interesting that these factors converge with Groundhog Day: all suggesting a place where we bottom out. Maybe the groundhog will predict an early Spring. Maybe the groundhog predicts another six weeks of Winter (which is really just the natural cycle, anyway). Or maybe it’s absurd to give so much significance to a groundhog — which is normally deep in the middle of its hibernation at this point of the year.

Anyway — as I’ve been seeking God through this Winter, I’ve been really encouraged and challenged to consider this half-way point. We’re half-way through the Winter. Maybe half-way through the worst stretch of the pandemic? Half-way through the cold, the loneliness, the fear and despair?

In some ways, the idea of being half-way through things can feel daunting. Like: all of those challenges we’ve endured, all that suffering, all that creative problem-solving, all that perseverance… we’ve got to run that back again. We’re “only” half-way there. A cruel reality check.

On the other hand, the idea of being half-way through things can feel encouraging and hopeful. Like: we’re hitting rock-bottom right now and can only go up from here. We’ve proven that we got what it takes to keep going, even through difficulties, so we just have to persevere. Keep it up. We’re “already” half-way there. Let’s not catastrophize; let’s stay realistic. Stay in the moment.

The more I pray about this, the more I feel hope. Still sober-minded; not euphoric. Just faith-fueled for the home stretch. I think we’re going to make it. Even so, I want to keep looking out for the stragglers, the ones who are struggling to stay the course — because I do sense that some are teetering on the brink — but I want to share my hope. My ultimate hope is restoration in Jesus. And it also feels good to have a half-way point to remind ourselves that we’re making progress.

Thank God for Groundhog Day.

Posted in COVID-19, Introspection, Prayer, Traditions, Transition, Weather | Leave a comment

Frozen Falls, Bogs, and Beards

I know that January and February are the hardest months for a lot of people around here. They don’t like the darkness, the deep freeze, the boredom… And I get it. I also find myself longing for Spring. But I start to feel more hopeful almost as soon as the Winter Solstice hits. By the time Christmas and New Years’ celebrations have passed, my body already feels the effects of the lengthening days. I know it’s only two or three minutes a day, but still. It helps. My soul stretches out to fill the space created by the additional daylight. By this time of the year, I’m sincerely feeling happy and hopeful.

I also think that staying active through the deepest, truest part of Winter is the best way to experience the season. Winter hiking might actually be my favorite sort of hiking. I spent over two hours at the Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park yesterday, with temperatures well below freezing and snow falling from the sky — but I hardly even noticed the cold. Because (1) I was dressed for it; (2) I kept moving, with my heart rate elevated; and (3) The woods and rock formations were just so, so beautiful! Even more spectacular than usual because of the snow and ice.

Hiking works in almost every season, however. Sledding, on the other hand, is more limited. I suppose sledding can happen any time from November through March (whenever there’s a few inches of snowfall). Still, that’s a limited window. So when we got a few inches of snow on Thursday, several Life Groups from our church bundled up, pulled together a few sleds, and spent a couple hours sledding down the hills on the front part of Kent State University’s campus. We had so much fun — especially with a “large crowd” of 20 or 30 students together in the time of COVID-19. An outdoor activity… where people naturally stay six feet apart from each other… and where mask usage increases comfort (instead of decreasing comfort)… It’s perfect for our current situation!

Ice-skating is an even more unique experience which requires a more narrow range of conditions. A nature preserve near our house has a shallow bog that can serve as a lovely little ice rink — but we don’t often get the sustained freeze to develop thick ice, nor does the snow typically stay away long enough to let the surface of the ice really harden. Whenever we can, however, my kids and I like to sweep aside the snow and make use of what feels like our own private ice rink in the woods.

The conditions finally coalesced this week. So we’re trying to make use of the frozen bog as much as possible before the next snowstorm and/or thaw.

Last but not least, this is the time of year when the magic of ice-beards happen. Part of the reason for that, of course, is that I only grow out a beard for two months of the year. But I’ve noticed that it also needs to be colder than 20 degrees Fahrenheit for a good condensation crust to form. But this morning, on a ten-mile run with friends, that’s exactly what happened.

I’m not saying that all of life is fun and fancy-free in the deep of winter. There are definitely headaches, like the one I got after sledding on Thursday, or the one that happened when I was stressed about getting to a meeting on-time while the driveway needed to be cleared. But I think there is a benefit to finding the bright side at this time of year.

With all that snow and ice on the frozen falls, beards, and bogs reflecting the sunlight and moonlight, it’s not that hard.

Posted in Hiking, Home, Photography, Recreation, Running, Weather | Leave a comment

The Last Week of January

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The last week of January was a big week for our family back in 2003 — a week of miracles and transformations and shock. Looking back, eighteen years later, I can hardly believe that so much happened in such a short period of time. It has the feel of a wedding or a birth or a death, where my recollection of events is all jumbled and blurred. Still, my memory latches onto that jumble and blur because it represented something significant.

The last week of January was the week that our family moved to Amsterdam.

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I don’t talk (or think) about Amsterdam nearly as much as I used to. For awhile, after we relocated from the Netherlands to the United States, I couldn’t shut up about our time overseas. Recently, however, I mentioned something about “back when we used to live in Amsterdam” when I was talking with a Kent State University senior. Note: she’s been meaningfully involved with our church for several years. Still, she stopped me in the middle of my reference to the past and said, “Wait! You used to live in Amsterdam?!?”

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It’s weird to have something so significant become a smaller and more distant part of one’s life, as the years stack up. It’s a part of growing and grieving, I suppose. Still, I don’t want to forget about our Amsterdam years. Especially not the last week of January in 2003, when we made the leap across “The Pond.”

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An old blog post provides a helpful summary:

In the third week of January 2003, our family was still waiting (after almost half a year) for the sale of our house in Bowling Green. We were still sharing the story of the “Amsterdam Project” with anyone and everyone who would listen, hoping to build a base of financial support that would allow us to focus on full-time ministry in the Netherlands. And we were still wondering if we’d ever actually be boarding a plane across the Atlantic, to help build a new community of faith in central Amsterdam…

Yet by the first week of February 2003, our American automobiles were in other people’s garages and our winter coats were in a shipping crate on an Atlantic ocean-liner, while we were struggling through icy winds to frigid tram stops. We had set a fresh bouquet of Dutch tulips on our make-shift dining room table that overlooked the wood pile and the power tools serving as accessories to the semi-furnished apartment beneath what would one day become “The Zolder.” And we were meticulously working to decipher the application forms for our verblijfsvergunningen (residence permits) — providing us with a critical indicator that we were in for more than just a vacation in Europe.

In that week between… we witnessed the cosmic alignment of three stars in the simultaneous sale of our house, attainment of our financial support goals, and finalization (and execution) of our travel arrangements. Consequently that “week between”… represented a dramatic turn in our path that has caused us to navigate not by sight, not by sound, but by spirit.

Reflections from Amsterdam Asp, January 2006
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I look back now on the pictures, and I marvel to think: Those were my places. My people. My stuff. It’s surreal to think how different my commute from home to work looked and sounded and felt for that decade of our life in Europe. Even when I see a Dutch word like verblijfsvergunningen, it’s amazing to me that I can understand and pronounce that word! It feels like a totally different decade. A different continent. Because, of course, it was. But it really feels like it more and more, as time passes.

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We still miss the people we got to know during our years in the city. I thought about that when we left Amsterdam. I just had a feeling that the relationships would be the part of the city that we’d miss the most. And I was right. Looking back, I still have very fond memories of those relationships and the experiences we had together.

We were all so young. So full of life. So faith-filled.

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The longer it’s been, however, the more I remember the way that our Amsterdam years affected my relationship with God. My human relationships from Amsterdam have shallowed or dropped off, without the benefit of day-to-day or week-to-week interaction. But my relationship with God has continued and deepened. Looking back, I see how God used those years in Amsterdam to deliver me from sinful desires, pride, and foolish idealism. He also equipped me with an appreciation for people who are very different from me. The Lord helped me to develop a shepherd’s heart, loving and caring for His Church. He proved Himself to be my refuge and my strength. And my understanding of these divine character qualities is now deeply personal, not just theological.

Some friends recently reminded me that we who follow Jesus must ride the twin rails of grief and joy. We can’t have balance without both. And that feels especially true when considering my memories of our Amsterdam years. There’s still pain from those years, but also lots of gratitude.

Posted in Amsterdam, Amsterdam50, Blog, Children, Church, Culture, Culture Shock, Europe, European Missions, Family, God, Home, Introspection, Nostalgia, The Netherlands | Leave a comment

Playing the Long Game

Do you ever get an obscure phrase stuck on the tip of your tongue for awhile? This has happened to me lately with the phrase, “Playing the Long Game.” Do you know the phrase? Do you know what it means?

It started when I was talking with a colleague about a challenging relationship. One party in the relationship was changing and withdrawing from interaction, and we were talking about the need for patience. I later thought about the phrase in relation to perseverance through this dark, lonely, winter of isolation — made all the colder and harsher by the COVID-19 pandemic. And then again, on a group run this morning, the phrase came up when talking about Christian engagement with United States politics. In each instance, “playing the long game” felt like a wise approach. Not just impetuously grabbing at quick, temporary solutions. Thinking about the long-term trajectory. Biding one’s time.

But it bothered me that I didn’t know where the phrase came from. I had the vague sense that it had something to do with golf. But in golf, if one were mostly concerned about “playing the long game,” wouldn’t they be trying to hit the ball harder and farther? Using drivers instead of irons? Trying to make the game shorter, by hitting longer drives? I may not understand golf well enough to really know. But the question of the phrase’s origin bugged me enough that I did some research. Others have been similarly perplexed by this question, and there may not be an easy answer. But it seems like there’s at least some evidence to support the idea that the phrase comes from an old card game called Whist.

I don’t want to learn how to play Whist. I don’t want to “play the long game” when it comes to learning all the subtleties of the rules of this arcane form of entertainment. But I like knowing that “playing the long game” can mean choosing the longer, slower version of a game that can be played two ways. That’s what I’ve been getting at, semantically, when the phrase has come up recently.

I really do think there’s wisdom in playing the long game. With relationships, I’ve learned that story arcs can be (and very often are) decades long. With making it through difficult situations, I’ve learned that one needs to just choose perseverance. We need to plod forward — knowing that things will come out all right in the long run, even if it’s hard in the here and now. And when it comes to politics, too many Christians think about short-term gains without considering the long-term losses. We grab at power, without considering its effect on our witness for Christ.

In all these situations — as well as the game of Whist, apparently — wisdom and contentment increase playing the long game.

Posted in English, Introspection, Language | Leave a comment

H2O Infomercial

How does one get college students excited about another semester of remote learning? COVID and weather conditions make it so that a significant portion of the University’s — and our church’s — activity must be online. At least for the early part of the term.

We’ve decided to lean into the challenges. Including the absurdity of it all. One of the guys on our Staff team had the idea to tap into the TikTok genius of two guys from his region of the church. (One of them also happens to be my son, Elliot). So they collaborated to create this fantastic (farcical) infomercial for the new semester of Life Group meetings.

H2O Kent is managing the challenges of COVID-19 better than any of us had reason to expect. Still, we’re going to have to keep finding creative ways to connect this semester. Maybe even more infomercials…

Posted in Blog, Church, H2O Kent, Kent, Ministry, Recommendations, Recommended Viewing, Video | Leave a comment

The 99% Invisible City

I recently finished reading The 99% Invisible City, by Roman Mars and Kurt Kohlstedt. The authors both work on one of my favorite podcasts called 99% Invisible. And the book follows a similar concept to the podcast. It points out many of the subtle, often-invisible ways that the human environment is designed and developed. They cover everything from a traffic light in Syracuse (New York) where the green light is on top, to cellular towers camouflaged to look like trees, to the inflatable figures that dance along roadsides. These things may seem mundane. But their backstories can provide surprising insights to human nature.

If I’m going to be completely honest, I was disappointed by this book. Mostly because it overlapped with the podcast so much. I’d venture a guess that more than 50% of the “99%” has already been shared — in some form — on the podcast. And I personally like the podcast versions better. The illustrations in the book are fine, but I don’t think they reveal extra information. In many cases, photographs would have been preferable. The written descriptions are well-articulated, but the reader doesn’t get to hear Roman Mars’ distinctive voice or any of the background audio effects that make the podcast so good. Ironically, I wonder if the book might be more enjoyable for people who are not familiar with the podcast.

I don’t regret buying The 99% Invisible City or taking the time to read it. I still learned some new things. And I like the way that a book can serve as “A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design” (as the subtitle suggests). It works better as a reference manual, with a searchable index, than a collection of podcast episodes. I guess it just ended up being a “6” or “7” when I was expecting or hoping for an “8” or “9.”

Posted in Culture, Recommendations, Recommended Listening, Recommended Reading | Leave a comment

Tyler Johnson Was Here

I recently finished reading Jay Cole’s book, Tyler Johnson Was Here. It’s a young adult novel. Still, it speaks to some important themes that surged to the forefront of American discourse in 2020. Specifically: Police Brutality, Systemic Racism, and the “Black Lives Matter” movement. I heard about the book from a video posted by our church network. The author was interviewed — not just as a writer, but as a colleague (a missionary at a collegiate church on campus at Ball State University). And even though the book was primarily written for a younger audience, I found it compelling and beneficial.

The story follows a set of twins growing up in a primarily-Black neighborhood called Sterling Point. One has high ambitions to study at a premiere university. The other feels compelled to support his family through selling drugs. Tragedy interrupts their lives, however, and the survivor must grapple with the aftermath.

The cover of the book included the phrase, “My brother is not your hashtag.” So I don’t feel bad about playing the role of “spoiler” with the summary above. What surprised (and benefitted) me the most about the book, however, was the lead-up to that tragedy. For awhile, it seems like the narrative’s inciting incident is going to happen in the first chapter of the book. Consequently, I found my pulse racing and my breathing shallowed, as I read about a late-night interaction between the high-school-aged protagonists and a neighborhood police officer. It felt like I was a part of that group, wondering what would happen, fearing for my life. When the situation resolved (albeit temporarily), I calmed down and realized that the book helped me to vicariously experience a situation common to many people of color.

I appreciated the way that the book continued to follow the old writers’ adage: “Show, don’t tell.” I learned about Racism, White Privilege, and Systemic Oppression without overly-pedantic explanations. These societal challenges manifested themselves in the landscape and language of Marvin and Tyler Johnson. And I think that was the greatest success of the book.

Make no mistake: Tyler Johnson Was Here reads like a young adult novel. It includes a lot of hormonal urges, angst, and insecurity that are hallmarks of books designed for this demographic. Some of the characters felt real and three-dimensional. Others did not. I would say that the first half of the book was stronger than the second half of the book. Some parts dragged. Still, it was pretty impressive for Coles’ debut novel. I look forward to reading more of his books in the future.

Posted in Recommendations, Recommended Reading, Social Issues, The United States of America, Writing | Leave a comment

Team Time

We’re enjoying our “Spring Semester Staff Retreat” this week. Never mind the fact that it happens to take place in the winter (not very “Spring”-like). Never mind the fact that 85 percent of our meetings happen in our own homes (not very “Retreat”-like). We hang our hats on those other words: “Staff” and “Semester,” which hold true. Our team appreciates the chance to spend time together and prepare for a new semester of ministry.

We started with building one another up.

The first thing that we did was an exercise in encouragement. We “spotlighted” each person on our staff team for a ten-minute block of time. And this is where meeting on Zoom proved advantageous. The first five minutes, the spotlighted person was responsible for inventing a humorous “Call Sign” for later in the afternoon. And the rest of the team split into “Breakout Rooms” with 3-4 people in each group, thinking and talking together about the person in the spotlight.

In the first Breakout Room, people discussed the question, “How has the person “motivated (you) to love and good works?” (referring to a passage from Hebrews 10). In Room 2, the prompt was, “What are three words that describe the person?” And in Room 3, teammates discussed: “What Staff Superlative would the person receive?” (in the style of a high school yearbook or the “Dundee” awards from The Office). It was really fun: both as the spotlighted person and as the teams conferring on ways to celebrate and affirm the spotlighted person.

It took the whole morning to work through our whole team. But it really did feel like time well spent. Our hearts were full. Then we had to take a break to fill our bellies and drive to the afternoon location for our Staff Retreat activities: TPA Paintball in Alliance, Ohio.

That’s where we switched to taking one another down.

The best part about the afternoon paintball session is that we were able to forget about COVID for awhile. Paintball happens to be an outdoor activity where face coverings are required and it’s strategically-significant to stay six feet apart from each other. Even when there’s not a pandemic! We had so much fun blasting each other with colorful paintballs (even though I got blasted a lot more than I blasted others). And even though it was technically a “war game,” with half of the staff team pitted against the other half, still it felt like a bonding experience. We’ve been “dodging bullets” and figuring things out “in the trenches” together all year, since the pandemic started. And I’m convinced that we’re coming out of things stronger.

Posted in Church, H2O Kent, Kent, Recreation | Leave a comment

Cor’s First Half-Marathon

My youngest son Cor has been getting into running, especially through the pandemic. It’s become a space for him to break from computer-school and get out some pent-up energy. He really started ramping up over the Fall, though. Back in early November, he spontaneously decided to turn a seven-mile run into a ten-mile run. And he maintained a pace of 7:52 per mile (which is impressive even for an adult)! After that, it felt hard to refuse him when he asked if we could sign him up for his first half-marathon sometime in 2021 (he really wanted to complete the 13.1 mile event while he was still 13 years old).

There aren’t a lot of races happening these days, because of pandemic precautions. But we learned of one in Fairmont, West Virginia: the Run to Read Half-Marathon. And since I actually ran the same event a year ago, I knew that might be a good experience for Cor (and I also ended up feeling pretty impressed by the way they handled COVID precautions for this year’s edition of the race).

Talking through things ahead of time with Cor, we established three levels of goals for Cor’s first half-marathon. Each one would be something to celebrate, and even if we couldn’t hit every goal, we could build on the experience and continue to grow for future running endeavors. Here were the benchmarks we established:

  1. Finish the 13.1 mile event.
  2. Run the whole way (no walking)
  3. Cross the finish line under two hours

Believe it or not, we hit every single one of those goals! For the first 8 miles, Cor and I were cruising at a pace around 8 minutes and 35 seconds per mile. Miles 9 and 10 started to get a little more difficult, though Cor kept the pace. For the last three miles, we had to slow down a little bit. Still, we never had to stop and walk. And we finished a solid six minutes under that two-hour threshold!

I’m so proud of my 13-year-old ending up with about the same time that I managed my first half-marathon at age 36! Such Cor having such a positive first half-marathon experience, I’m especially curious to see what he’ll do next.

Posted in Children, Family, Health, Recreation, Running, Sports | Leave a comment