A beautiful sadness

Life

Yesterday we went for a hike up at the Salmon River, one of my favorite places (if not my favorite). We hiked along the river to  a campground that we like to  rest at before turning around. We got to our spot and wandered down to the river. At this particular place there is a pool where the rapids seem to calm and the river stills itself. This is where Salmon come to spawn, and this is what they were doing yesterday. Watching the salmon spawn is a favorite activities and it always makes me bask in the wonder of nature.

Yesterday as I sat in this peaceful place I wondered about the salmon and spawning process. I knew a tiny bit about it: that they swim upriver from the sea. I also know that after the process of swimming upstream they die because I’ve seen a lot of dead salmon in the river during this season. But that is about the extent of my knowledge. So I did some reading about it and I am kind of moved by the lives these creatures live.

They are born in freshwater stream pools at higher altitudes, like the one I was staring at yesterday. Then swim downstream to the ocean where they live for about 4 years.  When they are old enough to swim upstream to return to the place they were born so they can spawn their own baby fish (called fry). The process ends up killing them in the end. So they die in the place they were born.

Reading about this made my heart break a little bit. It’s so sad, but sad in a beautiful way.

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Dispatches from a shy street photographer: user error

Photography

Today’s image is the last of my street photography series. I am not sure it even really qualifies as street photography. I shot two rolls through my Holga GTLR in bulb mode and this is the one photo from those two rolls that I actually kind of like. It was shot in Portland. I like the Holga GTLR for street photography and I will try this again. Hopefully with more attention to detail.


Geeky Bits

Camera: Holga GFN 120 GFNTL
Film: Acros 100
Stand developed in Adonal for 1 hour.

Smiles are contagious

Health and Fitness

One thing I forgot to add to my list of things that I learned from running my first half-marathon. Smile! Smiling got me through some of the harder parts. This was an out-and-back run on the Springwater Trail in Boring/Gresham, Oregon.  As I was running toward the turnaround point the faster runners were passing me in the opposite direction and most of them were smiling. This, in turn, made me smile too! And it made the run much better. They were more than halfway done and here they were, smiling as they ran by. Some of them even cheered me on a little. I was very inspired and it helped keep me going.

Operation Half Marathon: completed ✔️

Health and Fitness

Yesterday was the day! I completed my very first half marathon race. It was a rough road, but did it. I learned a few things along the way.

  • Just do it. Nike has made this phrase a cliche, but it is actually a really great life lesson. As I was looking at my training plan I would see the long runs on Sunday. I would see that I would have to run 9 miles, or 10 miles, or 12 miles, and I would think, “How the fuck am I going to do that?!?” But since it was written there on my training plan I had no choice. I had to go out and run it. And you know what? I didn’t die. This realization has filtered into other aspects of my life. I am a procrastinator, and this realization has made me less of one. So much more has been getting done around the house. So the lesson: Just do the thing. Don’t think about it. Don’t “do it in the future.” Just do it now.  Get it done
  • Be kind to yourself. Longer runs are not the time to pull out the boot camp version of yourself. Be nice to yourself. Do what you need to do to complete the run. When I was training on longer runs I stopped at my house in between laps of 4 miles to get a drink of water, use the bathroom, eat an orange, and even switch out the laundry. It made things less stressful and I got my milage in and all was good.
  • You only need to compete with yourself. I was in track as a kid and there is that bit of competitiveness inside me that comes out when I am in a race. This is not good because I don’t have the body I had when I was a kid. So yesterday at the beginning of the race I reminded myself that I am only competing with myself and it made the race so much better for me. However, toward the end having people in front of me to work toward catching up to gave my brain something to do, which was also good. In the end, I completed the race with  the fastest time so far for this distance, and I am really stoked with myself.

Since this was my first half marathon my ultimate goal was to just complete it. Now that I know what is involved I have some goals in mind for next year. Next year I will work on improving my time and I think I will try for two half marathons next season.

I also decided that I’m content with training for half marathons. I don’t feel like I need to scratch a marathon itch. I don’t feel like that is something I need to prove to myself at this time. Marathons require a lot of time to train for and I just don’t have that kind of time in my life right now. I know myself and the stress of trying find the time to train for one would be too much for me. I’ll stick with half marathons for now. When I retire (or when I have a job that allows the time) I will train for a marathon.

 

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Dispatches from a shy street photographer – Post Alley

Photography

Here is a photo from Seattle. This is Post Alley, otherwise known as the Gum Wall. So yeah, on the walls on either side of this romantic-looking couple are layers and layers of germs and bacteria. (eww)

 


Geeky bits

Camera: Canon EOS 650
Film: Fuji Neopan 400
Develop in Kodak D-76