I Run Because I Can

boston finish

by Lindsay LaMorre

 

Two days of complete exhaustion and emotional depletion after the Boston Marathon … and I find both the desire and need to run.

I ask myself why??

Running makes me smile and has the power to change a day.
I run because no two runs are ever the same.
I run because it fills my heart with joy.
I run because success and happiness lies within.
I run to keep my mind and spirit clear and strong.
I run because I value and care for my health.
I run to be with amazing friends.
I run to be a part of an incredible community of runners that have welcomed, mentored, supported and encouraged.
I run because of the journey.
I run to embrace adversity.
I run because I can.

What was supposed to be a celebratory, joyous, and momentous event … turned into disappointment.

I ask myself why?

Was it the cowardly acts of terrorism that destroyed and deflated the whole event, manufacturing the run as completely meaningless? Was it my heavy heart for the victims who were fighting for lives and limbs? Was it the media that glorified the terror to enhance its spectacle? Or had it been something more personal, more selfish? Was it the thought of all those winter training hours suddenly deemed insignificant due to the bronchitis that had attacked my chest and lungs just days before I was to run? Was it that I couldn’t have my peak physical performance on the stage of the world’s oldest and most iconic marathon?

Maybe . . .

But the tragic events that occurred in Boston have impacted me personally and changed my perspective forever. My true disappointment laid within me … it rested in my inability to actually go back to the foundations of why I run in the first place. In the moment, I forgot to savour the opportunity and experience I was so blessed and privileged to have. Success isn't measured by a stopwatch; it's distinguished by the journey.

Explosions Sirens Chaos Panic Confusion

Why?

Within a blink, I may not have been so lucky — an opportunity lost and an experience taken for granted.

I finished the Boston Marathon.
I was with a loved one at the time of the explosion.
I was warm.
I had my belongings.
I was safe and healthy.
I was so very blessed.

I am fortunate enough to get a second chance in 2014 to revisit this question of "why?"

Running is my comfort … Boston is my inspiration.

_______________

(Lindsay LaMorre is a Health and Physical Education specialist who lives and works in Toronto. She wore bib number 10577 at Boston 2013.)

Common

common

"It begins with the mass deportations. 25,000 runners packaged onto a fleet of school buses as neatly as you can say 'logistics'. They are being shipped to another town for processing — 26.2 miles away, to be exact — and yet the overwhelming sense in the air right now is one of optimism. An affirmative energy of nervous dialogue markedly contrasts the monologue of radical dividualization that steers the proceedings. Bright yellow sponsor bags, which hold those personal possessions one hopes will make the return journey, are clutched in every hand. An inversion has taken place: these overmen&women are the new figures of Agamben's camp logic, and yet they couldn't be happier. In some ways, they run for us all."

(Hunter Thompson Blanchot, I'm All In for the Disaster, p.22)

LKL 5908

feet.

Thought-holograms from the Paris of the 22nd century.

The race begins as a point. Mile zero, time zero.

It is a teeming, trembling point, however: 45,000-strong and electric. Anticipatory, the point smudged out along the line it is about to suggest with its quantity of moving bodies. The point cannot be easily contained, even though it has been corralled. The point is a seething mass.

The point is a constellation of data points, actually, Achilles' heels morphed forward in the foot to the shoelaces and their expressive prosthetic transmitters.

As the gun fires to begin the race, this teeming point of running-bodies instantly dilates. There is a bifurcation of time at the very moment the marathon nominally begins, unique for each of the 45,000 strong. Two times: the "real" lived time of the race clock as the overall event unfolds, and the relative time of each moving body — indexed by radio frequency tag — as it finally crosses the start line to officially enter the event space and "begin" the race. Clock time versus chip time, the latter increasingly falling behind the former as one moves back through the corrals to the open entry gate and its unranked hordes.

Only clock time counts for official race results and ratified world records. Chip time does not serve any purpose in the adjudication of race results — at least in terms of authoritative measurements of the complete extension of the course. It seems it exists solely as an apologia to 99% of the runners that they are not the fastest in the world.

Indeed, the sole juridical function that chip time serves concerns the part-event, with its checkpoints and split times and implied paces segmenting the broader context. As Roberto Madrazo reminds us (in the name of St. Rosie of Bostonia), each checkpoint must be crossed in order, from start to finish. And if there are points of failure in this linear process — points at which chip time is not registered, either due to electronic defect, noise or subversion (ie. skipping a checkpoint) — any subsequently successful measurement cannot have been arrived at "too quickly" to be believed.

Madrazo cheated all too well!!

normal distribution curve, marathoning....

The race begins as a point but it very soon becomes a line, or more precisely, a curve. The race is the embodied manifestation of the normal distribution curve spreading out over asphault and concrete and steel and rock. From outliers to six-sigmas to outliers, from swift loping strides at the front of the pack to a mixed cacophony of running gaits and styles in the middle to the plodders who bring up the rear: each mile that passes expresses the modulation of kurtosis and skew as thicknesses of running-bodies.

The x-axis of this normal distribution curve, time, finds its striations also embodied in the race proper. Pace rabbits run with the pack holding signs with a desired race completion time on them (eg. 3h:15m, 3h:30m), embodying that given time and helping foster a rhythmic continuity for the overall machine — or perhaps a discontinuity, if understood in terms of an attractor effect. Time has been striated by the body moving within the statistical figure.

But this normal distribution curve is anything but normal. It is rather quite abnormal — not in the sense of deviant, but in terms of the carnivalesque. Costumes and clusters and chatterings identify the runners at the back of the pack, far back beyond even where the slowest pace rabbits will tread. The moving striation of time has become flimsy back here with the plodders, the affective tone of the topology much different than with the other end of outliers chasing down the finish line. An affective, generative tone still exists back here no doubt, and it is this tone that allows for the flimsy to not necessarily disintegrate, that helps as many of those at the back of the pack ultimately complete the asignifying pilgrimage of the race journey.

And in the middle of the pack, and at the front of the pack.

These are not points nor lines we are describing after all. They are certainly not surface-images, either, no matter how hard Spectacle attempts this reduction. They are volumes, actually. Running-bodies are resonating volumes of muscle and bone and nerve, blood and breath and sweat, psychic vibrations of fleshy affect amplified with the in-between energy of 45,000 other runners and the cheers of encouragement from spectators, who share in this radiance-by-exposure while reflecting a certain amount of energy back into the process.

Each of these runners knows a priori that the muscle and bone and nerve cannot sustain their mutual rhythm for the entire Pheidippidean journey. At some point the body wants to fail. And that seems to be the shared understanding of everyone in the race: once I hit that Wall, I just hope the energy of the crowd brings me home. The "energy of the crowd," again, as two-fold: energy from the shared suffering of the other runners constituting one's several-in-passing, and energy from the abstracted Babel of barricaded and cheering spectators.

It is this collected energy that keeps the running-body moving after it has decided it is no longer up to the task. Individual determination emerges from this collected energy to ignore a certain individually-experienced pain and complete the race.

keep moving.

In contrast with the #occupy movements around the world, who teach us contemporary lessons about taking and holding a space, the marathoners, with their smudged point of teeming mass yielding to a distended statistical curve of running-bodies, perhaps teach us contemporary lessons about taking and holding time.

The politics of chip time prove to be a sham. It is the affective politics of a temporary community running beyond one's presumed limits which reveals new understandings of that most Spinozan question: What can a body do? Points, lines and images play tricks with time: the teeming mass of energy dilates to diffuse an effective tremor lasting a couple of hours or until the very last person crosses the finish line. This elasticity of energy is not due so much to the speed at the front but rather the slowness at the back of the pack. There is an exit strategy to these affective politics, measured out at 26.2 miles, however long that takes.

Though almost everyone has some new understanding of what a body can do, not everyone makes it to the finish line. Lactic acid cramps or dizziness literally collapse the running body in a tragic heap of limbs as the final miles unfold. For some the exit strategy came too late, long after a collective affect could make the ultimate difference. Nothing was left in potential.

Desired exit or no, everyone hurts. The sore limbs are still in discord with the warm psychic vibrations of fleshy affect. A mild narcotic euphoria overcomes the body and most of the pain — the intensive stress-related pain, at least — disappears within hours. The rest lingers in the muscles and joints for the next few days, hinted at less and less frequently as other gestures replace the runner's gait. But it is this pain that consolidates the memory of the event, the living archive of the temporary commons woven from physical and psychic trauma.

Pain remembers pain, after all.
_____

[THX 1138 ~ LKL 5908 :: Chi26.2 = woot!]

Ace Travel Company

Courtesy of Lygia Clark

tractor beam pulls to insectly skies
tractor pull, gridly

but the insects move far more beautifully than this.

..:..
 

(
don't read this as transcendence, historian!
wake up!

love couldn't be any more immanent
if it bit us right in the neck
like a mosquito or a
zombie avatar clone Deleted.
)

 
..:..

shield your eyes
with static veiling,
a dark potential is our present house

a question, unsayable.
 

fleshly, sung from afar.
 

silently singed,
we roll out the sparkles
grounded with lygia Like
in a real-life basketball dream.

Charlotte Sometimes (Mudstep Jam)

lousy t-shirt provided by semiotextil(e)

1. We accelerate into the threshold to decelerate out the other side.

2. When one views a small farm while driving by in the hermetic confines of an automobile, the plot of land doesn't look so big. But get out of the car to walk in the field and the space begins to dilate. The rolling image has become an expanding volume. Now work that same field.

3. It is a question of tempo: smooth and striated spaces are not simply matters of intensities versus geometries, but concern speeds as well.

4. The problem with the theory of relativity is that for the layperson it is usually only applied in understanding cosmic or interstellar phenomena (ie. at the speed of light spacetime is compressed relative to our planetary frame of reference). But relativity has potential for us in the lived everyday as well: a change in velocities introduces distinct changes in the embodiment and perception of spacetime — by which we mean its active creation.

5. The threshold of holey space significantly modulates the vibrating fibres of matrixial intersubjectivity, partly through change in proximity, partly through change in velocity, partly through embodied archive and memory. Always through relation.

Several: "We are each constituted by more than one of these relational moebius strips, each of us several in our singularity. These relational fibres grow at rates different for each unique relation, to different thicknesses or densities of weave. Each one may be shorter or longer in total surface and decay at a different rate, despite being woven of essentially the same stuff. This is because the 'stuff' of which they are woven is both organic and technic, born of flesh, gesture and linguistic interface. And as these relations move to fibre optic communication networks there emerges a doubling or higher degree of complexity to the assemblage, with the moebius relations themselves becoming subject to a new moebius topology bounded by the here of local presence and the now of (nearly) instantaneous electronic transmission. These fibres, too, become subject to the rationality of industrial agriculture, this time in the form of social networking." (March 2010)

6. This phenomenon is most pronounced at the node, that location in the meshwork which stabilizes the web of relations but also most keenly and affectively senses the largest number of relational forces in tension or pull. For the node, passage through holey space constitutes the most dramatic shift in intensity experienced by any of the several.

Spiderweb

7. Through gusts of wind that vigorously sway it back and forth the spiderweb holds on and persists, however, due in no small part to the strength of its nodes. Charlotte.

8. Unless it breaks. Sometimes.

9. The passage through holey space demands protocol (discrete particles) as well as performativity (resonant waves) to successfully negotiate the relational shift.

Tango: "Each of us forms a node in a broader network of these moebius relations. The web weaves through spaces and places both material and informational, mappings and tracings alike left in the wake of its continual emergence. But we must remember that this web emerges first and foremost from the moving body. The larger one's node in the network becomes, the greater potential for this moving body to form knots in these relations, knots somatically registered with a particular sense of anxiety. The moving body finds itself bound in a relational tango, to borrow the abstract diagram of intersubjective micropolitics suggested by Erin Manning. Or, already being several, it finds itself in a series of moebius part-dances with other individuals that attempt not to cross footsteps: as one body releases from the other in tango, given the space from which it may choose to return (anxiety), a differential space is opened in which other part-dances and their relational fibres may intersect or form knots and entanglements. The body thus finds itself in dances of relation, yes, but also in separate dances of disentanglement — the unweaving of knotty potentials and their somatic consequences." (March 2010)

Foucauldian Tomato Plants

10. Though the farm is relatively smooth in comparison to the city, this is not to suggest an absence of disciplinary techniques. The space is highly rationalized: enclosure, partition, rank. Sometimes the plants are given prosthetic braces, sometimes they are kept in cages. There are no surveillance cameras monitoring this movement, however, either in the greenhouses or out in the fields. Yet.

11. Repetition yields to rapid innovation in technique, though not necessarily a program.

12. The weather reports of Science take a distant back seat to what actually unfolds and what is in the process of unfolding. The latter is far more engaged in the "nomad" sciences (colours in the sky, intensities of wind registered against the skin), while the former is experienced as an attunement to the lived everyday.

13. High-speed telecommunications may modulate the farmer, though not necessarily the farmed.

14. Farmers knew about gait surfing long ago, at least in a "primordial" sense. Watch them walk the rows: contouring, flowing, sensing. They referred to it simply as "being in the world".

15. It would be easy to suggest that the farmer is simply walking up and down rows of stasis. But plants move: they grow up and out as sensing volumes in their own right, they deepen and expand their root systems, they sway to and fro in the gentle breezes of summer. At this recalibrated tempo, gait surfing's ontogenetic processes of walking-in-relation have been slowed down, exaggerated, and rendered more readily visible to one interested in biological flow. Dial down the BPM for this mudstep jam.

16. Note that biological flow is not the sole preserve of humans.

17. Do not confuse this with cheap nostalgia. Slowing down the gestural microscope reveals a care for the relation that exists between farmer and plant (and plant and plant…). This care is the envy of the gait surfer, who seeks to develop, sustain, or otherwise transduce it as the biological fluxes increase their speed upon return to the city.

All the faces
All the voices blur
Change to one face
Change to one voice
Prepare yourself for bed
The light seems bright
And glares on white walls
All the sounds of
Charlotte sometimes
Into the night with
Charlotte sometimes

Night after night she lay alone in bed
Her eyes so open to the dark
The streets all looked so strange
They seemed so far away
But Charlotte did not cry

The people seemed so close
Playing expressionless games
The people seemed
So close
So many
Other names…

Sometimes I'm dreaming
Where all the other people dance
Sometimes I'm dreaming
Charlotte sometimes
Sometimes I'm dreaming
Expressionless the trance
Sometimes I'm dreaming
So many different names
Sometimes I'm dreaming
The sounds all stay the same
Sometimes I'm dreaming
She hopes to open shadowed eyes
On a different world
Come to me
Scared princess
Charlotte sometimes

On that bleak track
(See the sun is gone again)
The tears were pouring down her face
She was crying and crying for a girl
Who died so many years before…

Sometimes I dream
Where all the other people dance
Sometimes I dream
Charlotte sometimes
Sometimes I dream
The sounds all stay the same
Sometimes I'm dreaming
There are so many different names
Sometimes I dream
Sometimes I dream…

Charlotte sometimes crying for herself
Charlotte sometimes dreams a wall around herself
But it's always with love
With so much love it looks like
Everything else
Of Charlotte sometimes
So far away
Glass sealed and pretty
Charlotte sometimes

(The Cure, "Charlotte Sometimes")

_____

(intensity, proximity, technicality: thank you.)

(down the rabbit) holey space

a breath of fresh air, redolent of vuvuzela blossoms

there was a public outdoor screening on a restaurant wall a few nights ago at the end of the street where i live: "bangladesh defeats england in historic cricket victory." it was not projected through the partition but rather reflected upon the building’s facade. closer, yet further away.

oh, i *do* remember our identity tourism in tucson. there were cast-iron sculptures of lisa nakamura's body on every building, just like antony gormley in london. "inverted post-colonialism," i think, was the vogue.

context is not only a spatiotemporal phenomenon, but a (matrixial) psychic phenomenon as well. context suggests an increasing tendency towards harmonized (and dare we say synchronized?) co-resonance. it seems to me that context itself constitutes the stasis of monotony and that the coming-into resonance of and through alterity is what creates the openness.

did you know that amsterdam is the steampunk version of second life? delanda said they created this shit back in the 1400s! and then at some point lewis carroll wrote a virus and messed up the code. the game still plays in my console, but the graphics are a little distorted, you know?

how does third place, the "runner up in the exceptional case," change the relation between numbers one and two ("the best winners")? the ontogenesis of the third is an alter-accomplishment in its own right, no? how do we understand the third in terms of multitude and the very being-in-language of which virno, agamben and nancy speak? how does the third come into resonance of and through alterity? is openness created?

children both shy and fearless; translation, mistranslation, smiling without voices; does it really matter? tonality, don't think in terms of romanization! a new iron curtain; public, private, third spaces; be a switch; but it wouldn't be a very honest emotion if you could turn it off like a switch.

or am i flailing?

crushed blossoms in a vase of water