Sunday, May 24, 2009

Go The Distance.

Today I had another long run in the sun. I was a little frustrated with life this morning and again my long run came to the rescue. On my long run I usually have to tell myself to keep things in check and go slow. I like running, not jogging, and when I hit the trails I want to go fast. Today was no exception. I told myself to go slow for what would turn out to be 16 miles. I ran at a slow and bridled pace while trying to enjoy the scenery and the hundreds of cars whizzing across the Burrard bridge. The thought of running with a bridle, of being constrained into something that is not me, does not make me happy. Adding the feeling of constraint to my preexisting frustration and generally bad mood was making my long run a chore rather then what it should be, pleasure. So I thought "Fuck it!" I opened my stride and ran how I want to, fast. I did not tempo but I did go faster then one is typically supposed to on a long run. Shortly after picking up the pace I ran along side Shu and Katherine. It was a nice treat to run into some nice and fun people and this certainly brightened my mood. Once they reached their destination I was on my own for the remainder of my run.

Luckily my mileage is high enough now that I can run to and through the trails of UBC. The change of scenery at the midpoint of my run was welcome as was the soft earth under foot. The trails also relieved the monotony of the flat crushed gravel trail while enabling me to focus on staying on my feet, avoiding roots, logs and other hazards. I ran home with the wind to my back and once home I felt somewhat better then when I walked out the door. There was not a huge toll on my body and I feel surprisingly physically good.

Those who read this blog (if anyone reads this blog) should know that I tend to be slightly fiery at times and I speak my mind. Generally speaking I am not a fan of how gays are reflected in either the main stream media or the queer media. I have been known to send my opinion to the media outlets who portray the stereotyped gay. I wrote the following letter to Xtra West (gay 'newspaper' type thing) a while ago after being very frustrated with what I saw characterized as gay. The managing editor said she was going to publish it, but I have not seen it, so I will post it here.

Hi Xtra West!

Following is a mostly critical take on your paper BUT I really want to emphasize that I believe what you do with Xtra West is vital to the community and excellent!

I would love to see diversity move beyond what is socially marginalized in hetero-sexist culture to include all the queer of Vancouver. What about the Queers who are adventure racing in the mountains this weekend? What about the Queer swimming a national record and competing at the Canadian Masters Swimming Championships? What about the Queer training for the dream of competing in the Olympics? What about the Queer doing their PhD. in Molecular Biology? To be included in the pages of Xtra West do these individuals have to parade in their underwear or flaunt the latest dildo?
As an athlete I am very discouraged with the presentation of sport in Xtra West. Sport is merely sexualized for the titillation of the reader. Rather than profiling a gay hockey player who has changed the perspective of his straight teammates you chose to print a story making the locker room reminiscent of a bath house. There are thousands of gay athletes in the city, some who train and compete on the national and international stage while making significant contributions to their community. These individuals bring queer to those who may have never interacted with a gay.
When a queer athlete competes in a mostly hetero sport they face many challenges. By training hard and succeeding the queer athlete puts a face to queer, makes queer tangible to the hetero who placed second. One queer athlete leading a predominately hetero team enables the members of that team to understand that being queer is human and furthermore the person who is queer deserves all the rights and freedoms of those who are heterosexual (like marriage and walking in the Westend without fear).
My concern lies for the fourteen year old kid who is involved in sport and has dreams of achieving something more, then realizes he is queer. When he picks up Xtra West to discover what it means to be gay he will see men in underwear, ads for tobacco, late night partying. He will see a narrow and stereotyped queer whose options are limited. He will have two options, quit sport to be gay or climb into the closet to be an athlete. What I would have loved to see as a fourteen year old queer is that I can be gay, I can be a go go boy or I can be a world class athlete. I can participate as a queer in any activity whether on Davie or at a National Road Running Championships. I can be a doctor/molecular biologist/dildo promoter/elite runner. I can be whoever I want.
Thanks for promoting a slice of our community. Please continue to grow and reach towards showcasing our entire community.

Happy Training!

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