Blockhouse trail run

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Tuesday, December 16, was my first try at “trail running.” The quotes are for how I would describe this run before going – because I live in NYC, more specifically Manhattan, and where are there trails around here? The Bridle Path?! I have no idea. But when I met Will, a New York Running Company person, at the Grant Park Turkey Trot in Chicago, he told me about his trail runs he leads on Tuesday mornings at 7 am. I brushed him off a bit, explaining how a 7 am run doesn’t give me enough time to get to work.

Fast forward two weeks, and a Facebook event invite shows up in my feed for the Blockhouse Trail Run, starting at 7 am on Tuesday, hosted by Will. I clicked YES, although it was unclear of the distance or the pace or the path we’d actually be on.IMG_0024

I revisited the event listing a few times to try to figure out more information. I also considered not going, but being of high moral standards, I thought it rude to RSVP yes and then not show up (because six other people said they were going, and surely he’d see I wasn’t there). So I basically guilted myself into going to this group run.

I’m happy I did! This was THE. MOST. FUN. I’ve have on a run in a long time.

I left my place at 6:40 am and ran the 1.5 miles to the Time Warner Center, where we met in front of the NY Running Co. It was myself and employees of the shop to begin with – I had seen all of them before, as our Empire Tri Club runs meet there on Tuesday and Thursday nights. Ten of us left the shop to start the run, heading up through the holiday market to the south drive inside the park, and then to the east. Will’s only rule: “anywhere you see pavement? Don’t run on it.” So we didn’t. We ran in the grass, and over rocks, freely through the lawn where there were no paths or trails.

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We made our way through parts of the park I had never seen, up to the Great Lawn and onto the Reservoir path. We crossed to the westside, bounced back to the east side, and then ran up above the 102nd Street cut off to the Blockhouse, where Mary (one of my FAVORITE run buds!) took off. After running up and down the rocks around that area, we cut through small trails between trees and zig zagged our way back down the Westside, through trees and brush, up/down/around rocks and stairs, and back toward the Running Co.

I cut out at 72nd Street to get to the Eastside and my place at 8:25. I jumped in the shower still sweating, ended my shower still sweating, and was out the door by 8:40 am to attempt to make it to work on time. It was tight – I loved the run so I’d like to try to find a way to do it and still make it to work. I may need to set out my bike before, and iron the night before.blockhouse

The run was 8.8 miles in total for me (with my commute there and back), reasonably paced (although the group did split), and a ton of fun. I always enjoy the NY Running Co people, and it was a nice way to explore parts of Central Park I had only wondered about (which was one of my goals for the coming year – see ALL of the park).

Thanks to Will and NY Running Co for putting this on!

 

 

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Section One Leadership Conference

I really enjoyed speaking with high school coaches and athletic directors about bullying in athletics earlier this week at the Section One Leadership Conference. It was my first time speaking with fellow GO! Athletes Board Members Anna Aagenes & Sean Smith (shockingly) and it was a great session. Amazing stories and amazing athletes – it was great to hear their thoughts and bounce around ideas.

I also got to sit in on the athlete panel and hear the stories of Nora, Derek, Mai, and Matt as they talked to high school athletes. There were also sessions on responsible social media use, NCAA eligibility, and overall leadership.

I love events like this where we can really get the buy-in of the people who can help create change in their schools. Shout out to Anthony Nicodemo, who does a tremendous job organizing these events.

Photo credit: Anna!

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Brooklyn Bridge Swim

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On July 20, I took part in the NYC Swim Brooklyn Bridge Swim. The swim was a 1K swim from the Manhattan side of the bridge to Brooklyn. Because of construction and current, the time got pushed back, and on race day the time was pushed back even more, with the 11 am race letting off around 25 minutes late.

It was a pretty chill event but the timing is significant, because the complex race logistics of crossing a channel means predicting current and dealing with it during the race. I was on the second of three water taxis used to ferry swimmers from Seaport to the race start. We jumped in – I was in wave 8 of 12 – and made our way casually to the starting buoys. When the gun went off, each wave swam up from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Manhattan Bridge, and then across from the Manhattan Bridge to Brooklyn, pretty much in the shadow of the Manhattan Bridge. 

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There was no noticeable current, until the final third for me. I stopped a few times during the swim to check out the views – a true WOW moment – and found the swim enjoyable. In the final third, the current seemed to be pushing me up, away from the finish. I felt it stronger, and I had to swim south once I made it across, instead of making it directly to the finish in a straight line. 

I exited, not knowing my time or place. I got my back, changed, and waited. I was curious about the winners and wanted to watch the rest of the people come in. I waited. No one. I thought I couldn’t have been that far back – people should have been finishing well after me with the third boat jumping off after me. 

A rescue boat pulled up with a dozen people on it, and they got out in the water and swam up to shore. Then another. And another and another, until about 100 people came in on boats. One swimmer said the current took him near the Williamsburg Bridge. IMG_7358

Sad, as this was the last time NYC Swim will do the Brooklyn Bridge swim. And yet, I understand why. It was a complicated race to pull off. I am glad I had the opportunity to participate in its final time. 

By the numbers
Temperature: 80 degrees, feels like 80
Temperature in wetsuit: 125 degrees
Posted start of race: 11 am
Actual start of race: 11:28 am
Number of participants: about 300
IMG_7349Number of participants in a wetsuit: about 25 + me
Times I stopped to look at view: 3
Times I stopped because I freaked out: 0
Times I adjusted my goggles: 1

Distance: about 1K
Distance this race felt like: about 1K
Coffees drank before: 1
Honey Stinger waffles ate before: 1
Honey Stinger waffles I wish I had: 10
Post race food: grapes

Times I thought, “I hate swimming” since becoming a triathlete: countless
Times I thought, “this is awesome” about this race : at least 17
Number of times I thought I’d ever say a swimming race is awesome: ZERO. NEVER. NONE. 

Winning finish time (no wetsuit) : 15:16
My finish time: 21:35
Pace: ?

Gender place: ?
Overall place: 101 of 214 finishers
Number of people who didn’t finish: about 100?

Number of swimming races I will be signing up for in the future: anything is possible now!

Hall of Fame Induction

  IMG_7163 IMG_7169The National Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame induction was fantastic. It was great to see people I work with in the sports movement there, also being honored. I was a bit nervous for my speech, but used the opportunity to share my experience of not having any trans athlete role models when I was researching transition. Now, with myself and Fallon Fox being inducted this year, it seems that no athlete should think they can’t be trans and play the sport they love. 

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The National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony press release

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
National Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame
(Chicago, July 1st, 2014) –
The National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is on July 11th, 2014 at Center on Halsted at 6:00pm. We are happy to announce inductees Billy Bean, Wade Davis, Esera Tuaolo, Fallon Fox, Chris Mosier, Stand up Foundation and Nike Corporation will be in attendance.
Tickets for the Induction Ceremony are $30.00 or two for $50.00.Tickets for the event are available at www.gayandlesbiansports.com.
NGLSHOF 2014 sponsors are; Center on Halsted, Anheuser-Busch, Southern Comfort, Horizon Cafe, Service is Us, Days Inn, Shirts Illustrated, Fitness Formula Club, M13 Graphics, Jaimee Rosko Photography, Renaldi’s Pizza

The National Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame (NGLSHOF) was established to honor individuals and organizations whose achievements and efforts have enhanced the fields of sports and athletics for the LGBT community.  A full list of Inductees and bios can be seen at www.gayandlesbiansports.com

National Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame announces 2014 inductees

This list of people just blew my mind. I almost passed out:

ImageNational Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame announces 2014 inductees
(Chicago, May 30th, 2014)

The National Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame Board is proud to announce our choices for the second induction class. Inductees include Billy Bean, retired MLB player; Wade Davis, Executive Director of You Can Play and retired NFL player; Tom Daley, Olympic Medal Winning Diver; Gareth Thomas, retired rugby player;  Esara Tuaolo, retired NFL player; Brittney Griner, decorated collegiate athlete, active WNBA player; Diana Nyad, endurance swimmer; Fallon Fox, Mixed Martial Artist; Chris Mosier, founder of transathlete.com; Nike, corporation; Stand Up Foundation, anti-bullying non-profit; Mark Bingham, rugby player (Deceased); Jerry Smith, NFL player (Deceased); Mayor George Moscone, Straight Ally, Former Mayor of San Francisco,  (Deceased).

The induction of the second class of honorees will be held at 7:30 PM at Center on Halsted on July 11th, 2014 in conjunction with Out at Wrigley on July 12th,  2014 – the nation’s largest “Gay Day” at a major league sporting event. Tickets for the induction ceremony will go on sale May 30th. Price of admission includes hosted bar and hors d’oeuvres. To purchase tickets visit www.gayandlesbiansports.com

The National Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame, a 501 (c)(3) organization based in Chicago, recognizes those who have stood up to stereotypes and worked to break down the walls of differences to bring people together for the good of sport, according to the group’s executive director, Bill Gubrud.

The first of its kind in the U.S., the National Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame was established to honor individuals and organizations whose achievements and efforts have enhanced the fields of sports and athletics for the gay and lesbian community.

Thank you to our sponsors of the 2nd annual Induction Ceremony;

Anheuser-Busch, Southern Comfort, Chicago Pride, L Stop, Grab Magazine, Center on Halsted, Windy City Times, Fitness Formula Club, Crew Bar and Grill, Supergurl Images, MTM Chicago, Horizons Cafe

 

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About the National Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame:

Founded in 2013 and based in Chicago, IL, the National Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame’s mission is to recognize both individuals and organizations whose achievements and efforts have enhanced sports and athletics for the LGBT community.  In addition, the Hall of Fame will preserve the history of LGBT individuals who have impacted professional and amateur sports and provide outreach and education to the sporting world so that LGBT youth all across the nation feel welcome and safe to participate in any and all sporting activities. 

Aside

What took so long?

Last week, I published a blog post on Original Plumbing Online. I’ve been blogging for OP for a few years now – at times, regularly, and more recently, randomly with months between posts. I sat on this last one for over a month. Actually, longer. I had probably written it in my head 30 times in the past six months. Once it was written, it took me a month to send Amos the text (you can read it in full here and then come back to this if you want).

Why the wait?

Well… a lot of things, actually. I think I can wrap it up in a list:

1. My teammates were really pumped about their opportunities and I didn’t want to be negative about it.
2. I didn’t really know how to say it.
3. I It was upsetting and I was trying to think of the most diplomatic way of handling it. For a while, that was by not talking about it.
4. My team has a long standing relationship with this company and I wasn’t sure how team leaders would take it.
5.  didn’t want it to be true.

The experience that really prompted me to share this was the Brooks Pure Project Trunk Show at the New York Running Company. What an awesome experience – beyond the clothing being great, I really appreciated being specifically asked to be a part of it, with the people asking me knowing me and my identity. Essentially, my identity being a non-issue at that event escalated my feelings about my identity being an issue for the sports company.

Another reason I’m thinking about this – still – is that I have a few big events coming up that I’d really love support for, and I’m not sure I can get it. I’m working on my pitch. And my confidence in being worth supporting following this incident.

Someone commented on the blog post asking why I would even want to be associated with a company that was not accepting of me, and the answer is that I wouldn’t want to be – but also that I deep down want to be accepted and embraced for who I am, all of who I am, and the feeling of being rejected presumably based on my identity was upsetting. In summary, my major issue with this is that it happened at all.

I’m still uneasy about it but being upset about something I can’t change won’t help me find the Imagesupportive network I want to build around myself. So here’s the story in case you missed it, and here’s to finding new sponsors and fans who will support me as I work towards my goals this season and into the future.