This title of this post is inspired from the title penned by Dave Zirin, 2016 in Sports: Joy and Resistance While the World Burned. He fails to articulate the incredible reemergence of American distance runners as a true force on the global stage. Nonetheless, he expresses what I believe to be true. Sports were an oasis of joy in a year which contained more than its fair share of human suffering. Personally, the latter half of this year is one that was wrought with the challenges of living the quintessentially urban and flat East Coast, running injuries and most traumatic, the rise to power of a genuine American demagogue.
How can you be proud of such personal goals in the midst of a toxic political climate of hate? Why should anyone care about my frustrations or triumphs? I honestly don't have the faintest clue. I hope to achieve in 2017, what I have been unable to achieve in 2016. Namely training consistency which results in fitness that surpasses the gold standard which I embodied in 2014. However, unlike that year, I hope to build a comprehensive system of systems which is sustainable. The political winter upon which we are soon to enter will undoubtedly wreak havoc on my psyche. I have been disdainful of New Year's resolutions in the past, but I find myself drawn to her political twin. Election resolutions. I vow to be a more ardent advisory to white supremacy, misogyny and xenophobia where ever I encounter it. I don't believe that to be confrontational is my default persona, but I do believe that it is what I should aspire to be in the face of bigoted hate. I am lucky enough to have the chance to influence the minds, habits and self-esteem of almost 100 fifth and sixth graders as their teacher. This is opportunity provides me with some solace that I can work feverishly towards excellence in the revolutionary craft of providing a high quality public education to students whom most of the world gave up on before they were even born. So too do I hope to work towards excellence in running. It has been a year which has both shown me the talent and skill which I still possess without giving me the keys of consistency which I need to unlock my bodies next gear.
Looking Forward to Running in 2017
This has been a long con. Having expected to run my first ultramarathon almost exactly two years ago. I am finally dedicating myself to an aggressive plan of attack after recovering from the debilitating stress fracture and graduate school both. If all goes as planned I am going to tackle a 30K in February and a fun and elevation-gain heavy 50K in April. If my body is responding well I hope to go ahead and tackle the USATF trail 50 mile championship in upper state New York in June. As always, if my body is not responding well I will not hesitate to table these aspirations. I do however think the time for patience has come to an end and it is time to dip back into the fierce well of dedication and resolve which have yielded a certain degree of success in the past. Let’s see what happens.
My name is Marshall Genn. I split my time in between teaching and running. I aspire to help students break out of generational poverty and to run fast. That said, this blog is about running fast.