Week 9 of the 365 Day People Picture Project is now complete. This week has been one of the best weeks in my entirefnlife! I finished my fourth Marathon on Sunday - the Portland Marathon. I'll share a separate post later this week. It was actually my slowest time yet, but in a strange way, I'm more pleased with my accomplishment this year, than I have been in the last 3 years. I know this doesn't make sense, but I'll try to explain in a separate marathon race report, later.
When I started this challenge, 62 days ago, I knew there would be a few really tough days - days that were going to be so challenging that even something as simple as taking a picture, might prove to be impossible and the challenge would be over.
Marathon day was one of my big concerns. After I finished my first marathon, I actually had some sort of incident afterward. I don't know what you call it…I guess I fainted. (or, half-fainted since I didn't actually hit the ground, but only because all of my friends caught me before I went splat.) The next 2 years, I spent all of my mental and physical effort to remain conscious and upright after crossing the finish line. It worked, but as soon as I would get home, I would hit the couch and remain there for hours. I couldn't imagine finding the strength to do something as simple as pushing the shutter button. So, I was concerned for very good reason.
It all worked out ok. After crossing the finish line this year, I still managed to have the capacity to get a shot for the project. For weeks, I had to prep myself that I needed be able to take a picture after I finished. I think my subject actually helped me to tap into a little energy reserve because she looked so strong and tough, like she had simply gone for a little stroll in the park.
Day 57 - Corinne
This is Corinne and this was her first marathon! Her cute lemon-wedge smile matched her spunky personality and I'm pretty sure she could have done at least another 5 miles or so. Corinne is actually a friend of Becki's (day 43) sister - they were in the Army together. I guess when you're army-tough, a lil' ol' marathon really is just a Sunday stroll in the park. Corinne is now totally hooked on marathons. She said she was going to register for 2014 just as soon as she got home! Best of luck, Corinne!
One of the reasons why this is one of the very best weeks of my life is that after the marathon, I then went to see my favorite band in the entire universe - Lucero. Yes, I somehow rallied and pulled myself together and went to the show that night. When I arrived, I found the lead singer, Ben Nichols, got a big ol' rock star hug, gave him some t-shirts, and then made arrangements to catch him after the show so that I could take his picture. (It had to be after midnight so that he could be day 58.) Well, shit happened. It just didn't work out that night but if I have to fly to Tennessee before this project is over, I'm going to do it. I will get Ben Nichols, or I will keep shooting until I do!
Day 58 - Richard
This is another co-worker, Richard. When we're at work, we really don't have time to visit, so I don't know a lot about Richard. He's just one of those guys who is instantly likable, even without knowing much about him. He's an excellent printer, so that's even a bonus!
When Richard first started, he had sort of a hippie-metal look happening. He had super long hair and a totally bushy beard. He was Portland. (even though he's not even a native.) Then one day he came in clean-shaven and hairs-cut. The transformation was so drastic, I didn't even recognize him. I felt like telling him, "golf course is down the street, buddy!" I wish I had taken a before-and-after photo! Now, he's somewhere between the two looks. I don't care what look he goes with, we just love that he's part of our team.
Day 59 - Ronni
Two days after the marathon, I decided that I needed to get my legs moving again. However, my body wasn't in-line with the ambitions of my mind, so I compromised with a trip to the mall. Hey, it's walking!
Ronni was so sweet and helpful. The stubborn inventory-control-tags wouldn't come off from the skirts I wanted to purchase, but she persisted and fought the little suckers to their deaths. As if that wasn't helpful enough, she then let me take her picture for the project.
I really wanted to capture Ronni's beautiful eyes and enviable brows.
Day 60 - Corrie and her little friend
I was driving down the street and spotted two people wearing brightly-colored monster beanies, hanging out on a sunny partio. I knew I could find a subject amongst that happy hour crowd.
Day 61 - Roger and Hana
Roger was walking this little beauty, Hana, just as it was starting to get dark and rainy. Roger agreed to be a part of the project and when he did, I was having an internal battle happening because I realized, I don't know how to shoot this!! My skills are limited, non-existent, actually, and my camera can only do so much. I have to learn to get better! I have to learn how to shoot in these conditions so that I'm not terrified to the point where I'm paralyzed.
Roger seemed like a nice guy and I was worried this could take a while so I just came out with it. I told Roger that I'm new and inexperienced and that I was struggling to shoot in the rain and limited light. He was patient with me. I didn't want to take too much of his time so I did the best I could, as quickly as I could.
Roger was a gem. I think these conditions may be difficult for even an experienced photographer, so I'm going to cut myself a little slack here and I just look forward to joining a photography class.
When I posted this to Instagram, one of my cyclist friends commented that they actually know Roger through racing. I've wondered how the "6 degrees of separation" may play out in this project, so it was pretty cool that one of my "random" subjects actually turned out to be a friend of a friend. Tis a small world, after all.
Day 62 - Sarah
This is the Badass Mother Runner herself, Sarah Bowen Shea. Sarah is co-author of two books and half of the duo behind the Another Mother Runner blog. I'm honored that she is part of my little project.
Sarah and her collaborator, Dimity, provide inspiration and support to thousands of women. "Mother Runners" who are followers of the Another Mother Runner blog and Run Like a Mother Facebook Page are more than just fans, they have become a family, a tribe.
Although I'm not a mother, and I'm just a walker - my greatest source of training information, advice, and inspiration comes from Another Mother Runner. Sarah and Dimity, and their tribe of mother runners, will be your greatest training partners if you decide you'd ever like to do a half or full marathon. Even if you run or walk, just for fun - I encourage you to check them out! Wait, I'm not just encouraging you, I'm flat out suggesting that you do yourself the best favor possible and "like them" on Facebook and follow their blog.
Sarah is a client of the shop where I work. We print their t-shirt line. Since day one, Sarah has been one of the nicest customers I've ever worked with. I know she must have a crazy schedule with running/training, being a mom and wife, writing, traveling, and pod-casting, but she always makes the time to visit with me and my co-workers. She makes it a point to learn people's names and she connects with each of us. How does she even do it? She has thousands and thousands of fans and enormous pressures, yet she still makes time for us. She amazes me and inspires me. She inspires me not only to keep active, but to keep writing and to keep connecting with others, even when I feel like I'm too tapped out to do so.
One of the reasons I love working with Sarah is that she has a sharp eye for color and she's a little on the experimental side. The Another Mother Runner T-shirt line consists primarily of slogans/text, so Sarah keeps the line creative by experimenting with unexpected color-combinations and it always works! She's an athlete, writer, and artist - all in one little 6 foot package! The woman does it all!
Not only is Sarah a writer, artist and athlete, she's first and foremost - a mother. She's the Mom to three very special little ones and they're growing up to be just as awesome as their mother.
I feel like I should go on, but I admire Sarah so much - I can't even find the right words. You'll see what I mean when you become a part of the Another Mother Runner tribe.
Day 63 - LANGHORNE SLIM!!
This is "Langhorne Slim" of the band, Langhorne Slim and the Law!!!!
I first heard of Langhorne Slim and the Law just a few months ago when they opened for Lucero. (of course.) They put on the very best show I've ever seen! The experience of Lucero and Langhorne Slim in one night had to be the best concert I've ever been to. Any more energy, and I would have exploded with excitement!
This week has been an extended version of that show a few months ago. I caught Lucero on Sunday, after the marathon, and then Langhorne was last night. This 42 year old body has danced more in one week, than I did throughout the entire 90's.
You should stop reading this right now, get out your phone, download the "Bands in Town" ap, (if you don't already have it) and follow "Langhorne Slim and the Law." Stalk them until they play a show near you, then prepare yourself for one of the best shows you'll ever see! You may think that you're not into that style of music (roots/folk/alt-country) but you will leave that show having had one of the best nights of your life, and you'll leave there a fan forever.
After the show last night, I headed to the merch table to buy another CD to replace the one which was stolen from my car a few months ago. I was able to get the CD autographed and Langhorne let me take his picture for the project. Although, I was so excited, I'm pretty sure I was only able to mumble something like…"ummm, can I take your picture, for my, umm, picture project, ummm, please?" Ok, I wasn't quite that annoying but pretty close. I did actually tell him that "I feel like I should give you back your heart and soul, because I'm pretty sure you just gave it to us." He laughed, and said, "it's ok, I'll get it back." I got my picture and a handshake and the end to a perfect week. (Marathon, Lucero, and Langhorne Slim - perfection!)
You're probably familiar with Langhorne Slim but you might not realize it. Check this out:
If you were a subject this week, or if you're just reading this, thank you for sharing in such a special week for me.
I'm working on improving myself and my pictures for you. Well, you know what I mean - I'm doing it for me, but sharing with you helps me push myself to improve and grow. With the marathon in my rear-view, I'll now have a little more time to take some photography classes and be better disciplined about my posting schedule.
Thank you again, and I'm wishing you a perfect week of your own!