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Ruckmann-by Kubota!My husband was a bit stunned yesterday when yesterday’s post was about significant happenings on 26 June: Supreme Court decisions that gave us the right to be married legally, the signing of the Charter of the United Nations, a birthday shared with Pearl Buck.

I smiled and said to him, “Yes, well the theme of gratitude overrode the birthday part. Besides, I didn’t go into specifics. I just built the post around the main theme.”

A much more private person than I, my husband just shook his head.

Writers are a lot like athletes, and I’ve always considered myself both. I’ve been pretty devoted to playing and following tennis, to running, to reading and writing poetry, and to faith most of my life.

I savor training, especially the camaraderie that comes with it, and sharing my writing. I enjoy gearing up for a race, in earlier days small tennis competitions, for a deadline to publish a poem, for finishing an article (for tennis or work publications or drafting speeches at an embassy).

I like running the actual race, mostly marathons, and now the challenge of waking up every morning during the week, looking at a computer screen, and starting and finishing a poem or other blog post, usually in an hour or so.

I love sharing the experience with friends, including my husband. In December, we will do a marathon together, his first and my 20th. I like calling my best friend far away in New York and hearing her honest, valuable feedback about my blog posts.

It’s not all euphoria and Tchaikovsky symphonies!

Sometimes I have it in my mind that I’ll enjoy a refreshing 5-mile run that will be over in no time. After two miles, I’m greeted with minor aches and pains and the realization that I need to find my breathing and settle into the run for an hour or more if I extend it.

I’ve looked at plenty of blank pieces of paper or computer screens with a lot of white space before words come out — and not always in a lovely cascade but rather a slow and steady trickle.

I also know when it’s time to listen to my body and mind, to take a little break. I’m looking forward to a few vacation days in July.

But I have a lot of endurance, I’m pretty fit, and I’m lucky to have lifelong passions which now include parenting. I like putting myself out there for running (or some version thereof), writing, and for my work in philanthropy and as a parent. Receiving a finisher’s medal, or having an hour to read as a reward after my daughter has gone to bed at night keeps me going and excited for the new day.