The utility of the phrase “it totally sucks” in making a tough moment suck lessĀ 


Where do your parents live?, my new friend asked. In San Diego, I reply. And then I remember that my dad died four months ago. So really it’s just my mom who lives in San Diego now. So I clarify and new friend says she’s sorry. And it’s quiet for a second. And she feels bad and I want to protect her from that discomfort so I say, yeah, it totally sucks. Because when I put it that way, she relaxes a little, and I make it safe to carry on with our conversation. But it’s harder to carry on with life. 

Paddle OutĀ 


Yesterday we paddled out to remember my father, a lifelong longboarder, just as he would have wanted it: in his favorite surf spot, right where he taught me and my sister and my nephews how to surf.

#teampoppytony

Video: That time I won the Moth StorySlam

The theme of the night was Fathers. So I told a story about mine.

 

I won’t call it a miracle

About six months ago, after a year of running with pain and without answers from MRIs and MDs, I accepted that my #triathlon career was over. And while I don’t believe in miracles, I’ll still call it miraculous that in those final days of my dad’s life, when I needed running the most, that gift of running he’d given me so long ago came back. Without pain. Without explanation. So yesterday, after a 10-month racing hiatus, and on just three months of slow-build training, I raced with gratitude.

#teampoppytony

Because the theme of the night was Fathers


It was my first time on stage at a Moth StorySlam. The theme of the night was Fathers. So to a packed house, I shared a story about mine. And they cried and they clapped. And for a night this room full of strangers filled a void in my heart. And soon after, they announced the winner. And my dad and I won.

 

One hundred more miles to the end of the world


The sky’s the limit, they would say to the little me. And I’d look up. And I’d try to imagine an end to the blue. At the end of the world. And this is what it always looked like.

#thisisportland 

When the five-year-old me learns what it means to own it


I don’t cook, I overheard my mother say to my friend’s mom. Unapologetically. Unabashedly. My friend’s mom was shocked. How could a wife, a mother, a woman, not cook? I was only five but I remember what owning it looked like. My mother, the 2nd grade teacher, the thoughtful neighbor, the community organizer, the believer. She taught me that what I do is far more important than what I do not. Than what I am not. On this anniversary of her birth, I thank my sweet mom for owning it over and over again.

 #bowlhairdontcare