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

Before and After


These boxes. I packed them a year ago. Before I biked with zebras in Swaziland and climbed ice walls in New Zealand and raced a triathlon in Vietnam and dried a Syrian family’s clothing wet from a sunken raft in the Aegean Sea. In the year since I packed these boxes, I’ve forgotten what is inside. But I know I’ve lived the richest 12 months of my life without it so maybe it should stay right there. #lessismore

Just the right size


The accumulation of possessions gives me anxiety. Why would I want to own anything that wouldn’t fit in my car?, I explained to my dad. My car, by the way, is a MINI. 

My dad, on the other hand, loved to accumulate things. And not just any things, but fancy ones. Racquets and clubs and skis and bikes. He had plenty of each. 

Dad, I would argue, why not donate those extra bikes to someone in need? 

Oh, we spent years arguing about these things of his. But as his life drew to a close and the currency of words grew ever more valuable, my dad made a simple suggestion that I take his road bike when I move to Portland. Oh, he never could understand this part of me. But today, a month after we said goodbye for the last time, I finally understood this part of him. 

#dadsbike