After I got home from a run in November of last year, I typed into my phone a list of things I’d seen on my run and added it to my Strava post. I thought I might keep doing it, as an exercise in noticing things. It was nice, having a little visual journal of the ordinary sights and sounds of my afternoon jog.
Of course, I couldn’t take it seriously, and the very next run, I wrote a short poem, and put that on Strava. It went like this:
I would like extra credit
for the calories I burned
sliding around in the snow
I just kept doing it after that, every single time I recorded an activity: Short poems, long poems, none of them with any sort of real structure, but poems, about the things I see or think about when I’m out running, or hiking, or skiing. I don’t listen to music or podcasts when I run, so I have plenty of time to think. I assume there must be at least a few other people who this same thing (Strava has 95 million users after all), but I have only heard from one other person.
When I scroll through my feed, I enjoy seeing what my friends are up to. But I really enjoy seeing what my friends are up to when they take the extra 15 seconds to use that Strava space to add in a joke, whether or not it has anything to do with what they just did on their run or ride or ski. And I think that’s a nice thing to put out into the world.
Are my Strava poems any good? I assume they are not (but maybe someone with an MFA could provide some clarity). Is this what Strava is for? Most people would say no, it is not. I don’t even know if more than a few people who follow me have noticed that I’m doing it, despite my having kept it up for almost four months now. But I’m committed.
Here are a handful of them. If you’re on Strava, you can follow me here. (Or just click on any of the images below)