The Rule of Michelangelo: dream like you’re the ninja turtle, but act like the artist. 

Real talk: Sometimes, I feel invincible like a straight-up, ninja superhero robot with the strength of Hulk Hogan and the speed of a velociraptor. Sometimes, I like to convince myself (and other gullible individuals under the influence of adult beverages) that I’m going to accomplish some seriously incredible things. For instance, at some point in my life, I’ve proclaimed that I’m going to accomplish all of the following:

  • go to the Olympic trials (for multiple different sports)
  • write the next great America novel
  • come up with a million dollar idea
  • win at fantasy football (statistically speaking, it’s bound to happen)
  • Become a UFC fighter (I can punch & kick the air really fast. It would be a shame to let this talent go to waste…)

Granted, a lot of these runcorked™ dreams were the direct result of cramming 750mL of Sauvignon Blanc into this 5’3” female, corpus glorious of mine. But the point is, I have some seriously lofty ambitions and I’m not apologizing for it. You’d be surprised how much you’re capable of when you let yourself believe anything is possible. Dream like you’re invincible. 

BUT… And I’m telling you, I have a hard time putting this piece of advice into practice… do NOT ACT invincible when executing your plans for world domination. Be smart, set lots of realistic short-term goals and grind away ever so carefully like a sculptor freeing the masterpiece that is your triumph from a block of unforgiving marble.

Things to be mindful of in your pursuit of champion status, fame, fortune, glory and/or grandeur:

  • You will need both your mind & body to be onboard.
  • You will need to face your weaknesses head on.
  • You need to look at the greater picture and the minutia in tandem when making decisions.
  • You will need to be flexible and adapt in the face of adversity.
  • You will need to remember that, regardless of whether you succeed or not, it is the intent, the process, what you learn, how you grow & who you meet along the way that are the real rewards. Without all of that, the success itself would mean nothing.

    Take it from a champion (W&M Relay for Life “Pie” Eating Contest Champion 2008 & winner of lots of games of Words with Friends),



     A Full Glass of $h!tty Wine is Still a Full Glass of Wine: Why injuries don’t entirely suck.

    At this point in time, I think it’s important to disclose the reasoning behind my decision to start this blog. I’ve enlisted the use of the classic pie chart as a visual aid:

    Piechart Cropped.png

    As you can see by the angry red/orange 30% block, my current status is PUP due to an acute calf/achilles strain and, frankly, it’s worse than paying $12 for a glass of shitty cabernet. But like paying $12 for a glass of shitty cabernet, I must remember that the glass is nonetheless full & that is better than no glass of wine at all… or I wouldn’t have paid $12 for it.

    I’ve gone through my many stages of the grieving process over the last 4 weeks and then all of a sudden, this morning… I runcorked! It was mid-deep water jog in a lane next to the mean lady at the Y who looks like a mix of Carlo Rossi and that fish from Spongebob with the large set of periwinkle, frowny lips that kind of look like…(cork it, Stack). For reference (though it’s really not important):

    carlo-rossi            +            spongebob-fish

    Anyways, I had a revelation that I’m addicted to feeling sorry for myself about my temporary setback. Meanwhile, I’m completely ignoring the many upsides to this whole forced time off situation. If you’re in the same boat, here are some of the reasons why being temporarily injured doesn’t totally suck:

    1. You have a prime opportunity to just enjoy life and try some new things. Do all of those fun things that you couldn’t do before because you didn’t have time or you didn’t want them to interfere with your training. This could be a new form of crosstraining, staying out later than usual, sleeping in, traveling, relaxing or getting white-girl wasted and taking the cinnamon challenge (I do not recommend this).
    2. Nothing will change drastically while you’re on the bench (most likely anyways). You’re running friends and favorite routes are still going to be there when you get healthy. You’re sneakers and gear will be ready for your return and will still work just fine. There will be a million races to sign up for no matter when you’re ready to jump back in. Don’t let your FOMO get the better of you.
    3. You can cheer you face off and have a party on the sidelines. It’s equally fun in it’s own right and your friends will return the favor when you’re back in the game.
    4. The blisters on your feet will start to heal and your toenails grow back, so that you look less and less like a victim from a Saw movie every day that passes. 
    5. You will appreciate each run more when you return, thus enhancing the experience and giving new life to your old training routine. The renewed focus and enjoyment will make it all that much easier to crush your goals. Who says you can’t come back faster and stronger than ever?
    6. Injuries make fantastic scape goats for retail therapy, casual grumpiness, laziness & increased wine intake. Some examples: “Did you seriously buy a $90 pair of sweatpants?”… “Yes. They’re specifically designed for recovery and I just need them right now.” — “Can you take the dog out? I need to stay off of my foot, it’s hurting like a sonofabitch. I’m at about an 8 out of 10 on the pain scale. Thanks.” — “Are you drinking wine? It’s 10am…”… “I woke up and couldn’t run. Then this happened. Deal with it. Here I poured you a glass too.”
    7. You are lucky enough to be able to look forward to running again. There are people who are permanently injured and will never run again. Remember that and be grateful. Like the glass of shitty cabernet, just try to enjoy your temporary situation as much as you can, plan for the future and eventually you’ll crack a new bottle.

    Run Fast. Sip Slow. Love Life!

    J. Stack



    “Runcorked™:” Def. (Verb) Experienced a moment of overwhelming euphoria, clarity & gratification brought on by the sublime sensory overload felt during/after a run or while indulging in a glass (maybe several) of incredible wine.

    If you’ve ever runcorked™, you know exactly what I’m talking about…

    Ex(1): I ran past my family and heard them all screaming my name. I already felt so good about the hard work I put in training for the race and just seeing how proud they were sent my emotions over the edge. My eyes welled up with tears and I looked around at the world with renewed appreciation. The weather was perfect, the course was beautiful and it felt damn good to be alive. I runcorked™ and drank in the moment.

    Ex (2):  The combination of the robust red and sweatpants was absolutely perfect after our long run in the cold; warming us up and taking the edge off the hurt-so-good soreness that had already started to set in. We sipped slow to enjoy the complex flavors of the well-earned glass of wine, kicked-back, runcorked™ and let our conversation draw us deeper into contemplation of everything from our day-to-day lives to our wildest dreams. In that moment, everything came together seamlessly in our minds and our souls overflowed with love for the journey.

    Ex (3): “Well, how was it? Did she runcork?” — “I’m pretty sure… She was sweaty & limping a little after, but had a huge smile on her face.” (Put your glass down, Stack.)

    I runcorked™ the idea for this blog, so we’ll see where it goes.


    Cheers to the moment!