4/23/11

Podcast Renaissance (Happy Easter)

I feel a cultural movement is on the verge of taking place within the universe of PodCasting, and I want to ask YOU to consider lending your voice (or in the case of video, face) to independent media thats no longer new. Happy Easter.

ipadio: We’re Having a Royal Party!

4/21/11

Poco Loco Boston Social Media Meet-Up!

Pre-Poco Loco Meetup!

WHEN: Friday, April 29th 6:00 PM - 10:00PM-ish

WHERE: Grendel’s Den Restaurant & Bar
89 Winthrop St. Cambridge, MA 02138 
617)-491-1050

Latitide:  42°22'20.42"N 
Longitude:  71° 7'14.90"W

http://www.grendelsden.com


PARKING: Harvard Square Parking Garage - 20 Eliot Street  (Note: there are 6 parking garages in and around Harvard Square)

Join Team Poco Loco: an independent group of fellow runners, new media producers and social networking evangelists for an evening of great conversation and creativity!

We’re stepping away from our podcast microphones, cameras, smartphones and keyboards to celebrate our passion for running and spending some time together.



If you're a fellow runner, podcaster, blogger or just want to have a few beers with some really cool people, come and join us!

ALL ARE WELCOME at Grendel’s Den to CARBO LOAD (in the form of barely and hops) with Team Poco Loco!

                 Viva el Poco Loco!


Contact steve@steverunner.com or twitter.com/steverunner for more information.

ipadio: Soundtrack to Your Life

4/19/11

Section 327: Boston Marathon



I was a "special guest" on the podcast Section 327; give this one a listen...because I'm "kind of a big deal".

Boston Marathon Unplugged

Let me share with you an experience I had today, and tell you why I didn't "blab about it" on the Inter-tubes.

4/18/11

A Marathon Prayer.

When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

Let it be, let it be.
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.

And when the broken hearted people
Living in the world agree,
There will be an answer, let it be.

For though they may be parted there is
Still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be.

Let it be, let it be. Yeah There will be an answer, let it be.

John Michael
And when the night is cloudy,
There is still a light that shines on me,
Shine on until tomorrow, let it be.

I wake up to the sound of music
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

Let it be, let it be.
There will be an answer, let it be.

Let it be, let it be, Whisper words of wisdom, let it be



[Lennon and McCartney]

4/16/11

My Wish for the 115th Boston Marathon Runners!

I'm taking a moment to wish everyone who is running in the 115th Boston Marathon a transformational experience. My wish for you is that when you cross that finish line on a street called Boylston you become transformed; that you realize how wonderful your life and how amazing it is that you accomplished this.

4/14/11

My Wish for the 115th Boston Marathon Runners!

For everyone who will be running the 115th Boston Marathon on Monday; I hope that you can savor the experience and appreciate the course.  This is THE Boston Marathon that you’ll be running; it’s not necessarily the GREATEST marathon in the world, but it IS certainly the most famous and uniquely special. 


Please don’t be concerned with trivial matters and goofy little speed bumps. Anticipation is a healthy response to what you’re about to go through: but don’t let it overwhelm you.  Focus on the NOW. 

Turn off you cell phone (if, for any reason you’re carrying one), don’t carry a camera, ignore the excessive cacophony of information, doubt and concern that may assault you.  Clear your mind of all the trials and tribulations that will try to infest you in the hours before your start.  Concentrate on the way your body will overcome the miles you’ll cover. Relish in the company of fellow runners, from all over the world, who trained hard to get to where you are.

This Boston Marathon is a celebration of YOUR life, and as you Head Away From Nature West Near Ballpark Boston never forget that you are doing something that only point one of one percent of the human population has ever been able to accomplish.  You are using your body the way it was meant to be used: as cardiologist, writer and fellow runner Dr. George Sheehan called “a good animal” and “an experiment of one”.

While you may dedicate your effort to those who you love and care about, run this race for yourself, within yourself. 

Remember what you do this Patriots Day; and tell your friends and family about it with all the passionate details you can offer.


Most of all, my wish for you is that when you cross that finish line on a street called “Boylston” you become transformed; that you realize how wonderful your life and how amazing it is that you accomplished this.

In your life you will meet many wonderful people who you’ll know as “runners” and others who you’ll be honored to know as “marathoners”: but on Monday you are running Boston; and that means that you will be  a “Boston Marathoner”; and that is something to be proud of.

Run long and taper.

Steve “Runner” Walker

4/13/11

Life is Pain



LIFE IS PAIN

There is a common theme which can be found throughout the world’s great religions and practices of spirituality expressed in the phrase:

“Life is pain.”

The Pali Canon, or “Tipitaka” of Buddism is one of the most profound; wherein it is written:

Cape Cod Marathon, 1999
“The Noble Truth of Suffering is this: Birth is suffering, ageing is suffering, sickness is suffering, death is suffering; sorrows and lamentation, pain, grief and despair are suffering; association with the unpleasant is suffering, dissociation from the pleasant is suffering; not to get what one wants is suffering – in short, the five aggregates of attachment are suffering.”

The Judeo/Christian Holy Bible includes this nugget of truth from its Book of Wisdom:

“And I too, when born, inhaled the common air, and fell upon the kindred earth; wiling, I uttered that first sound common to all.”

And from an ancient letter to a one “Lucilius” from the Roman philosopher “Seneca” comes this happy little tidbit:

Things will get thrown at you and things will hit you. Life’s no soft affair. It’s a long road you’ve started on: you can’t but expect to have slips and knocks and falls, and get tired, and openly wish – a lie – for death.

When you take some time to think about it, I mean REALLY sit down and focus on the idea, you might start to wonder quietly to yourself: “What is the point of living?”

If life is pain, why suffer so?

It’s a fair question and one which I’m sure countless human beings have pondered since they first gained the ability to ponder.

My thoughts on the matter are clear and best demonstrated in the final miles of a marathon as encapsulated in the belief that:

“Pain is a condition which must be accepted and overcome.”

I see several “raisons d'ĂȘtre”, greater and more effective than death, with which to overcome the pain of life:

FAITH

Simply put, I believe that life is a condition of our experience in this “now”.  I can’t accept (although I’ve tried) that our existence is finite and without purpose.  I would happily talk to you of my understanding and belief in God and the divinity and promise of Christ…but in more general terms: I believe in the sanctity of human life.

John Michael, age 2 hours
I do not feel that life is something you should treat as unimportant or trivial.  If life is pain, then we have to have faith that there’s a purpose for all this suffering.  Confidence in Gods love (or the importance of love in any measure from any source) is powerful enough, in my mind, to accept and overcome the pain of life.

Faith in that love and the sanctity of life is a force that can overcome anything.

ART

Though “rotten” with pain, life can also be beautiful, of course.  And it’s no frivolous fact that life offers the experience of beauty. I am a firm believer in this daily exercise which I BEG you to incorporate into your daily life:

Experience something beautiful every day.

When you’re in the final miles of a marathon with your body weak, your mind filled with negativity and your feet, legs and arms suffering in pain; you must consider how beautiful the finish line will be: with the cheering crowds, the happy-exhausted fellow runners, the satisfaction of having finished and the medal to wear around your neck.

Your running is your art, and in finishing your marathon you have composed a never to be duplicated masterpiece.

After a really bad day at work with the pressure and tension seeping into your soul; to enjoy a perfectly balanced Argentinean glass of Malbec from the Mendoza  Province is to experience something of beauty.  It is the artistic expression of the wine maker, who worked through long painful and sleepless hours to cultivate, harvest and ferment the wine you’re savoring.

Beauty can be found in the company of your family.  Art can be experienced in the failing rays of a sunset.  Pain can be made bearable every day when we stop to smell the flowers and appreciate, even for a few moments, something of beauty.

FRIENDSHIP

Yes: life is pain and the world is cruel.  We are born into this world screaming and gasping with our first breaths and experience the trials and tribulations of humanity for the entire duration of our short lives.  But we need not experience this alone.

Sunset seen from my back porch
If life was a roller coaster ride; I mean one of those GIANT FREAKIN’ loopy gut churning hypersonic mach-five5 eyeballs-in-the-back-of-your-throat roller coaster rides on wooden rails where you had to be at least five foot six inches tall and have a doctors note and a signed waiver of responsibility before you could climb aboard; I wonder how many souls might want to take a spin?

Clearly there would have to be some overwhelming benefit to suffering such abuse; and while the promises of faith and beauty are tempting lures to get us to stand in that line for the “ride of our life”; I’m thinking that the concept of love is something worthy of any suffering we might experience.

In accepting and overcoming the pains of life, it’s the power of friendly relationships with other human beings who share in your suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune which will help you to focus attention on the art and beauty around us.

UBI AMOR, IBI DOLOR

If life is pain then acceptance is the key to overcoming our suffering.  Faith, Art and Friendship are all fair trade-offs, each providing a worthy purpose to the pain of life.

I’m not telling you something that you didn’t already know.  Consider this just a friendly reminder.

We have passed the vernal equinox, and in the northern hemisphere life is blooming, bringing beauty back to the world.  But while we rejoice in the melting of snow and the longer, warmer days where we can run and play and enjoy the outdoors, it’s important to remember that purpose, beauty and friendship can be found even on the coldest days and the darkest nights.

Where there is love, there is pain.

I say BRING IT ON.

Steve Runner
April 13th, 2011

4/9/11

Play Ball!


I'm at Fenway Park cheering on my beloved Boston Red Sox at the home opener, and talking about my love for the game of baseball!

4/8/11

Opening Day!



This afternoon, at 2:05 PM EDT, my stepson Mathew and I will be seated within the walls of  Fenway Park in Boston to attend the home opener for our beloved Boston Red Sox.

The season hasn’t started well for the Sox, with six games played and six games lost in both Texas and Cleveland.  Today, they’ll be playing the dreaded New York Yankees: our American League Eastern conference rivals, who have won four of the six games that they’ve played.

I have a confession to make to you, fellow runners: something that will shock most of you, and make many of you in Red Sox Nation thrash, weep and lament the day you ever subscribed to this goofy little podcast.

Therefore, in sympathy for the weak of heart; I beg you to stop the audio flow of what you’re listening to right now: cease the playback, rip out your ear buds, throw your iPod to the floor and quickly step away from your MP3 player or computer…because what I’m about to say will rock the very foundation of everything you’ve come to know about Steve Runner.

Here it goes, you’ve been warned.

I, Stephen “Runner” Walker, being of both sound mind and body, do hereby solemnly affirm that I believe that the American League baseball team known as the New York Yankees is, in fact, a great ball club.

Hold on, it gets worse:

And regardless of anything I have or will most certain say and write about that particular organization of athletes; the TRUTH as I understand it is;

This is where it gets all wacky-scary-apocalyptic for you to hear:

That I actually appreciate the Yankees.  I dislike them, to be sure…I mean: they ARE the Yankee’s and I am a Red Sox fan after all…but it would be wrong of me not to acknowledge their great talent, and admit that they are, in fact, a really good baseball team.

You see, I love the game of baseball even more than I love any particular team. 

I love the pace and tempo of the game, and the rules and strategy of the play. 

I love the atmosphere of the ball park and the green pastures of the baseball field.  I love the traditions of the sport, the legendary athletes who have played the game over the past one hundred and sixty years. 

I love how anything can happen, and will happen during the nine or more innings of an official game.  I love that you can always have hope up to the very last inning and the very last strike. 

I love the taste of a cold beer a hot dog and a bag of peanuts at the park.  I love the way the crowd cheers, groans, and sings in unison…echoing the sentiment and emotions of every fan of the team.  

More than anything, I love being with friends at the ball park, or even watching the game on TV or listening on the radio. 

Most of all, I love to watch a game with my son, John Michael. 

When John and I are at the ball park, or even watching the game on TV at home, we are having an experience: together, father and son. 

It brings us back to when he was ten years old and playing little league baseball in Oxford.  I went to every game, and cheered for him no matter how he did: some days he did well, once even winning the game for his team: other times, he didn’t even get on base and missed a few fly balls in the outfield.  I experienced his agony and ecstasy watching those games….I was there to celebrate the good games, and cheer him up after the bad ones.  In turn, I knew how it felt to be that ball player, in left field with the ball coming at you and no where to run.  Sometimes I caught the ball, sometimes I didn’t…but either way I was there, and I experienced the game.

Because baseball, of course, is just another analogy for life…just as running a road race is.  We come to the game innocent and hopeful.  Sometimes things don’t go our way, and deep depression sets in.  We consider our misfortunes unfair, unjust and unkind.  There are other times when, without notice: the bases are loaded and one of our guys hits a ball right out of the park…no easy feat over that green monster in left field…but our fortunes can turn and the feeling of joy can be ecstatic. 

I don’t know what will happen in today’s game; but I do know that Matt and I will experience the agony and ecstasy in person: with thirty-six thousand other baseball fans: and win, or lose we’re going to experience a great ball game between two great teams.

I love baseball because of the diversion it gives us from the slings and arrows of the real world; and I even appreciate rival teams like the Yankees who challenge our boys of summer to perform to the top of their game.

Play ball!

Steve