The Connection Runners + [travel]

The Glass Castle

Just finished reading this memoir by Jeannette Walls. Amazing! Phenomenally written, interesting use of point of view, marvelous yet subdued character development.

The story concentrates on Walls's experiences growing up in a family that rarely saw stability but at the same time retained fierce loyalty toward one another. Walls gently guides the reader through the family's several moves, intense fights, and ridiculous escapades, and I felt as though I knew these people - I could see them, hear them, smell them.

Amid several other nearly unbelievable tales, Walls occasionally recalls conversations about and plans her Dad had drawn up for a home he would one day build called The Glass Castle. The Glass Castle would be the ultimate palatial family home, made of thick glass walls and powered by solar cells installed on the roof. It is a fantastical image, and even when her family hits hard times again and again and again, The Glass Castle remains, perhaps if only for a young Jeannette and her father, a place where the unattainable can be attained and all of the Walls family dreams and potential would finally be realized.

While the novel and the idea of the Glass Castle have absolutely zero to do with anything I generally write on this blog, I couldn't help but be inspired (athletically, academically, emotionally) by it. Overwhelmingly, The Glass Castle is a metaphor for everything we hope and dream and push towards. Even though sometimes our goals seem so utterly far away and about as realistic as building a home of glass, it is possible to reach them in some way. For instance (and I must insert a *spoiler alert* here), though Walls's father never does build the Glass Castle (shocker!) and continues on in his drunken way, in a sense, Walls at least builds her own by eventually moving to New York, becoming a successful writer, and finding a partner to live her life with. She realizes all of her potential, something that her father was never quite able to do.

I think we all have our own Glass Castles - it's just a matter of deciding whether you will ever stop looking at the blueprints and finally build the damn thing.

Today's Point Two: Start laying out plans for your own Glass Castle - set a random goal. Race a longer or shorter distance, compete in a new event, travel to a race. I get bored easily, but I find that by mixing up old reliable races with new challenges I get excited about running and competing all over again.