I’m starting to think about how to mark the occasion of my 4th anniversary of running. Realistically, I don’t have a lot of time to create a big project–of course that doesn’t stop me from dreaming too big about what I could do. At this point, I’m in the research/planning phase. Here’s a story project from the New York Times that I just discovered:
This project is from 2009. In it, different runners contribute their stories about training for and/or running marathons. The format is a voiceover recording combined with a series of photos that the user clicks through as they listen to the story.
Yesterday morning, STA and I ran in a 10K race. I’ve been wanting to run in this particular race, which is right by our house and follows our regular training route, for three years now. But, because it’s early in the spring, we usually aren’t trained up enough to run the 6.2 miles. This year, partly due to the mild winter and partly due to our refusal to stop training over the winter, we finally ran it! This small victory has inspired me to think about my running and how it has transformed me over the past (almost) 4 years.
I started running on June 2nd, 2011. To mark the occasion of my first runniversary, I crafted a digital story:
My 4th running anniversary is coming up in about 6 weeks. It’s time to create another story that reflects my ever-evolving relationship to running. What should this story look like? What kind of footage do I want/need to get? Should I make it into a mini-doc (probably too much) or just a digital video?
Yesterday I mentioned that I was embarking on a new social media project with my daughter: Mo and Ro take a Ride. We’re still in the beginning stages—we’ve only done one ride, but we’ve already decided to snap selfies on each trip. Why selfies? It’s partly because I want to use Instagram more (okay, at all…my last pictures are from 2012). But, it’s also because snapping pictures of ourselves at the different locations could not only be fun, but enable us to mark the occasion of the ride and hold us accountable for our commitment to doing the project.
At some point, I’d like to write more about the idea of using instagram/selfies to be held accountable and to give an account. This concept is greatly inspired by my amazing friend KCF and her super-cool #reimaginefemme and self-care projects on Instagram.
For now, I want to mention another source that I recently found (thanks to STA/room34): Lost or Found. it’s hiker/designer/selfie-taker Andy Davidhazy’s film project about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. Part of the project is a time-lapse video of the selfies that Davidhazy took at each of the 2,600 miles of the trail. I like his explanation for doing selfies:
Taking a photo of myself every mile wasn’t about vanity, but rather a way for me to fully commit to the whole hike. If I were to quit or skip ahead at any point, myself and everyone else would know it. Apart from that, I simply wanted to document my transformation in a memorable way.
Later on in his explanation, Davidhazy adds:
The process of stopping to take a picture every mile had a big impact on the actual experience of doing the hike. I had to be well-aware of where I was at all times, which was quite distracting in that it took me out of the moment and made it difficult to maintain good momentum.
In my own storytelling, especially in terms of marking occasions, I’m always thinking about how to create a balance between participating in the occasion and marking it. I want to experience the moment, not just document it. Using an iPhone and snapping quick shots for Instagram, does make it easier, but as Davidhazy found, it can still be distracting. Will it be distracting for me and Ro on our biking adventures? We’ll have to see.
On Saturday, I came up with an idea for a new social media story project: Mo and Ro take a bike ride. I’m Mo (Mom) and my 9 year old daughter is Ro (Rosie). We have big plans to ride our bikes all around Minneapolis this summer. To encourage us to do so (and to commemorate the process), why not take selfies at each destination (here’s the first one) we reach?
I’m excited about this story experiment. Last school year I did a story project with Rosie, Moments with Rosie, but that was not that much of a collaborative project. She performed; I shot and posted the video. I’m hoping this time around, Rosie can be more of an active participant in the crafting and documenting of our stories. She’s taking the selfies. And, I’m hoping she can help me design a site for archiving and sharing our adventures. I’m also hoping that she will help me write stories and/or create maps, tracking our travels.
Note: I also took a really brief bit of footage of her at the Lake. Here it is, (only) slightly edited: