Monday, August 20, 2018

My New Work Station

copyright 2018, Mark Cullen/, all rights reserved
photo by Yujia Dou

Olympic Stadium, Berlin
Monday, August 13, 2018
12:30 am
Today is the first time in 41 years that school will start without me. That’s a milestone by any measure, and I am grateful for my long run in teaching, coaching, and athletics administration.

I am grateful, too, to have such a clear vision of what’s next, as 'next' was already well underway when I retired from education in June.

Unbeknownst to me, this photo was taken at the European Championships in Berlin around 12:30 am Monday (8/13) morning by my friend and colleague Yujia Dou, who runs the biggest independent track and field website in China. 

I am deeply grateful for it as it captures my new life. Here, I am working on my article "Crazy Good" about teenage running sensation Jakob Ingebrigtsen; it soared to #3 all-time in readership on my website. 

That I now have a whole new group of friends from around the world was evident every day at the Championships. Before I leave the tour, I’ll see them again in Zurich, Brussels, Berlin, and Ostrava – a rich new life indeed. 

"Now the seats are all empty, let the roadies take the stage..." 
This Jackson Browne lyric is for my brother, Matthew, a lifelong musician, who could teach me a thing or two about living on the road. 

I'm just beginning to figure this out; for him, it's an artform. 

I stand in admiration.

Sitting in vast, almost empty stadiums late at night with the only sounds the rhythmic harmony of keyboards being tapped - this, now, is magic for me.

I miss my friends, colleagues, and rug rats at Seattle’s University Prep more than they know, and it is certainly with mixed feelings that I’ve approached this day.

However, I’m thriving in my new life. Yesterday my readership reached 50% more than in any month ever – and that’s with two weeks left to go in the counting period.

Two days ago, my friends and colleagues at IAAF’s Spikes magazine sent out a tweet highlighting a piece I wrote about Armand Duplantis called “Mondo Mania.” It went viral in the track and field world, has been responded to by almost 400 individuals, and has reached between 500,000 and 600,000 people on Twitter. Want to see what viral looks like? @trackerati. 

So, my Seattle teaching friends, have a terrific start to your new year. Rest assured I'm having a terrific start to mine.

With my friend and colleague, Yujia Dou @tiyubao

Photo taken by a journalist from France.
Three continents are reflected in the making of this picture.


  1. So happy for you and continued success in your "next" chapter.

    1. Thank you, Cathy! Just got to Zurich for the single meet I have always wanted to go to most. Am so grateful to be doing so with press pass in hand. When I applied, they grilled me as to who I am and what my website is about... I wrote back to tell them... they wrote back: "thank you for your extensive reply"!!! Think they know me already?! :) Hope the school year is off to a great start for you and yours.

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