Smart Athlete Podcast Ep. 45 - Hope Phelan - Paint the Miles - Part 2 of 3

I enjoy the freeness.

Yeah. So, maybe before we go, we'll see if we can grab one of those. But Joe mentioned that you have some kind of new works coming up there, maybe not Boston related that you wanted to talk about?

Smart Athlete Podcast Ep. 45 - Hope Phelan - Paint the Miles - Part 2 of 3

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HOPE: I enjoy the freeness. JESSE: Yeah. So, maybe before we go, we'll see if we can grab one of those. But Joe mentioned that you have some kind of new works coming up there, maybe not Boston related that you wanted to talk about? HOPE: Well, I have a mural that just went up in downtown Brattleboro. Okay, this funding related it, I did it for Girls on the Run Vermont. They sponsored it. And if you're in downtown Brattleboro, it's kind of across from Boca Joe's. And it's just a painting of, kind of similar to my Boston Marathon lens, a group of girls running down the street in downtown Brattleboro, and just the shops and restaurants and the river there. JESSE: Do you have a photo of it? HOPE: I do. JESSE: If you don't-- I was just gonna say if you can send it to me, we can superimpose it on the video. HOPE: Yeah, I can do that. JESSE: Yeah. So, if you're on YouTube, hopefully, that's up on the video now. If you're on iTunes obviously, you're missing out. But yeah, I always like being able to like show the stuff you got going on which is nice ?? 01:09> having the photo, the painting in the background. So, they commissioned you to do it just as like an inspiration for the group or is there another like purpose behind it? HOPE: Well, they had reached out to everyone in Vermont because you know, there's not a lot of people in Vermont that run the Boston Marathon, all the women I guess and just said, congratulations, and thanks for representing Vermont and we hope that you can help out by coaching if your school has a Girls on the Run team. And I said my school does have Girls on the Run team and I help out sometimes but they already have a coach. But I'd love to make a painting for you if, you know. So, that's how I ended up making that one in downtown Brattleboro. And I also made a painting for them that they auctioned off to raise money for their charity. JESSE: So, do you have-- is there like an underlying purpose or mission with your work? Are you trying to-- like-- It seems like obviously, you have a lot of running focused works, which on the surface you could be like, okay, she loves running. But obviously, I mean not obviously, I don't think that is the entire motivation for why you create the works. So, do you I guess, do you have a purpose or are you-- do you feel like you're spreading anything besides like awareness of running as you share your works with other people? HOPE: I think it's just kind of expressing the feeling that you get when you're running one of these races or just some of them are just running in the woods also. It's something you don't really know unless you are a runner, I think. Because a lot of people are like, oh running, it's so hard, it hurts. It's horrible. And I feel like the complete opposite. I feel so free and alive when I'm running. And so I think that's part of what I like to express in my artwork. Also, since my work’s very gestural, it has a lot of movement into it. And when I express that in some running paintings that I've seen in the past, they're very sterile, it's almost like a photograph, like a still frame. Yeah. And so I like to have like, the motion and the movement and the crowd and all of the different elements work. Because it's not one thing when you're running. It's not just oh, my legs hurt. It's not ?? 03:53> the crowd cheering you, you feel the sun on your back, you have all these different emotions going on. So, I kind of try and express all of these things encompassing in one painting, I guess that's, yeah. JESSE: So, I went on a run this morning and I was, for whatever reason, I'm not quite sure, I was thinking about the guys I ran with in college and just feel like I kind of missed those guys. Because there's-- and you, I'm sure experiences, at least to a greater or lesser degree in your collegiate career, just like there's something about that kind of shared struggle that you spend with your teammates season over season and even as they you know, you get older and the younger people come in and the older people, like, just, it's an ever-changing team. But you still, at least for me, I find something where it's like, I still feel connected to those guys. Even if now they are in far-flung reaches of the US, nowhere near where I am now, it's still like, if they showed up and want to go for a run, we could just pick up right where we left off. HOPE: Yeah. A camaraderie on the ?? 05:11> team or track team. Yeah, it's amazing. Running in college is the best thing ever. I agree. JESSE: Yeah. I don't know. How did you adjust after college? Because I know, I had probably 18, 24 months of just like a tough adjustment of moving to doing everything on my own, basically. HOPE: Yeah. Well, I moved back to Boston after college. I went to WashU in St. Louis. But I moved back to Boston and I joined Greater Boston Track Club, and it's a very similar college vibe. Everyone is really tight-knit and goes for long runs on the weekends together. And then we get brunch and we do workouts at Reggie Lewis every week. And so it was kind of like college part two, which was awesome. It was really hard moving away. That was like my group in Boston was so much fun to run with. But we want to move somewhere rural and living in Vermont is amazing too. But I do miss Boston, especially because of the Greater Boston track club is the best club. JESSE: So, you're leaving Boston and go to rural Vermont, just to have green pastures or? HOPE: A little bit, yeah. My husband and I both wanted to start a little homestead farm. So, we had done some WWOOFing. I don't know if you're familiar with WWOOFing but it’s a worldwide organic farming thing where you can kind of volunteer on farms in exchange for room and board. JESSE: Okay. I do know what you're talking about now. I just didn't know the term. HOPE: Yeah, for our honeymoon, we decided to take a road trip and from down the east coast from Maine to Florida and we’d stopped at a couple farms and did some WWOOFing there and we just loved it. So, we were like we want to start a little homestead farm and we want to buy a home. Boston's getting really crowded and expensive and have a studio. And finding space in Boston for that is not easy either. But I feel like we have a pretty great setup out here. We're only two hours from Boston still so we can go back and visit friends and family back there and we have a lot of space and great dirt roads and trails to run on. So, I love it out here. JESSE: So, are you a working farm? Do you have like, are there things you produce or is it just like-- HOPE: ?? 07:34> it’s just for our own consumption but we raise pigs and chickens and vegetables. JESSE: So, we have like a fair number since I'm in Kansas City. So, we have a fair number of outlying like rural areas and people that have small farms, some that are I’ll say kind of homestead and they just raised for themselves and then we have others, there's a local place called Green Dirt Farms and they make sheep cheese. So, that's kind of their like, unique thing. It's not goat cheese, it’s sheep cheese. So, I was just curious since you made the move if you're like, oh yeah, we also produce, somehow produce US merino wool or like-- ?? 08:21> HOPE: Not currently, although we were thinking we'd like to, we both love to felt and spin. We did that on one of the farms that we went to. So, we were thinking at some point maybe we would have angora goats or sheep or something for the wool. And I'd love to have a little dye garden so I could dye the little different colors and do that kind of natural artwork. I think that would be really nice. I'd love to move in that direction at some point, but we haven't totally got there yet. JESSE: Yeah, well, obviously not to be like you have to do this. But just like, I know that-- So, we have a really large kind of urbanization movement where people are trying to move into the city. But along with that, and I think partially because of it, people also end up being like, fascinated by farms. So, they're like, let's go visit. So, like we have a local dairy that supplies-- like I make ice cream with their products. And they have, you can go visit and go see the cows and how the farm works. And same thing with Green Dirt Farms, you can go visit and they'll do meals and stuff. Obviously, those are not like year one kind of activities, they just open it immediately do those things. But just like I think there's certainly the opportunity to be like, this is our life, and we want to share with you some of the things we do, which I don't know. I love-- In entrepreneur circles, it's kind of referred to as giving value which is kind of vague and nebulous talk but just like giving back to people and sharing things with people and enhancing their lives. And I kind of feel like if you had the opportunity to do that you're kind of in this unique position where you have this place and you've got at least in my opinion, this kind of open heart of sharing these emotions through your works where it's like I feel like you would probably be a good person to be able to kind of share the experience with and sit down and have dinner with over whatever table you guys might set up in your place. HOPE: Yeah, we have all sorts of visions for our homestead. But one thing that we would love to do is we have 30 acres of woods, so we'd love to do a trail system through there and make a ?? 10:48> garden kind of like walk and then we have a yurt or that we were like, we'd love to have artwork in or like have people stay in. But we haven't fully realized the goals yet because we've been here for a couple of years. JESSE: Yeah, yeah. You'll have to keep me updated as things progress because I think just, I don't. Obviously it's presumptuous of me because we only been speaking for like a half-hour, but just my impression of you is that you're resourceful. And I just see that and then the kind of raw resources you have to work with. And I'm like, you're gonna do some cool stuff. I want to see what you're doing. HOPE: That's the plan. I'll keep you posted. JESSE: So, thinking about running, I'm always curious how people get into running because obviously, I think we kind of share that similar thread. We're like, it's not just about physical activity for us, it's more than that. Did you start as a kid? I mean, when how does that come about in your life? HOPE: Yeah, I did it in high school and then just couldn't imagine giving it up. Even though I wasn't great in high school, I was just kind of an average runner I suppose. And I knew I was gonna go to Washington University in St. Louis. So, I emailed the coach just to see you know, could I try out for the team and he was like, well you're not-- your times really aren't very good. But you can try out and he said, I said, okay, well what do you suggest I do over the summer? And he basically said do one long run 90 minutes, and one workout like a fartlek workout and I just up my mileage a lot. You know, in high school, you don't really, especially if you're not in a very competitive team, I just kind of was doing it for fun, but I just loved it. So, I just upped my mileage a lot and tried out and ended up being the fastest freshman coming in. And so that was pretty cool. And then I just have kept doing it ever since because I just love it so much. Go to Part 3 Go to Part 1

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