Roger Bannister, 1954

There are not many plausible explanations for this: for many hundreds of years of running as sport, no one on earth could run a mile in under 4 minutes. And then in 1954, Roger Bannister could, and then lots more people could. 1400 and counting.

Maybe there was some critical evolutionary step forward that allowed this to happen. Or maybe the mere suggestion that it was possible made it so for more people.

I’m no runner. When I was growing up, if you looked at my journals, starting in seventh grade, all I wanted was to grow out of my…


The media diets of my teenagers and I don’t typically converge, I suppose because I can’t muster interest in a spray-tanned bachelorette dropping her kimono for one man and then switch to a bikini and do it again with another man the very next day but we do all share passion for the movie The Fantastic Mr. Fox, the Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen and online videos about animals. Recently, we hovered around a cell phone — mouths agog — while a British man narrated the birth of a marsupial.

A joey begins in a pocket of mucus that drips…


Regrets on the verge of dropping off my youngest at college

Photo: Maskot/Getty Images

One day not so many years ago, I read two long articles, back to back, on the role parents play in their children’s stress and success and I made a decision. When they came through the kitchen door that afternoon, I said, “Girls, I have a major announcement.” They looked alarmed. “I no long want to see or discuss your grades.” Georgia wanted to know what I meant, exactly. Claire was sure it was a trick. [I am not a casual parent. I know what I want for my kids and I’m both serious and direct about my expectations.]

“If,”…


Four Medium writers get personal on my podcast

Photo: Andrii Lutsyk/Ascent Xmedia/Getty Images

Recently, I invited a set of four Medium writers to trade love stories with me. How did you meet? What went wrong? How did you get to first base? I was wondering if the circumstances of falling in love play a part in how the relationship unfolds. I asked who knew first? who got scared? what cleared the way? Here are our conversations, each of which includes two readings, which makes it feel like part audio book, part interview. …


If I were a dog, I’d be the kind that’s easier to shave down than to groom. I wear the same clothes all week and often get past noon before I put on a bra or look in a mirror. I am a woman who, in a pinch, goes to the party with earrings that nearly match, betting no one will notice. I color my own hair even though, fairly frequently, the girls discover fist-sized gray sections in the back I can’t see or reach. I never change filters or replace toothbrushes or stretch. …


With Claire, who leaves for UVA in a month and would go tomorrow if she could

Susan Orlean, my thought partner on the podcast this week, writes on Medium and for The New Yorker about things like umbrella inventors, origami artists and treadmill desks. She is a curious lady and a great thinker. Here are some edited highlights from our recent heart to heart about my very real fears about the empty nest moment.

Kelly Corrigan So, hi, how are you?

Susan Orlean I’m great. I’m so happy to be talking to you.

KC Tell me about how things at your house changed when your son left for school.

SO For one thing, we really just…


Come high water, come fires, come pandemics, riots and collapse, love happens. That’s what I’m noticing right now. We want each other. We were built for each other. Two at a time, parts come together and we make a thing and like weeds pushing through pavement, that thing finds the light. In fact, I wonder if feelings bloom despite obstacles or because of them. Maybe the terrain between us, real, imagined or metaphorical, forces declarations of intent as our willingness to travel is made apparent.

Love is what this month is all about on Kelly Corrigan Wonders. Each week, I’ll…


“You have earned this!” Gun Sale

I’ve been thinking a lot about how change happens. To help me unpack the mother of all topics, I invited a dozen really big thinkers (and feelers) to talk to me on Kelly Corrigan Wonders and at the end of each conversation, I summarized my takeaways. I share them here in the hopes that they will be useful to us all as we inch our way toward something better.

On Violence:


I’ve been thinking a lot about how change happens. To help me unpack the mother of all topics, I invited a dozen really big thinkers (and feelers) to talk to me on Kelly Corrigan Wonders and at the end of each conversation, I summarized my takeaways. I share them here in the hopes that they will be useful to us all as we inch our way toward something better.

On Transitioning:

In a long, moving conversation, I connected with an insightful and forthcoming 15-year-old who is transitioning from a girl to a boy, as well as his mother about how…


I’ve been wondering about how change really happens. So I invited a dozen really big thinkers (and feelers) to talk to me on Kelly Corrigan Wonders and at the end of each conversation, I summarized my takeaways in the hopes that they will be useful to all of us as we inch our way toward something better.

On Becoming a Mother:

When you are a woman who is dead sure she wants to be a mother and the universe is not cooperating, how can you bend reality to your dreams? In this episode, two therapist-friends of mine, Lori Gottlieb (best…

kelly corrigan

New York Times bestselling author, host of new podcast: Kelly Corrigan Wonders and PBS show: Tell Me More with Kelly Corrigan

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