Goodbye 100, Hello Human

Well, it’s been a few weeks since I decided to pay attention to the discomfort in the bones of my feet, and I have mostly adjusted. I’m running short distances a couple times a week and following a four week weight lifting program along with adding in elliptical, stationary bike, and yoga.

All these things combined have really pointed out how I am strong, but only in very specific ways. I’ve definitely got muscle imbalances, a weak upper body, and borderline zilch agility. I guess tabling my goal of running 100 miles is a good thing because now I am focusing on full body strength and flexibility?

Yes, logical side of my brain, that makes sense. I remind myself of this often.

But there are moments when I see someone running outside and I want to yell at them, or I see my Garmin 235 on my dresser and mourn that it’s been uncharged for 2 weeks and it doesn’t matter.

Those annoyances work themselves out in ever more creative ways like calling other drivers on the road ‘jamoke fu**ers with nothing to do’, or obsessing over having a hyper organized apartment, or deciding that I need to research everything there is to know about making soup from scratch.

When I am training for an ultra I am focused, concise, everything I eat and every hour of sleep matters. Workouts get scheduled ahead of social engagements, unless it’s a special occasion. And you can bet that at the special occasion I’m thinking about how I can regain the sleep I’m losing, and how I’ll shift my day tomorrow to make up for taking 3 hours to be human.

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No matter what shit may unfold in my day to day life, I have the certainty of knowing that I am focused and working towards something important to me. It’s this wonderful armor that I can invest damn near all my thought, emotion and effort into. It’s my safe place, my favorite place.

Rough day? I’m going to go hammer out a 20 miler and leave my phone at home.

Sad because my dog died? I’m going to run 20 miles in the dark and listen to the Boyz II Men Pandora channel.

Beating myself up because I couldn’t figure something out at work? You got it. Let’s run 20 miles and clear my head so I can come at the problem from a different angle.

I’m seeing a theme here….

The diffusion of emotion through running keeps me in check, keeps me on my best behavior, and in control all the time.

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It looks like I have no choice but to allow myself to handle things differently. Find other outlets. Or even…. Let myself be more human. (I cringed as I typed that.) More importantly, maybe this will make me learn to appreciate being human. After all, I love seeing that in other people.

Perfect example from last night: One of my best girlfriends was in town and I went to a leisurely sushi dinner with her and 3 other friends. We were all sharing stories, sushi, and laughs when the conversation turned to my relationship. I proceeded to talk about how things unfolded over the first few weeks after our first date, and I turn to my right to see my dear friend wiping tears from her eyes. She said she was so overjoyed to see me be this happy that she felt overwhelmed with emotion.

Her emotional display was my most cherished part of the night. I really felt how happy she was for me.

I know if I felt that bubble up I’d be more inclined to stand up and do some burpees right there next to the table instead to diffuse it, but I’m left with the truth that there’s real beauty in that. Real connection. And real impact.

I think it’s time to set down the armor and embrace adventure on the human side of things. What better time than with the New Year right around the corner?

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