I’ve been a little MIA lately. But, then I saw this yesterday (sorry for the link/it won’t let me embed the video). And, it comes at a time I’m diving head first into trail running—yet another sport I will 100% suck at. This of course follows a spring where I totally sucked at training and packed on a few pounds. It should come as no surprise to anyone, including me that this resulted in finishing times far from a PR. I didn’t really write much about my spring races in part due to my lackluster performance but also because I was having a bit of a pity party. More simply put, I misplaced my mojo.
Some of this is self-inflicted. I’ve been watching more television than normal and slacking on healthy eating habits. It turns out these things really do impact my overall mood. And, like so many families, we got busy. Busy means less down time. It means more running around getting the important stuff done, but actually not doing anything important. It means burning the candle on both ends, only to realize when you do that, there is nothing left. This came to a screeching halt last week when I had 9 glorious days off. It was spent at our family cabin. No television. Plenty of quality Jake time. Time for morning runs, lakeside reading, evening s’mores and self-reflection. A rare date night. And, a quiet ride home listening to podcasts.
I returned, refreshed to take on life. That last all of two days until my morning training run today. It was hot, humid and buggy. And, I’m not talking the occasional fly. I’m talking the flesh eating deer flies that leave you begging for mercy and dotted with mushroom sized welts up and down your legs, arms and neck. The only reason I didn’t quit was every time I slowed down, they multiplied biting harder and faster than I could swat. I arrived home depleted, wondering what I was thinking. And that’s when a recently purchased present reminded me of why.
Simon Sinek says “start with why.” Michael Pollan quotes Oscar Wilde saying “everything in moderation including moderation.” Gerald from Arlington, Texas says “I felt like if I couldn’t handle not being good at something, then how could I consider myself a successful person.” And I say, “do the work.” This past spring I acquired a custom made Greenstone (chlorastrolite) ring by Silverwaves Jewelry. I’m calling it my do the work ring. Why you might ask? The rational part of me would say because I need to justify splurging on something this purposeless for myself. But, the larger part of me can honestly say, I needed this daily reminder to rediscover my mojo.
I know it sounds silly. But the truth is, there is a lot in life we cannot control. The current political climate does not help, regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum. And, despite my intention to make a dent on the world, this hopelessness can get overwhelming and at times downright frustrating. There are a number of things out of my control right now that directly impact my future. I imagine that’s the case for most of us.
So today, I want to take a moment to say this. I’m training for a Trail Run this fall because I get to write my own story. And in my story, I know this is something I will absolutely accomplish. And, my success will equal exactly how much effort I’m willing to put in. Am I going to win? Hell no. Am I going to finish? Hell yes. Why? Because I can. Why won’t I win? Because even though my Under Armour beginner trail run schedule says I need to run at least 2, 12-mile training runs to do a 10k race, I’ll follow the words of Michael Pollan and recognize trail run plans are meant to be broken. I’m not willing to put in the work both physically and mentally needed to even come close to the front of the pack. But, I’ll still show up at Mount Bohemia October 6 because similar to Gerald, success isn’t measured by crossing the line first. It is defined by pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. I’ll tell you right now, the welts on my legs on week 2 of training are proof, this is as far out of my comfort zone I can get right now.
So I’ve been MIA lately on here. Doubtful anyone has noticed but me. But, I find if I write my goal on here it happens. So now you know what’s on the horizon for me. I promise to share some shots from the trail. I’ll spare you the shots of my welted legs. But I will say this, there is something extremely liberating about doing something you know you’ll be bad at. You remove the expectation, other than to show up and try. To do the work. And enjoy the journey. As sweaty as it might be, it is pretty amazing. And, I’m really looking forward to the swag at the end. Happy Running!