Three weeks ago I confessed to being off the exercise wagon. Sometimes I’ve actively been chasing it down. Sometimes I just feel like I’m being dragged by my tether. It’s been inconsistent and I’m still looking for the hooks that will stick for now. While I love triathlons, and will do one or two this year, I need a different simpler goal. I have my eye on the 13k Surly Trail Loppet. Mostly because of the beer, and the beautiful trail.
I’m scared to register. I am nervous that I can only disappoint myself.
I have such strong memories of cross-country racing in school. I cherish what committed, dedicated racing taught me. I vividly remember what it was to harness all my personal strength and power to race at my limits. To enter such a similar challenge 12 years, and two foot surgeries later, I fear being discouraged before I start. I want a homecoming where I can recapture my love of running on trails. At the same time I am intimidated by the shadow of my former self. I am not that runner anymore. Can I still tap this particular well of power and joy even if it’s not at the same level?
Tell me I’m not alone. Do we all have secret goals that seem too scary to approach? Are there parts of your past self that you’re not sure if they are still there?
The easy way out is to register and expect NOTHING of myself. To throw up my hands, say “meh, I can’t do what I once did.” Do wishy-washy training and a “just for fun” race which for me translates into “I’m not really trying, so it doesn’t really matter.”
I already know how deeply ungratifying that would be. At least there would be beer at the end. That’s fairly gratifying.
A “just for fun” race is fun – type 1. Type 1 is fun the whole time. It is never so hard you question if it qualifies as fun. I love playful, low-key, no pressure, fun races. I guess that’s not really what I’m looking for right now.
This is where I should whip out my new found yogic wisdom. The practice of yoga is not rooted not in the postures but in the philosophical Sanskrit teachings.
Ah-ha! Look at my non-attachment to my past (Aparigraha). Watch me not beat myself up over the struggle (Ahimsa). See my contentment with this phase of my life (Santosha).
Ta-da! It’s magic! All I ever needed was to click my ruby slippers three times and simultaneously draw strength from my past, be inspired for the future, and be present in the moment. It’s like yoga/zen time travel.
There is hope. This can be fun and gratifying. It can be Type 2 fun– where there is just enough misery to be memorable but not so much that it’s not even fun to recall.
My personal deadline is June 15 (the next price increase) and then I need to commit to something. Last week I ran three times. It’s a start.