Running Thoughts

I used to love this sport

Love is not the verb I would have used today as I heaved my mass down the road. Today’s training was difficult and on a grander scale, resuming spring training has been difficult. In the past I have wintered over by doing an obscene amount of pushups, pull ups, squats, or anything movie/liftie like. It is my understanding that to move is to live and to stop moving pushes us through the back 9 quicker. I continually ask myself why I do the things I do. If I catch myself responding that I want to try to look like Hunky McSteamer in Impossible Standards Magazine, I encourage myself to look again. I have a health standard to which I aspire and it’s not that. I want to tie my shoes without losing my breath, climb stairs without feeling like I’ve summited Everest, stand and sit without extreme protest from the knees, be able to lift my body from various positions.  All the handstands and other crazy things I tend to do are just fun things I like to do. They are not part of that standard. This winter was really hard for me. I didn’t move at all. I was depressed and couldn’t summon the gumption to do anything. I really understood my depression and did many good things in the face of it, but it was startling that I couldn’t get myself to move. The sun has gotten higher in the sky, it warms my skin and melts the snow and ice even on the colder days. I have started to feel the pull to move again. It’s a relief. I missed it. The tough part is it feels like I am starting from scratch; like the first time I ever tried to run. I have done it before and I am ready to do it again. The truth is, I am still in way better shape than when I did try to run for the first time. I can hit most of those points in my standard. I feel fortunate about that. I am really curious to see where this season takes me because I feel like a new person ready to relive old experiences with a new mindset. Today I went for a run. I felt like a bag of meat lurching down the road. It won’t be like this forever, just for now. If you have your own experience of not being able to live up to your personal standard, or if you have had to start something at which you excelled over, I would love to hear about it in the comments.

3 thoughts on “I used to love this sport

  1. oh so many things! Movement and exercise, yes. This winter I was immobilized by an injury, 23 1/2 hours a day flat on my back (and the other 30 minutes peeing. 🙂 ) And now I’m trying to do things….like stand up for more than ten minutes. Exhausting. And the healing isn’t yet complete, which drives me into impatience. I just want my body to work! And it does, and it will, and healing is a miracle, and yet… Also, guitar, flute, singing; writing is the one thing where the rust drops away just by sitting down at the keyboard, and for that I am so grateful.

    As for depression, it is a wily, tricksy, slippery beast. I am grateful that you and I and so many I know have resources when we need them.

    1. Thanks for sharing this. I can identify with all you have expressed. It takes patience to be patient sometimes. It’s great that you recognize other miraculous joys like music and writing while you patiently or not quite so patiently wait for your body to heal.

  2. Hi Rich! I love your honesty and non-critical self examination. I ran the Hartford Marathon in October. After, I lurched from minor injury to weird ache to ITB syndrome and more. I tied much of my identity to being a runner. When it was removed, I was disheartened, but I have many other good things going on and was able to rest and recover and restart slowly. As a man now solidly in my 50’s, the bounce-back is a more conscious process. I listen and feel my body, breath, aches… And the road was beautiful this morning, and for a short moment, I was again a wonderful machine.

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