Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Climb Back Up, Retracing My Steps

When I was in college, my roommate was dating a girl that he really didn't like very much.  He would agonize over calling her to ask her out and then dread doing the call.  So, after one weekend, he resolved he wasn't going to call her.  So he didn't call her for about a week. And then he couldn't call her because it would be too awkward, so he just shut down and didn't call her again for a weekend, and avoided her out at the bars.  One week became two weeks. And then he just completely started ducking her friends and where she hung out because it became so awkward.  We gave him merciless grief over being a chicken, wimping out, etc. Eventually the girl started dating another friend of ours, and we all thought "good for her."  She even told us later no hard feelings.  The moral of this story: sometimes when you move away from something, it becomes too awkward to start again. So you wall it off. The easiest (not the best) way out is just to pull the rip chord and disappear from the scene.

Of course, that is an allegory for my situation with running. Once I stopped, it became too awkward to just sort of dabble and hold on casually.  I just stopped. Stopped running, stopped blogging, stop reading about running, stop reading Runners World, stopped looking at running gear, stopped everything.  Not a noble or wise decision, and I knew it, but it was the path of least resistance.

I could attribute my downfall to many factors, such as injury, work, etc.  Sooooooo much has happened in the last 6-9 months it is incredible.  But the bottom line is that life got in the way.  It wasn't so much life problems, but let's just say life got very complicated and stressful over our housing situation. In a nutshell, we sold our place, and unexpectedly moved to a small apartment, and then had a nightmare scenario in buying a new house.  But, all is well that ends well: we move into a new house next week.  So, all of that stress and difficulty is behind me. 

But I have written the "I am back" post, and then crashed, so I am not going to say that I am back.  In fact, I just started the training regimen, and I have tried several times before and then not followed through.  But never quit, right?  Seize the day! The longest journey begins with a single step. Blah, blah, blah.

And I have dug myself a deep hole to get out of.  All of the fitness from previous marathons: gone.  Weight is way up; higher than even when my father in law challenged me to run 5 miles in 45 minutes two years ago. That's depressing and very limiting.  So, for a long time, this blog won't be about splits and races and heartrates.  It also won't be about dieting; I would rather not discuss diet food and the scale.

But, to keep myself in the loop, and to remind myself of the joy, the community and the ultimate true benefit of running, being fit, etc., I have decided to re-engage with the running world, check in on my bloggy friends, and to try to stay on the path.  This time.

It’s all now you see. Yesterday won’t be over until tomorrow and tomorrow began ten thousand years ago. For every Southern boy fourteen years old, not once but whenever he wants it, there is the instant when it’s still not yet two o’clock on that July afternoon in 1863, the brigades are in position behind the rail fence, the guns are laid and ready in the woods and the furled flags are already loosened to break out and Pickett himself with his long oiled ringlets and his hat in one hand probably and his sword in the other looking up the hill waiting for Longstreet to give the word and it’s all in the balance, it hasn’t happened yet, it hasn’t even begun yet, it not only hasn’t begun yet but there is still time for it not to begin against that position and those circumstances which made more men than Garnett and Kemper and Armistead and Wilcox look grave yet it’s going to begin, we all know that, we have come too far with too much at stake and that moment doesn’t need even a fourteen-year-old boy to think: This time. Maybe this time, with all this much to lose than all this much to gain: Pennsylvania, Maryland, the world, the golden dome of Washington itself to crown with desperate and unbelievable victory the desperate gamble, the cast made two years ago; or to anyone who ever sailed a skiff under a quilt sail, the moment in 1492 when somebody thought: This is it: the absolute edge of no return, to turn back now and make home or sail irrevocably on and either find land or plunge over the world’s roaring rim.

Faulkner, "Intruder in the Dust"


  1. I won't say "Welcome Back" but I will say it's good to hear from you again! Life happens and you know we don't hold grudges around here. I'm happy things are on the upswing after a rough few months and I hope things continue to look up! (Well except your weight, that should go down by default.) You know what you have to do to get back to it, one foot in front of the other, repeat... Just like riding a bike, you never forget, and soon enough it'll be like you never left. Happy trails friend!

  2. I just saw your comment on another blog and was happy to see you! Happy you got your housing situation fixed, and that you're getting back to running! Yay!

  3. Yeah! Happy to hear from you again and know that all is well with you. Running is the friend that is always there when you need it. It doesn't move on. At various times in my life I've run a 12 minute mile and 8:45 minute miles and I still got the same satisfaction out of it. Don't worry about your fitness level, pace, blah blah blah. Just enjoy the doing of it. :)

  4. I'm glad to see you back! I always enjoyed your blog and your comments on mine. It will be a long road back, to be sure, but once you get moving, you'll probably be happily surprised at how quickly you progress.

    On your AlterG questions--they have just rolled out a bunch of them to PT centers across the country. Most you can use even if you are not injured--you just need to buy some minutes to use it. They are very cool and I am SO thankful to have one to access as I too start my journey back!

  5. Good luck! We are all here to support each other and attempt to stay at it. You can do it.


  6. Let's hope it turns out better than it did for those Rebs on that third day of July many scores of years ago.

    Thanks for your recent comment. Where are you moving?

  7. The climb back up is always tough, but if anyone can get there you can. You've done it before, have the passion, and know what it takes. Even if you take a few months break again from blogging, it's always nice to have you pop in!

  8. So nice to "see" you! I'm so glad to hear that you are well, and that your housing situation has been resolved. Looking forward to hearing from you again one of these days! Missed you!

  9. In your mind you've never stopped, which is good. Wish I'd got to Pennsylvania now.


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