Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I Take My Slacking Seriously: If it's worth doing, do it right

Life, love, career, Mexican food night: Give them all you've got.

As can be inferred from recent posts, my serious training came to a screeching halt after attempting my first 100miler. Try as I might, My very first DNF has done fine job of stealing my mojo...or so I thought. I bounce theories around with conclusions ranging from existential meltdowns to shrugging it off and saying, "shit happens." Perhaps a little optimism is in order.

Despite my efforts to appear nonchalant and aloof, I value my life, my success, and my happiness. Why shouldn't I? I'm in a good position to do some good in this world. Rather than an unfortunate event, I think my world being turned on its head was incredibly well-timed. I returned home from Colorado with an outlook that wasn't quite mine. Running had a stranglehold on the rest of my life. I've recently had a change of heart, which has lead to a sense of peace and balance.

Summer running season ending less than ideally, undergrad studies being over, and now a nice mail reminder that I owe the federal government several full sacks with dollar signs on them. These things had me down, now I've realized something: It's time to get moving. I want my life to matter, to me and others. I had humble beginnings as an athlete(hell, I'm still not anything to write home about), but I've found a niche that feels great. Others deserve to know that they can also rise from the ashes of a sedentary lifestyle and feel the sweat on their brow and the burn in their muscles from pushing themselves.

On a professional note, I want to bring a personal touch into what I do. I'm no artist, but I'm willing to put effort into making sure people know I have their attention. Many of us bloggers are inspired by writers like Seth Godin, who preach the value of emotional labor. It separates creative artists from mediocre painters. I want to use emotional labor to separate myself, as a compassionate healer, from cookie-cutter personal trainers.

With regard to my own training, I'm letting it come to me. When I decide to slack, I'm going to slack gloriously. Enjoy a movie and quit thinking about running. When its time to run, its time to run. No waiting for it to be over, no dissociating from the experience. I know I love running. It has become a part of me. I just have to keep some faith that it will come back. Letting myself get scatterbrained is what has lead to my current paralysis. I spend my non-running time thinking, "I should really be running more" and it causes anxiety with running. And that, you poor people who subject yourselves to my deranged inner monologues, is stupid.

Slack gloriously. Slack so hard that your beer
has to wear a casual shirt.

Work Hard. Work so hard that you have to set up a designated
zone, then have a random stranger take picture of you in library.

Run with some heart. Run so with so much heart that you don't care that you posess the awkward
body comparable to those weird future-telling white humanoids from Minority Report
Must.resist. urge. to say. I won...this race.


  1. I am glad you are where you are in your life Tom. You sound Happy and that is what it is about.
    Sharron Ericksen :-)

  2. Ah, Tom, you're a wise man. The biggest thing i regret about my "down time" from running at the end of last summer is that I didn't enjoy it more...I really let it bug me the whole time and, when I went back to training in earnest, I didn't feel as refreshed and renewed as I should have been. Lesson learned.

    Give'em hell, Tom!

  3. Thanks, P. It was a quite a bit of pissing around and feeling anxious all the time before I realized that my mind was all over the place. Not cool.