Friday, June 8, 2012

Gathering Dead Leaves: A collection of loosely related thoughts

The following thoughts are sort of related, but not really. Leaves from the same tree of thought, but not even the same branch. I apologize for the scattered nature of it all. I thought about polishing it up before publishing, but I opted to just throw it up and show myself, asymetries, holes, and all else.  

Last week consisted of sparse running and loads of working. About 45 miles of running, and 50 hours of work in. I know, I'm a spoiled A-hole that thinks 50 hours is a lot of work. In that week, I learned something about myself. I'm not a "cram everything in" person. I don't read while I eat. I don't text while I'm talking with people. Rather than cramming everything in, I want to filter out the the things that don't make the cut. The wind makes the cut. I want to hear it rush through the pines and feel it fill my lungs. Why is it that "I don't have time for nurturing my desires and passion, I have a job!" raises fewer eyebrows than "I don't have time to work full-time. Adventure calls?" How does this relate to the dysfunctionally narrow-minded content of this blog?

I love running, but I'm not "in love" with it. It doesn't define who I am. Perhaps that same well-rounded approach is what will keep me from the big leagues(that, my shit diet, and my inability to reach respectable training numbers). It's a vehicle for self-exploration. Not the kind of self-exploration we start doing in our pre-teen years and I still do a little too much of, but, like, the soul-searching kind.

Running and Writing have helped me free myself from my own busy head. We can control our own minds. .
Picture: Revista Apolorama
I've noticed a new sense of purpose building inside of me, a truer calling than simply running these foothills. Something a bit bigger, a bit more complete. The problem is that its an elusive dream that I can't remember after I wake. The morning runs are helping to clear it up. I have a recurring dream that I can help people feel what I feel when I run. It's a feeling of being centered, of finding a strength I didn't know was there. It's a state that is evasive and fickle, not to be taken for granted. There are people with physical and mental disabilities that have given up on chasing it, or maybe aren't aware of it's existence. This is what I want to devote myself to. We all have "ultras" to conquer, whether they fall into some elitist's parameters of "ultra" or not.  The details will come with time, but I think I can do this in my own unique way and improve upon the current system. I have great mentors, a solid support system, and I'll never be afraid to make mistakes. That is, if they're mistakes of ambition and not of sloth.

In other babblings...

I honestly don't know if I'd enjoy training at a high volume if I had a full time job. I have the utmost respect for those that do(unless they're dickheads, of course). Cramming in training sessions at odd hours, being tired and distracted from work, and feeling guilty about missing scheduled runs was plaguing me for a little while. I'm not saying that I'll quit running altogether when a full-time job comes along, but rather scale it back and enjoy it for what it is: a hobby. Maybe I'll grow wiser or more dedicated with old age and enjoy a more hectic life. To avoid getting wrapped up in running and falling short of my work commitments, I let running slip for a week. It was preceded by 3 weeks of 90+ miles so a rest week really didn't mess things up too badly. I still spent 8-12 hours a day on my feet, some of it running, carrying heavy things(e.g., children), swimming, and biking. At least I wasn't decaying in my room or sitting in an office.

My parents were in town for a week long visit, so it was great to spend some time with them and do the Colorado tourist stuff that I think I'm too cool to do. I also ate more than I have been since moving here. I guess that's okay, since I'm down 17lbs since my move Westward.

Rocky Mountain National Park: Where people travel far and wide to drive mountain roads and play with domesticated woodland creatures.


  1. it's all right, man. you're midwest. if you were working 5 12's per week and fitting in 100+ per week running, you'd STILL write a post about how you're a "hobby jogger." such is our cross to bear.

    we run because running is better than not running. i think. i guess.

    1. Well said, P. As much as dragging my ass out of bed for a run blows sometimes, it beats dragging my ass directly from my bed to my car and feeling like a zombie all day.

  2. just chiming in to say I appreciate your blog. I'm a dad to two and a grad student/student teacher with a very full schedule. i struggle to fit in my weaksauce mileage each week (barely into double digits), so anyone who can fit in 'just 30 or 40 miles in a week' around any schedule astounds me. I want to run more and be a 'better runner' but i'm not sure I am willing to sacrifice the other bits of my life yet to do so.

    1. Thanks Tim! One positive thing is that I'm fresh out of college, so I remember vividly how nice it felt to run higher mileage. It helps keep me going because I don't want to lose it. Starting running from scratch, like I did about 4 years ago, was easily the hardest part of "becoming" a runner thus far.

      As for being a parent- I can only imagine. I work with kids and adults with disabilities 8ish hours daily. To have a hobby and take care of another human for more than that is something I won't even be able to comprehend until I'm handed my own child. Hats off to you!