Friday, January 8, 2010

the white death

Every day, a friend of mine sends me an inspirational email. Some days, they make my day, they calm me, they completely relate to exactly where I am in life. Other days, I glimpse and delete. Today's was particularly poignant.

Pain is part of life. Looking back at other difficult times can give us a better perspective of the pain we feel today. All of us can recall a loss or a sudden difficult change that we never would have chosen for ourselves. Perhaps it brought us face to face with insecurities or doubts about our survival. Now, after the suffering has ended, we see how much we grew. We changed; we were strengthened and, perhaps, were liberated by what happened to us.
It makes me think...Isn't every difficult time like this? Doesn't every painful experience teach me something for which I'm eternally grateful? Why then do I get so consumed with fear? Why do I act out? Why do I push people away? Why do I not always have fortress faith that all will turn out well and good?


In other news, we got hit with the predicted white death! Yes, we got snow. Not a ton, but enough to cause some panic and delays...and school closings and early release from work. Yes, three inches of snow justified leaving work early for most. Me? I stayed and finished up some things. And then I went home to run in it. It was too difficult to resist. And it was likely the gym was closed. So, I slipped and slid on the fluffy white stuff.

And then I got up and did it again this morning. Most of downtown had been shoveled or salted, which made for easier footing. There's something about the morning, rising from a warm, cozy down comforter and stepping outside into the frozen tundra that isn't so difficult as coming home from a crazy day at work and heading out into the cold blowing snow. While I was out, I was actually able to concentrate on my form, which I haven't done in a while. It's so much easier to ignore when limbs are frozen and the only thoughts are about jumping puddles or bracing oneself from the wind. Today, I was able to think about the tuck and keeping my core tight but relaxed. Maybe it had to do with lifting my knees lest I slip in the snow?

It was when I was focusing on my form that I thought about that picture of me starting the run at IMKY, where you can see the tan line from my bike shorts peeking out my run shorts and you can see the excitement on my face, and there isn't a sign of fatigue to be found. And it all came flooding back to me, the feeling I had at that moment, the rush of adrenaline, the pure joy of being out there with a couple thousand other athletes, the reward of a long summer of training, of pain and endurance, of fun and laughter, of friends and family and sacrifice and loss. It's a feeling that, if able to evoke it, will leave one breathless. It's indescribable to those who haven't experienced. It's that feeling that brings tears to your eyes and you don't even know it's happening. It's pure gratitude, a zest for life, a reason for being out there.

And it wasn't until I got home and turned on the TV that I heard it was a mere 11 degrees outside with a windchill of below 0. Guess I was too in my head to even notice.


Mike Russell said...

What a cool moment you had today! While on the trainer tomorrow I am going to think back over the last couple of years and find the best triathlon related memory I have so I can lean on it when the going gets tough.

Anonymous said...

This is an awesome post! It really captures the purity of running and enjoying life.

Anonymous said...

sounds like an incredibly awesome and invigorating run!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

We got double the snow and only 2 hours away, whats up with that, and its snowed in some way, shape, or form now for 8 straight days.

zencycle said...

Kinda tough to work on your form when you don't have traction, ain't it?

I got two hours on IceBike staurday, and an hour of snow shoeing on sunday.