Sunday, August 1, 2010

My life, as of now

I am an emotional roller coaster. I pretty much always have been. I mean, my calculus teacher in high school even said so. And the boss I had at CVS through high school/college still tells stories of me going ballistic in the back room after dealing with idiot customers...or idiot coworkers. When I was a kid, I was sooo incredibly shy. And sensitive beyond belief. I would cry at the slightest bit of constructive criticism.

Luckily, the world has decided to toughen me up a bit and throw me a few assholes to fall in love with. And it's given me a few hurdles to overcome. And, ya know, I've come out on the other side of each one stronger, fuller, wiser, better. Don't get me wrong. They've all entailed tears and tantrums and yelling and screaming and blaming and name calling. And it's typically all very dramatic and excruciating. Like, bottom-of-the-barrel-psycho-wanna-die-or-kill-someone kinda pain. And as suddenly as it came on, it's gone. I've come to a point of acceptance (or I've gained some amount of control) and I move on.

But this one...this one is different. It's lingering. I awake from dreams and have to actually bring myself back to reality before reality sinks in. This one has me stuck a bit. And when I feel stuck, I run. A lot. Running is my first love. No matter how horrible a day, a run can relax me. It can take off the edge.

I can find relief in a run.

And it just so happens that I've been reading Born to Run, which is AMAZING, by the way. And as I was reading through last night, a certain point struck me. The author is speaking of the Tarahumara and their running. And how one coach stumbled upon their "it" factor. That "it" factor that makes them so strong and fast and, well, what you can't put into words; character. The notion of character that is compassion. Kindness. Love.
"[He] couldn't quite put his finger on it, but his gut kept telling him there was some kind of connection between the capacity to love and the capacity to love running. The engineering was certainly the same: both depended on loosening your grip on your own desires, putting aside what you wanted and appreciating what you got, being patient and forgiving and undemanding...we wouldn't be alive without love; we wouldn't have survived without running; maybe we shouldn't be surprised that getting better at one could make you better at the other."
I don't really know what I'm getting at here, except that maybe, subconciously, my love of running increases when there is less love from other sources. But hell, what do I know?
I also put in a couple good swim practices and a solo 90 mile ride on my day off. It was one of those rides where I started and suddenly, I was stopping at mile 45 to get some fluids. And before I knew it, I was back to where i started. And I barely recalled having just ridden for 4.5 hours.

Oh, and I've been working a lot. At the bike shop. The days go by quickly. And I'm learning a lot. But there is a complete difference between being on your feet all day at work and sitting in front of a computer in a cubicle all day at work. the former leaves you much more tired. But i get to talk with lots of interesting people (coworkers included).

And this week, I'm dog-sitting for my dad. It's already hectic. A lab/husky pup, a full grown lab and my Clubby. So life is definitely not dull right now. But some days it sure is blah.


Ray said...

Not really sure WHY, but the timing of some of your posts (this one included) ironically hit home quite often. You inspire on a number of different levels. Thanks for that.

Kim said...

i just bought born to run! excited to start reading it. nice job with the runs and swims and um solo 90 mile ride! glad to hear things are far from dull!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

I view my biking like you do running. I always wondered my I feel at peace on the bike, then I found this quote, it explains it all to me, decided to share it.

"Racing is so hard, the suffering is so intense, that it's absolutely cleansing. You can go out there with the weight of the world on your shoulders, and after a hard race at a high pain threshold, you feel at peace. The pain is so deep and strong that a curtain descends over your brain. At least for a while you a kind of a hall pass, and don't have to brood on your problems; you can shut everything else out, because the effort and subsequent fatigue is absolute"

Mollie said...

Born to Run is awesome! I read it last year. I've always LOVED running, but wow, that book made me love running more! I know what you mean about the almost-spiritualness in it.

Check out my blog post - I included links to sources about the book/subject.

The Iron Curtains said...

"The notion of character that is compassion. Kindness. love of running increases when there is less love from other sources. But hell, what do I know?"

You know a lot, Amanda. Your recent posts have been spot on, and this one is no different.

Remember, feeling compassion, kindness, and love for yourself is just as important as feeling it for others. It seems to me that for you running is your key way of showing love and compassion for yourself. I think that is why you run so much when you feel less love from other sources. Running is something you do only for yourself.

Love is everywhere. You'll discover it again from other sources soon enough. For now, showing yourself this love is so very important. Keep it up, Amanda.