Wednesday, October 8, 2014

You gotta have faith

Last night we were running through the switchbacks of Dryer Rd Park. I had gone out with the fast group. I don't know why. I'm not fast. It must have been the coffee/hot chocolate-Dayquil-ColdEeze cocktail rushing through my bloodstream. Or maybe I just like chasing dudes through the woods. We were running up and down and around and around. The haze of headlamps at dusk and the leaves obscuring the trail made a rather precarious path. I kept thinking that every step could be my downfall. But it was a beautiful night, one of the guys started singing The Who's Pinball Wizard as we headed down the Pinball trail, and I loved every minute of it. Pete said "It takes a lot of faith to run through these leaves." And I thought, I hope I can muster enough faith to run through life like this.

Then he said to me, "You are an incredible athlete." Or something like that. It was a very nice compliment so of course it went in one ear and out the other and I said "No I'm not." He asked why I thought that and I said "All I do is run, and not very fast or very far." I wish that I had just said "Thank you." But I don't consider myself an athlete. I know people who eat 100 mile races and Ironmans for breakfast. They are the athletes. I'm just a person who runs because I can't not run. I'm a middle of the pack runner at best, and I'm happy simply to be out there, running for hours and having all the conversations. Still, it occurs to me that I'm exceedingly lucky to be surrounded by people who see the best in me and I probably shouldn't be contradicting them all the time.

I think I just had a bad taste in my brain left over from the previous night's dressing room debacle. I went to the mall, which in retrospect was probably my first mistake. I mean, does any great adventure ever take place at a mall? Well, there was that mall scene in John Dies At The End. Maybe I'm just shopping at the wrong mall. Anyways, I went to the mall hoping to find a new dress to wear to Pete's Navy Ball on Saturday night. I don't know why I still think there is going to be this one dress that I put on and suddenly become the person I always wanted to be. It's ridiculous. But the myth of "the one" dress persists. I didn't even really like any of the dresses, but thought maybe they would look better on. Nope, not even close. I don't know what it is about the lights in fitting rooms, but they are like laser beams pointing out every flaw and laughing at them. And I don't get it. After running 24 miles on Saturday, I was feeling so good about myself and so thankful for my strong legs and then I stepped into a fitting room and I couldn't even look at my legs without feeling ashamed that they are not perfect, whatever that means. And it's just bullshit. I started to feel bad and then I thought, Shut that shit down. You get to choose how you feel. Don't choose this. Those dresses are ill-fitting and have weird necklines and you don't even like them. And yes, you have a mosquito bite on your neck. So what? How ridiculous and awesome is that? Who else does that happen to? Maybe that's going to be the next hot accessory. Ok, probably not. But whatever. Those bites and bruises and wobbly bits are the marks of a life well lived, a body used up to its full potential. You have nothing to be but grateful for and proud of that.

I went home, ordered a dress online and figured if it doesn't fit or I don't like it, I'll return it and wear one of the dresses in my closet. Sometimes it annoys me that I still get tripped up by moments of self-consciousness and body image issues, but at least I'm getting much better at talking myself out of them. I'm getting better at embracing the imperfections and the uncertainties too, at not knowing where my next step will take me but trusting that it will be awesome. Like the man said, it takes a lot of faith. Hopefully I get to chase him through the woods for the rest of my life.

Lyric of the moment: "In the place where I make no mistakes. In the place where I have what it takes..." (I don't know where this place is, but I'm pretty sure it's not a fitting room.)

No comments:

Post a Comment