Thursday, February 26, 2015

A milkshake toast to the strangeness and awkwardness

One benefit of this viciously cold winter is that it's making me want to stay inside where it's warm, and consequently I've gotten into a regular routine of strength training and yoga. I know it is good for me and will make me a stronger runner. Yet, there is this underlying sense of discouragement I have been unable to shake. I don't feel like I'm making any improvements. I mostly just feel awkward, inflexible and uncoordinated. You certainly wouldn't be able to tell from looking at me that I even have any muscles at all.

This frustrates me because I don't want to care about results or how I look. Those things are unimportant and I know that, but I still get stuck in that self-critical place sometimes. And yet, I keep going back to class. I think it's only because of the music. Especially at the end of  Centergy (a weird pilates/yoga/tai chi mash-up class) when they play this amazing cover of The Proclaimers' I'm Gonna Be (500 miles). That song, it gets me every time. And it reminds me who I am and why I do what I do. Despite the fact that I can be almost recklessly relentless in the pursuit of goals, I'm not actually a goal oriented person. As soon as I achieve a goal, I'm like okay what's next? It's not the achievement I care about, it's the effort to get there, and finding enjoyment in that effort regardless of the outcome. Sometimes I'll say something like I need to run 12 miles on Saturday. Whereby I really mean that I have 12 miles on my training plan for that day. But I also mean that I need it in the same way that I need food or water or air. Not 12 miles per se. I just need motion, exertion, effort. I need to try, experience, learn, grow. I need runs and adventures and meaningful relationships. Those things are as essential to my life as breathing and eating and sleeping. And yes, I'd like to be better at all those things, especially at relationships. The thing I have to keep reminding myself is to do those things for the love of doing them and not be attached to any particular result.

I finally got to that place in running, where I just run for the joy of it, where it makes me happy whether I feel good or bad, whether I'm going fast or slow, whether solo or with friends. It didn't happen overnight. It took years. So maybe someday I will get there with yoga and with strength training. Though I'm a little skeptical. When I run I have this feeling like this is home, this is what I'm meant to be doing (even though I'm way more lumbering elephant than graceful gazelle). I never feel that way about contorting myself into yoga poses. But I guess you never know. Stranger things have happened. Actually, my life has been a series of strange and wonderful things happening. So maybe I should milkshake toast to the strangeness and keep on awkwardly keeping on.

Lyric of the moment: "When I come home, oh, I know I'm gonna be, I'm gonna be the man who comes back home to you. And if I grow old, well, I know I'm gonna be, I'm gonna be the man who's growing old with you. But I would walk five hundred miles. And I would walk five hundred more. Just to be the man who walked a thousand miles to fall down at your door..."

No comments:

Post a Comment