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What’s Goin’ On

On July 9, 2010, in Lifestyle, by Meghan
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It is inherent in the culture of the ultrarunners, and the perceptive non-runners who reside in close context to us ultra-distance folk, to begin conversations with, “What are you training for?” and “What big race is next?” These days, these questions are coming full throttle, as people familiar with my life know that I’ve almost always got something on the back (and sometimes front) running burners, and it’s been a few months since the Marathon des Sables. In addition to these external inquisitions, my brain, too, is asking the same questions.

Nothing’s up when it comes to my racing. Though I’ve verbalized a few racing brainstorms for the near future, none of them have lit a fire of training excitement. Only a bit is up with running, even. Right now, I run mostly because that’s what my body knows. Since I was about 14, I’ve no matter what put on my running shoes a few times a week.

Truth be told, I’m running lost, among other things. I’ve lost much of my life to my work and all the trimmings that it entails. My work is kind of like an umbrella that spreads itself over the entirety of my world, blocking the views beyond. In theory, what I do for my work infuses me with great passion. In practice, the passion comes and goes with flame-like flickerings because the great parts are lost in other stuff not fit for publication here. There used to be much going on, but now my world is pared down to work and just a few life smidgens.

I’ve spent some time mourning the dichotomy between how I want to feel and how I do feel about my work. I’ve tested solutions on how to bring the two together. Turns out, most of it is out of my hands. For example, I can embrace the idea that, as I pass my 2 1/2 hours of commuting time each day, I have probably the most beautiful drive to work in America. But, even if I see beautiful sunrises and sunsets as I drive, I possess no power to change the fact that I’m for hours a day separated from that big, beautiful world by a pane of windshield glass.

Greener pastures await me, this I know. I’ve already done the top-of-lungs, kicking, screaming bit where I’ve mourned this lost battle. Of late, I’ve been wending, plodding, salmon-upstream-swimming up a big hill, against a momentum that is the high speed downhill streaking of daily life, towards a head space that allows for the possibility of change. I’ve just now arrived to that hill’s summit and a brilliant sunrise with blinking, blinding, fantastic degrees of hope and possibility. What I see now is a world of grassy, green pastures and they’re all beautiful!

I see in these pastures a world where my work will not dominate any more than my other life pieces. I will again have regular, ritual-ed time to concoct a well-balanced meal over a cutting board and stove, and to sit down at a table and enjoy its slow consumption. I will sleep adequate amounts, and not worry that too much sleep is precluding the other things I need to do. I’ll make painful re-acquaintance with strength training so that I can again do a bunch of real pull-ups. I will go on sunset walks with my boyfriend and dog because, really, can it get much better than that? I will have the headspace for the inspired writing that I love to do. I will reintroduce to my stiffened musculature and tired mind the strength and peace derived from daily yoga practice. I will re-learn to hike with other kindred spirits, because this used to be a favored hobby. I’ll dust off my library card and let my eyes prance through the stories that books tell for the first time in a long time. I will sit around and drink beer once in a while, if only to embrace the fact that I’m just plain wasting a wee bit of time. And, of course, I will become a runner again.

A green pasture of Yellowstone National Park green rolls into the forested hills beyond (July, 2005).

There you go, there is the answer to all of your questions, and my own, about what’s goin’ on.

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8 Responses to “What’s Goin’ On”

  1. JeffO says:

    I've been through several "phases" in life. Maybe you're just changing gears? You've had a rich life that has provided you with a wealth of wisdom and power. You will do well.

  2. Danni says:

    You will find the right balance. I have no excuse for not running much or having anything on tap.

  3. Sunshine Girl says:

    The future is yours to discover! Whatever changes are occurring, if they allow you more freedom of time and the opportunity to experience the pleasure of enjoying a balanced, healthy, happy life – Change is Good. Go.

  4. Meghan says:

    JeffO, Danni, and Leslie, who knows if you three will ever read my comment at this late date, but I wanted to say THANK YOU for your thoughts! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Danni says:

    This popped up in my read again due to the transition to your new website I assume. It’s great because I was feeling the same way but found something that really excites me. Maybe you want to come? ๐Ÿ™‚ (Snow!)

  6. Meghan says:

    Hi Danni, I’m super happy to hear you’ve found something that excites you! Maybe I do want to come?! If you mean roller derby, though, I’m super scared of losing my teeth! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. danni says:

    SUSITNA!

  8. Meghan says:

    I love the way you think, girl! I don’t think I have any 100 milers in my near future, though. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I can’t wait to watch your journey to the c-c-c-c-old!

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