I have, maybe like many people, Dory's voice from Finding Nemo in my head when I get stuck or I'm not sure what to do next: Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. It's not to say there aren't times when the answer is to stop and assess or to stop and breathe. Those times are required too. But you've got to know yourself, and I know that my default is to freeze.
I don't think I really knew this about myself until I started running again, which I hate to admit because I started running again at 49 years old. That adds up to a lot of frozen years. There was so much to learn, not just academically about running but about me as a runner. And so I spent a lot of time stopping, not to assess or to breathe, but simply because all I had really practiced in life was stopping--freeze like a bunny and maybe life won't see me, maybe the problem will pass me by. I've talked before about the little runner deep inside of me, relentless in her pursuit to keep the fire going or to at least keep the embers burning hot. Thank god for her and her tenacity. I just kept making frozen choices and she just kept fanning the flame.
So because of good coaching, when I started running again I had to address all of my quitting workouts or not doing assigned workouts or stopping during workouts. He didn't let me off the hook because I think he sensed something deeper in me. I did keep showing up, after all. Down deep I wanted change. Down deep that little runner by the fire was sending out an S.O.S. and my coach was answering that call. So I kept running. I hit walls and I made improvements and I hit even bigger walls. I doubted myself and I am constantly at risk of a deep freeze when I spend too much time paying attention to the runners in the other lanes. But running is literally taking action, and every run has a payoff. Even after the shittiest of runs I still move forward that day, and it changes something. It changes me as a runner and it changes me as a person.
I didn't have to scramble very long for an answer this time to my current state of being pulled in many directions: just keep swimming. Action is the fundamental key to success, and it doesn't necessarily have to be in the arena that has you baffled. All the arenas in our lives are connected, I think; and taking action in one will move the needle in the others. Oh and one more thing, and this is me reminding me: it doesn't have to be perfect. In fact, it isn't going to be perfect. Just go run. Just go write. Just go move something.
Just keep swimming...