It’s Saturday, and my workout for today was mile repeats—1 mile hard x 4, to be exact, with a 2 mile warm up and a 1 mile cool down. On a good day, mile repeats challenge my WHY. Why am I doing this? Am I any good at this? Am I ever going to be even sort of fast at this? Is my head EVER going to get on board and not work against me? That’s on a good day, when I’ve got my shit together. On a day like today, following this past week, which, in a nutshell, consisted of my daughter moving away to another state (and I mean, like, THE move, the BIG one) and me, subsequently, having to recalibrate my eating, my workouts, my routine, my new career venture, my relationship…well this is the kind of day when I damn well better know why the hell I’m out here doing this. So I procrastinate until almost noon, and head out the door on pretty shaky footing.
A mile and half in, which is still my warm up, my headphones (which I charged, or I thought I charged) crapped out. Huh, I think. I have to run these miles without music, without distraction…so I get to run this workout totally and absolutely tuned in to my own brain? Ut oh…
Every step of that workout was an exercise in trying to find the right mindset, the right headspace. I can just quit. I'll do 3 repeats instead of 4. I'll plan my writing. It’s only one mile—take it one mile at a time. My knee actually really hurts. It’s not an I-should-stop-kind-of-hurt, but it’s not helping. I'm moving along, pushing, not stopping, settling in to the workout and kind of fighting off the demons at the same time, and I finally I ask myself: So, why are you doing this again? I didn’t get an answer, exactly, but I remembered this quote by Winston Churchill:
"Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about."
Well, I can’t go a day without thinking about running and fitness. I can't go a day without thinking about the past four years and the next four years and the work I've done and what to work on next, and on and on and on…I actually can’t go more than a few hours. This work serves a bigger, bigger, BIGGER purpose, by far. PR’s and Time Trials and Elevation Gain Challenges and trying to get a pull up and wanting to stand on a podium (some podium, any podium, just once!)… and mile repeats on a Saturday--it’s all a catalyst for learning about me. This is showing me my life. My body holds stories, and when I run, my body tells me those stories. And the more I run my body, and the more I lift the weights, and the more I feed my body well, and rest my body…the more I treat myself and reward myself and invest in my body, the more my body tells me. And the more it reveals, the stronger my mind gets. And the stronger my mind gets, the more I expand what I have set as my limits, consciously and unconsciously; physically and mentally. I'll never give up on this. It holds all the answers, and all the possibilities. And even all the questions I don't even know to ask yet.
I guess I do know my WHY, after all.