Writers' block is not pretty. Not in the slightest. And the few ideas which suddenly pop into my mind are immediately countered with a suspicion that I've written on this before, or the topic has become irrelevant. Perhaps that's why guys retire, huh?
I promised I'd get up early this morning and type this all down while things were quiet and I had a full (rest) day ahead of me. Alas, the blanket monster got me. Thank you, Pandora; thank you Journey, for reinforcing this topic...
So, there I was, out on the Monday "easy run." It's kind of insane to be out running at 5 or 6 in the afternoon, especially in the late spring when temperature and humidity are one step shy of suicidal. Yes, that's the very reason my friends do all their outdoor running before the crack of dawn. But the effort level is supposed to be easy on that day, at least for me. If I need to go harder it's indoors and on the treadmill. Another topic altogether,
I go out with one or more friends who are a little more relaxed in their pace, which gives me the opportunity to pull them along and be a social kind of guy. It's a different dynamic than the Sunday morning long run, because the folks who run with me on Monday night wouldn't get up early on a Sunday to run. Not even if a gun was pointed at their head. For some it would only serve as a hangover remedy.
About three miles in, my (female) companion starts to mutter about her midsection and all the work she's doing to try and make it go away.
Her: "I have what looks like a beer belly but I don't drink beer. I spend three mornings a week at the gym..."
Me: "Mm hmm..."
Her: "...run on the beach on Wednesdays..."
Her: "...doing sit-ups and weights..."
Me: "...raising two boys..."
Her: "...portion control..."
Me: "...husband and a household..."
Her: "...bicycle tire..."
Me: "...not a Michelin Radial X, at least!"
Finally. she says, "you got any recommendations? Is there anything missing that I can do to take care of this?"
I decided to bring out the big guns. "The only thing you're missing, as far as I can tell, is patience. You need to learn to love yourself. All the other things will fall in line."
We are all too often haunted by the Dickensian "ghost of runner/athlete/person past;" the lean, mean, high-speed, low-drag version of our present selves. Even a medical professional, when met with a potential patient for augmentation, will most likely say that a positive self-image is more beneficial than all the nip-and-tuck and saline and silicone they can provide.
I'm not going to stop working out in light of this "kind-of-revelation;" the gym visits will still continue. I can look toward any of the mirrors at "Iron-O-Rama" and see enough (near-unhealthy) self-love, and some self-loathing for that matter. We're amazing creations, no matter the creation tale you believe, so we should do what we can with what we are as often as we can get away with it. We never can tell when the ability to run, bicycle, swim, lift weights, dance, you fill in the blank here, is going to go away. And we can choose to do two things when be begin to see the latter pages in the playbook; accept it gracefully or go down kicking and screaming.
Suzanne likes the graceful exit. I, for one, choose the kicking and screaming because I want someone to hear me.
I'll accept my physical limitations but I won't accept or tolerate my laziness, or justify my bad habits. We need to realize we didn't get to the state we're in overnight and it's going to take as long, if perhaps not a little longer, to return to where we believe we should be. It's going to be a journey, so enjoy the ride...you might not ever get to what you thought was the destination.