Friday, September 13, 2013

A Change in Perspective

My 10pm walk with Queen Doom and the dogs last night was awesome. While totaling only about a third of a mile and still in my boot, I had no pain and actually started walking semi-normal again. It seems (as long as I monitor it) walking on my heel is behind me now and I can gradually start flexing and stretching the arch to the toes. Within seconds the smell of the wet asphalt, newly watered shrubbery and fragrant flowers filled my head. It was almost as if the torrential downpour in Golden Valley last night was a sign from nature, clearing away all the smoke in the air. Things that are broken, burnt or hazy will be become new and clear again with some care and of course, time. It’s ironic to think of all the epic runs I had this year a third of a mile walk around the block could be so thrilling. I was moved by the walk, so much so at 1am I woke up, got out of bed, grabbed a piece of paper and scribbled some notes.

I awoke this morning feeling fresh for the first time in months and hopefully ready to change my perspective, I looked at my notes tucked into my wallet before I did anything this morning.
October 25th
Burning Man
My two buckles
Nelson Family Clan

I've written down good things in my life (in no particular order), the things of which I am proud. Not everything of course, after all I did this in a, just awoken stupor, but the big stuff none the less. None of those things are perfect, but they all in their own way have helped me create a wonderful life. I've had trouble recognizing the good in things for a while now. I’m choosing to change; I’m going to look at this list once a day for a month first thing when I wake up, before the reality of the trials and tribulations of life creep in. I've found myself over the last 6 months or so not smiling and generally not terribly happy. I've allowed life’s issues to bury my positivity; I once sought the good in everything. Lately I dwell on the bad, unable to see the light.

Last night I was reminded of perspective. I could only walk a third of a mile, a relative blip on the screen compared to the 30+ mile jaunts in the wilderness of early in the year. I could (and lately would have) dwelled on the fact that a third of a mile is insignificant to me. The thought process of “all I can do is a measly third of a mile” would have been my go to thought. Instead, half way through the walk right after I said to Dominique “I’m glad we did this” my perspective changed. I’m not sure why, but the thought “I get to go around the block with my three favorite beings” dominated my mind. It was a perspective epiphany of sorts I guess.

I thought this foot thing was going to be 3-4 weeks, which in hindsight was idiotic and based solely on the amount of pain not severity of the injury. It’s been 4 weeks and I’m nowhere near close. It’s clear now; we are talking more like 6-10 weeks (you what I was actually told, but chose not to believe). 2 weeks from now I was hoping to do a double circumnavigation of Lake Tahoe, I had hoped to have been coming off the heels of an epic 130 mile solo journey to my most cherished city in the world, instead I've been blessed with time. Time to get my house in order; I've been amazingly productive on that front. Time to help my fiancĂ© with wedding plans; time to sleep in on weekends and time to learn how to ride that road bike I bought the last time this happened, a massive change in perspective indeed.

I love to run and run far. I miss my mornings on top of Peavine as the sun rises, for the first time since I started running in 2009 I could not run to my spot on Peavine and watch the hot air balloon races. I know those things will come back to me, hopefully I've learned that I cannot constantly push the envelope with my health. Because when I do, inevitably I will lose those things I love due to injury. 4 stress fractures, plantar fasciitis and a torn tendon in 4 years with 1.5 years being the longest I've gone without an injury is just not acceptable.  I do not have just myself to worry about anymore; I need to be healthy for my family. I need to step back from some of my selfish ways and start thinking about the how I can make this work. I need to stop doing what I want and start doing what is smart. If I’m to continue on with running, and achieving my considerably lofty goals, I have to make changes all over the place.

Life is a roller coaster and sometimes when the dips are long enough I forget that they will not last. I become cynical and negative. I make it hard for those around me to care for me, because I retreat back to my safe place. I think by looking at this list first thing in the morning I’ll be reminded of how truly fortunate I am. There have been times in my life when I could not write even 1 entry on that list, I’m blessed those days are gone. I know a lot of people who would struggle to find anything good going on for them right now; I am blessed to not have those problems.

I’ve got it good…real good. It’s time I started reminding myself of that more often and of course, cutting myself some slack. If there is one dominating thought I brought home from Burning Man this year it is this; the pursuit of perfection (ie my constant pushing of all things) is fine and dandy but you’ll always be disappointed if being perfect is the only acceptable outcome. I’m changing my perspective, it's my choice and that's the way it should be.