Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Back Peddling

If we write our dreams and goals down, we dramatically increase our odds of realization. If we share them with others, they become potent and alive. --- Kristin Armstrong.

And because of that very true sentence, I will write down my dreams and goals as they are right now.  Sometimes people are afraid to do that.  Heck, sometimes I am afraid to do that.... to share what I'm hoping to do or accomplish in a given time frame.  Because once it's out there, what if it doesn't unfold?  What if I don't get what I'm after?  There is something to be said about the attempt though.

This has been a week of dramatic realization for me.  I know some people struggling with life's sucker punches right now and hard as I have tried, it is impossible to feel even remotely what they are feeling.  I have found myself in a funk after Christmas like so many people often do.  And although January of 2012 has been quite awesome as far as weather goes, particularly for running, it is just always such a dismal month.  I find myself whining more, irritated with kids, salespersons, telemarketers, other drivers, ect.. much more than usual.  It's normal, it's cyclic, but it's got to stop.  Giving control of my emotions to things like what month it may be, is just stupid and a horrible waste of time.  Sarah and I talked about this very thing yesterday while running.  I was telling her about the tragic outcome of a family friend's pregnancy.  Meanwhile, I'm complaining about all kinds of various little insignificant "problems" in my life.  We talked about how unfair it sometimes is that some people get a tremendous amount of burden in life, while others seemingly do not.  I know I've touched on this before and have always felt strongly that as one who has not, there is a great responsibility to ease the pain of those who have, if even by just a small note.  Lately I have been living in a cocoon of selfishness.  Not reaching out to those in need.  I've heard of one tragedy after another... house fires, complicated pregnancies, relationships troubled or crumbling, family pets that have had to be put down... and the list goes on.  These are not just people I hear about, but people in my community, people who are friends.. people who mean something to me.  I have not been unaffected by their problems, but I haven't tripped over myself offering help either.  This bothers me.  Because this is not who am nor who I want to become.  The person that says "Oh jeez, that sucks.  I am really sorry for what you are going through..." and then carries on with my own life.  I have the time to extend myself further, and so I should.

This brings me to the part about putting out there dreams and goals.  Maybe it's turning 40 this year.  Or maybe it's the sadness that surrounds some people that I know.  Or maybe it's KNOWING that I have so much more left than a 50 mile jaunt.  But yes, I would love to attempt... ok, make that FINISH... a 100 mile ultra marathon.  Ok, I KNOW I said that I would never, ever do it (hence the title).  Please don't refer me to my recap of Burning River where I said "NO WAY".  Don't do that.  I am already admitting that I was wrong.  There seems to be this weird sense of needing to challenge myself to get through the hardest thing I've ever done.  And a 100 mile race on foot is much more a mental challenge than it is a physical one (although I expect to physically have the shit beaten out of me). I expect that by a certain mile, I will hate running and everything it stands for.  And if I can give in to the temptation of stopping or quitting and press on, I imagine this will symbolize a strength I unknowingly possess that will come in handy some day when I need to get through any challenge thrown my way.  That is why some people do these extreme tests of physical endurance.  It's certainly not about burning calories or exercise.  It's about getting to the core of who you are when faced with a terrific challenge.  It's about how you handle yourself, how you treat the people around you that are there to help.  When Jack was stripped down to sheer exhaustion and sickness at Burning River, I saw the core of who he was.  Much as I make fun of him for being "Mr. Positive", I can't tell you how much I admire that man.  How much his enthusiasm and thankfulness to all who came out to help him was apparent even during his toughest miles.  Compare that to trying to have a pleasant conversation with yours truly at 9 pm when I'm tired.  Makes me feel pretty pathetic.

So there it is.  Out there in black and white.  My goals (not just for 2012, but for always):  To be more aware and compassionate of the burdens of others and offer help or kindness in any way and to run 100 miles.

Just two goals.  That seems pretty doable.

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