Thursday, May 07, 2009

More Running

I did 45 minutes of Long Slow Distance (LSD) today. I have no idea how far I went, but it was probably somewhere in the vicinity of 4.5 miles. I took it slow, recovering from the past two training days.

Here’s what I thought about while I was running:

I thought about acceptance. I thought about accepting that something is wrong, accepting the consequences that come with something being wrong, and accepting the fact that trying to “quick fix” the various consequences won’t solve the main problem.

Think of me as a guy with the flu.

When you have the flu, you have a sore throat, a fever, a cough, the chills, a runny nose, and pains all over your body. What do most people do when this happens? Well, if you have medical insurance – and some sense – you go to a doctor, get a prescription for some antibiotics, then go home, go to bed, and sweat it out. This, however, is not what I do when I get the metaphorical “flu.”

Here’s what I’ve done for many, many years:

I caught myself a nice little flu bug a few years back, but couldn’t see the forest for the trees, if you will. I only saw a collection of symptoms (consequences), and I tried to attack them one by one instead of putting everything together and going to the source.

I said, “Man, if I could only get rid of this runny nose, I’ll be fine.” So, I went to the pharmacy, bought some nasal spray and made my nose stop running. Meanwhile, I was still coughing and feverish, and I had the chills like a motherfucker. And my throat was killing me.

So, I took some cough syrup and put a few extra blankets over me, but I forgot to keep using the nasal spray, so my nose started running again, and I still had a fever and my throat felt like it was on fire.

I gargled with some salt water and took a painkiller, but I’d kicked off the blankets, lost the nasal spray and forgotten to take another spoonful of cough syrup.

I could go on, but I think you get the point here.

When you don’t treat the flu, when you pretend you don’t have it and go about your business, out in the cold, like it’s not happening, it turns into pneumonia. Ignore the pneumonia and you’re fucked.

That’s my metaphor for stopping a backslide and protecting what you’ve got left. My flu was about to turn into pneumonia. Maybe it already did, but a conversation with a guy I’ll call The Pro made me change the way I look at things.

“Look at the people you’ve surrounded yourself with,” he said to me.

Continuing this flu charade, those people are my arms, legs, mind, heart and talent. I still have those things. The flu can’t kill them off. It tried, but it hasn’t. You treat the flu at the source, the symptoms go away. And, in time, you’re as good as new.

That’s what’s happening right now.