Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Day Off - The Light at The End of The Tunnel

First I have to say it's always fantastic when you sit down to do something constructive on your PC or mac and an automatic full system scan starts running and slows everything down.  Sweet!  Now that I've cancelled that maintenance for the time being allow us to continue.

This past holiday weekend I had the pleasure of working Friday through this past Wednesday.  Six days of work over the Memorial Day weekend which for many kicks off summer and all things outdoors.  Now I enjoy my job.  In fact on some levels I love it, but there are times when work is work and all jobs lose their glamour.  When you work six days straight and have extra work hours and activities each of those days the glamour dissipates as quickly as a drop of moisture on a hot Texas sidewalk in August.

Please don't misinterpret; I'm not complaining about work here.  It was a fun stretch of days. Friday and Saturday cruised by.  Sunday was brief, only seven hours logged at the shop.  I even managed to squeeze in two twelve mile runs over the weekend.  Fun, productive, and healthy!  By Monday things were starting to catch up, but I and my great staff were now subject to the conjuring of my imagination and our store's Memorial Day Block Party.  Headed down the road for a 7am arrival on Memorial Day my head was day dreaming of today, the day off.   How nice it will be to do nothing...  How nice it will be to do only what I put on my agenda for the day...  By 8am the store was hopping.  The energy was great.  We had the company of great customers, vendor reps who are more like friends than business associates, and a warm but beautiful north Texas day. 

Tuesday and Wednesday were like miles 18 - 24 of a marathon.  Never run one?  Let's just say I've never honestly felt "good" at this point in the 26 mile foot race.  They weren't bad days, just days with a list of to do's that were diligently discarded upon completion, like ticking away the steps down the trail or road.  You put them behind you as mindlessly as possible.

Miles 25 and 26 are the ones you just push through with desire because the end is so close you can taste it.  It's like standing over the grill five  minutes before the brisket gets pulled off after smoking for hours.  The flavor is on your tongue and the meat hasn't even been sliced.  The difference, my brisket was a social run and Newton Night.  An opportunity for intrigued runners to go for a run in the innovative Newton shoes which promote forefoot running followed by a conversation with the Newton rep and some Q & A.

We left sometime around 8pm; not too bad.  Onto the freeway, and up to 75mph, cruise control engaged, mind wandering...  How nice a day off will be...  Nothing to do...  Maybe I'll clean my closet.  I'll get my run in first, yes definitely run first...  I have a chiro appointment, don't forget that...  I said I'd start posting on my blog more.  I'll put that on the list too...  What will I do with nothing to do tomorrow???  Man it's nice to have a day off!

P.S.  Please do not forget that Memorial Day is meant to honor and remember all who have given there lives serving in the name of freedom and our country. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Why Run?

Life is filled with two types of activities; those we want to do and those we have to do or at least we've convinced ourselves of the latter. 

I run primarily because I want to, but there is a part of me that runs because I have to.  You see life is difficult and so is running.  Life is rewarding, so is running.  The more effort and consistency you put into life, generally the more you get out of it.  Again the same with running.  The theme carries on seamlessly it seems.

It would be self-centered and pitiful of me to say I have had a hard life.  I have not.  What I have had is a challenging life.  The reasons for the challenges I have faced are primarily a result of my own actions.  Perhaps that is why I enjoy running so much.  It is a self-inflicted challenge and I've been good at creating those since I spilled the better part of a bottle of Elmer's glue in a young female classmates hair in grade school.

Running has taken me many places in my young life, introduced me to many people, and taught me lessons and values.  Many of these people, places, and life lessons I'd probably not have known yet were it not for the run.  Running has pulled me out of depression.  It has carried me away from addiction.  It has given me something to focus on when the only other thing polluting my mind was the struggles of a challenging life.

This past weekend I ran 14 miles on Saturday and another 12 miles on Sunday.  Saturday's runs were enjoyable.  A passive peaceful eleven mile run to the start of  a local 5k followed by a memorable 5k run with my family and I ran every step with my son.  Those miles were both happy and easy.  Sunday I ran twelve miles on one of the hilliest and rockier trails in the Dallas area.  The run was beautiful.  I made new friends but the miles were harder, more challenging, tightness and fatigue from the prior days efforts fully set in.  Those runs were not the hardest thing I did this weekend though; that was taking my son home to his Mother and driving away.  We do this every other week so one might assume we are "used to it".  After seven years I have to say it is never easy for either of us.  I feel for him.  I hope it makes him strong.  I pray it does not create the inner-struggles for him that I found growing up.  I dream that he will find running in his life to be that part of him, that part of him that parallels life.  That thing he chooses to do.  The thing he wants to do.

Run to feel alive.  Run to stay alive.  Run because it reminds you you can do anything.