Today I woke up and did what was supposed to be a really effortless, shake-it-out, relaxed 30 minute run. But by the time I turned up the ramp onto the Mass Ave bridge, I was picking off “fast-looking” runners on my way to creating about 18 different challenges that would leave me breathless and heaving against the wrought iron fence under the dogwood tree in front of my three-windowed apt. It’s days like this where I perform recklessly for the sake of one big fat Kay-Litmus test to see if I have what it takes to....to what? School the early morning joggers? sure. Anything to entertain my mind and drop the innocent like flies. I rue the day i became competitive and the days when i should take it easy and i decide to lay guts on the esplanade. reminds me of one of my most FAAAAVorite quotes, which secretly I want to memorize and perform to an unsuspecting audience during
- an acceptance speech
- a wedding ceremony
“Or we can blaze! Become legends in our own time, strike fear in the heart of mediocre talent everywhere! We can scald dogs, put records out of reach! Make the stands gasp as we blow into an unearthly kick from three hundred yards out! We can become God’s own messengers delivering the dreaded scrolls! We can race dark Satan himself till he wheezes fiery cinders down the back straightaway....They’ll speak our names in hushed tones, ‘those guys are animals’ they’ll say! We can lay it on the line, bust a gut, show them a clean pair of heels. We can sprint the turn on a spring breeze and feel the winter leave our feet! We can, by God let our demons loose and just wail on!” ~Quenton Cassidy, Once a Runner
(ummm, can you imagine saying it - with theatrical pause - as the opener to a Maid of Honor/Best Man speech? fantastic.)
I measure me. I take little measurements of me every day. Mostly, I think, without knowing it. And then I stack it against the backdrop of the tapestry I think I am. It’s like knowing what you look like, and seeing your face in the mirror. The two are very different, because one accounts for the 3D picture, the other is just your surface shot:)
For me, running is the simplest way for me to be every angle of who I am; vulnerable, fierce, timid, engaged, happy, distracted, cool, pensive, confident, uneasy, etc. What I think is funny is the weight I give to the fact that I pass others or others pass me. It really doesn’t matter. The guy could’ve eaten a banana with bad almond-butter. Who knows? The truth is, a run reflects very little of where you stack up against others, and very much of where you stack up with yourself.
some days, you just need to wail on.