Monday, November 20, 2006

An Open Box

I've been in a questioning sort of mode lately. Trying to figure out what I want out of running - out of life, what I wanna do next week, next month, next year. Thinking about what I want to be when I grow up. The truth is, there are just so many choices, how do you pick and choose? I think it all got overwhelming to me, so I took a break from it - all of it.

It's like I've spent the last couple of weeks in a box. (I've had really sick kids at home for a few weeks, so that skews all normal perspectives to begin with.) But I've been avoiding really dealing with my thoughts. Not like depression - my friend described it more like a cocoon where you go into waiting in preparation for something. I think I've been really fortunate to accomplish the things I've done in life, and to learn from the experiences I've had. But now what? Some people plan and have goals and become so focused on the road ahead that they miss all of the side streets. Some people spend so much time browsing the side streets that they never reach their destination. I guess I'm not into browsing, but I'm not ready to form a new destination, either. So one would think that you should carry on and let life lead you. But I have an itch for so much more right now. An itch for what, I don't know. I have so many passions and my inner spirit seems to transform and change and grow exponentially by the day. The idea of what I want to do next is starting to consume my thoughts.

But then there's always today to think about. The present. I started my training for Boston last week. And if it's not Boston, it'll be Eugene. It always seems it's the easy training goals that I can't meet, and the harder ones that come easy. I really want to focus on my cross-training. The gym is about a quarter mile from my house - it's faster to walk than drive and park. Pool. Weights. Cardio stuff. Indoor Track. Yoga. Childcare. Open early. Open late. My job is my family, and although it's very busy, it's very very flexible. So why aren't I meeting my cross-training goals? I've met all of my running workout and mileage goals even though my legs hurt because I need new shoes and haven't bought any. You'd think I'd cross-train. Of course, there is a newly surfaced track also a quarter mile from my house, and the beach is down the street. Go figure. Inside? Outside? Outside. I do have a bike, but it's very wet out there and I'd simply rather run. I think I need to start an incentive plan. (There's also a new drive-thru Starbucks being built less than a quarter mile from my house. Incentives . . hmmm)

Thanksgiving is coming up. I boycotted it this year. I'm thankful for that. We're going to play at the beach for the day. And I don't mean the beach. I mean THE beach. We're going to take the day and drive to the mighty Pacific Ocean to play. I'm so excited. I really need to get out and play. We went to the cabin over the weekend, and the snow was most excellent, but it just wasn't enough outside time. I think maybe we'll have pizza for dinner and watch a movie on Thanksgiving. I'm thankful for our little family, and that's exactly who I want to spend the day with. This weekend is also our wedding anniversary and the Seattle Marathon weekend. I'm not running, but it's a weekend event for us. Maybe that'll give me something to write about later this week.

And my great reads for the week - The Alchemist by Paulo Coelo, The Extra Mile - an autobiography by ultrarunner Pam Reed, and Clearcut by Nina Shengold. (Told you I've been in a box for a while.) They're all vastly different and fascinatingly enlightening in different ways.


Anonymous said...

just think, you can finish all your runs / workouts at starbuck's, and call the 3 blocks home your "cooldown"

Sarah said...

Enjoy your Thanksgiving! I love mixing things up like that. You are sure to have a great day and will make some great memories for your family! ("Remember the time we had pizza for Thanksgiving?!")
: )

Anonymous said...

Starbucks is an incentive, that's for sure. It's funny, the commitment cross-training takes. It's different than the running commitment, if you are really "in to" running at the time.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving at the beach!

stephruns said...

New goals will come if you stay open for them. i think forcing them doesn't work; they might not be the right ones then. i also think that there are times when we go thru life like a long walk in the dry desert...when there is nothing that stimulates us or better, when we DON'T WANT TO be stimulated. The hike can be endless long at times, but when the time is right, you will open your eyes as never before and then..IT'S ALL THERE!!!!!!!

Anne said...

What you describe sounds like a classic case of burnout.

My daughter read The Alchemist for college this semester and loved it. Oh, and down here, the beach is a popular place on Thanksgiving too.

Sarah Elaine said...

I really enjoyed The Alchemist. Hope you do, too.

I enjoy reading your blog because it shows me that maybe what goes on in my head is more normal than I thought.

Enjoy THE beach!

IHateToast said...

oh wow. i read the alchemist. our anniversary IS thanksgiving. we're pretty much on a beach...


thanksgiving isn't about the food, it's about whatever it is you're thankful for. so... in a way, you're not boycotting it. you're just not being traditional. and yea you for it!

and i agree with stephruns, so i won't restate it. if we all agree with steph, that'd be a stephlocaucus.

iliketoast said...

Congratulations on your anniversary ... ours is the same day (actually we celebrate on Thanksgiving rather than a date). This made me think of the "roads" you write about. Me, I'm all straight ahead and after the goal where Katy is into all the side streets. Together it works cause she will get me to come and look at the best of the side streets and I will keep us heading along the way.

Anonymous said...

Amy just read the Extra Mile and was pretty amazed by it. I might have to bring it on vacation with me. Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

Please let me know how you like Pam's book. It just showed up at my house from Amazon and I am keen on reading it.

Happy Pizza Party Thanksgiving!

Danielle said...

I know the exact feeling you have of not wanting to crosstrain, why do that when I can run and I feel better after running?

Pizza for Thanksgiving...interesting...I go to my parents so mom does all the cooking. It's my favorite holiday, probably cause of that!!