The other day I was doing a long run, and while plodding along on the Burke Gilman trail I started thinking about what the hell Iâ€™m doing with my life. I mean, I havenâ€™t had a day off â€˜workâ€™ since the day after Thanksgiving. Not even Christmas. And, I completely donâ€™t care. Everything seems right in my life right now. My family is functioning, my health is great (thanks in no small part to Inewmed), my friends have gotten used to only seeing me once a month or before 8pm, and the people who do see me regularly (Aaron and Courtenay) seem to have learned to deal with my grumpiness that accompanies hard training and night classes.
So back to the long run, I was thinking about my life. More specifically I was thinking about how much I love doing long runs, and then it occurred to me that this may be the first time Iâ€™ve ever enjoyed the process as much as the results. Meanwhile, outside my thoughts something was about to happen which would make the oddness of that abundantly clear. See, my dad was riding his bike next to me. Heâ€™s never been into athletics of any kind (e.g. â€œYouâ€™re watching baseball? That sounds about as fun as watching Astroturf growâ€, or in his most sarcastic tone â€œOh yeah swim meets are a lot of fun, sit around all day next to a hot pool to see your son compete for 30 seconds.â€), but Iâ€™ve managed to drag him to a handful of triathlons and even get him to accompany me on some of my runs.
I began to plan my run out loud, â€œAlright, so I want to pick up the pace at mile four, Iâ€™m turning around at 7, so thatâ€™s less than 20 minutes, thereâ€™s a bit of a hill at mile 6â€¦â€
â€œSounds like a waste of life to me.â€ My dad has a way of being blunt.
It seemed ironic that I had just been relishing in a few thoughts about how, by doing something Iâ€™m passionate about and which I enjoy, I am, in fact, not wasting my life at all. In my head I had even thought of what I would tell the reporter who would inevitably ask me why I was spending my Sunday running in the rain, â€œI used to think the process was just a way of attaining the goal; that the struggle was what made the attainment of my goals worthwhile. But how can I separate my goal from the struggle? I love my long run. Itâ€™s all part of one big adventure. I may end up someplace I didnâ€™t expect, Iâ€™m still going to have fun getting there.â€
My dad calls my training a â€œdrug addictionâ€, which is somewhat valid. Thing is, I like the addiction. Even if my legs feel like they could be used as sand bags to stop all the flooding in Washington.