One thing I have been dealing with lately is my view on what failure actually constitutes. This was born from a series of experiences recently that did not really merit that hard dialectic.
Success, or failure.
It was a curious thing, as I think about the growing overlap between me as a person and a runner. Which up until sometime late last year were nicely segmented portions of who I am. This year I decided to put myself out there in a way that was maybe more open and honest all around. This is a dual edged sword. I feel like being a more present person would invariably improve me as a person, and being more open as a person would make me a better runner.
I am trying to create a feedback cycle that is just going to feed itself like an ouroboros. As any reader of my blog will note from earlier posts, I perhaps struggle more with the interpersonal aspects. Which is a polite way of saying I like to put up a wall and dull the negative experiences, This is important, it ended up affecting the positive aspects of whatever I was doing as well, you can’t often feel like you’re watching yourself through an ambient fog and be very strong in the mountains. If you can’t be strong in the mountains, you can’t apply this across your entire personal rubric. From writing to engaging in any type of meaningful interaction.
I think the solution was to figure out how to be more present, not just in the moment, but on a macro level. I couldn’t just sit in the cozy bubble bath of my mind generating every possibility, and then leaning deep into positive(or negative) permutations I wasn’t willing to actually work through to even try to make happen.
What has happened is, as I am willing to take risks in my personal life, I can feel my ambition as a runner, and as a student, and as a person starting to slowly vector.
Of course, there is a side effect of bombing down the Fern Canyon of life. You’re going to catch a toe, you’re going to skin a knee, you’re going to see the proverbial blood. Running down the hill in real life, doing this does not equal failure. You still made it down, perhaps not as fast as you had imagined, but the route is completed in the best style you can manage at the time.
You bonk. You run out of gas. You act short, you’re tired. But you’re there, and you did it.
This is tying back to the non-running portions of my life. As I have become more open to any possibility, I am opening up the idea that I can catch my foot, or any other set of circumstances that don’t merit complete success, but don’t necessitate actual failure.
These instances hurt.
Cassidy felt a stab of pain that was close to physical, and therefore within the penumbra of hurts he told himself he could bear.
I have been prone to think this is the way to deal with pain of all stripes. You learn to carry the proverbial flagstone on your back silently and stoically. Just some more weight to hold you down right?
Training was a rite of purification; from it came speed, strength. Racing was a rite of death; from it came knowledge. Such rites demand, if they are to be meaningful at all, a certain amount of time spent precisely on the Red Line, where you can lean over the manicured putting green at the edge of the precipice and see exactly nothing
These quotes from the same influential book, granted, I am not, nor are you, Quentin Cassidy. I started to think of the great metaphorical furnace driving me. If I am going to carry pain, why not use it fuel your endeavors?
why not think of experience as follows -> E
If you are not interested in math, that essentially states the entirety of experience is an absolute value. It goes a step further when I think about experiences that maybe hurt, there is still great beauty and joy there, even if there are the momentary instances where things couldn’t be actualized in the way you potentially imagined.
There is the disappointment, something we’ve all felt as runners. How do you deal with disappointments? Do you let a poor result shut down a training block? Do you not revisit the hill you fell on?
I certainly do. The last few months have been instructive personally in the same manner. I might be catching toes and stumbling and not quite catching myself. But I am going back up the Fern Canyon of life and staring over the edge at the possibility that I am going to do something great if it didn’t happen on this lap, or the few previous, or even for the years previous. I am going to haul myself back up there.
I am going to continue to take extraordinary risks. Just on the off chance that something magical can happen.
Anyways. You came here to read something about running gear.