Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The road not taken

Bristlecone Beach, a block from where I live on Tahoe's North shore on a (rare) clear day.


As I write this, the rain and snow continue to pour and trickle through the dark and gloomy forest. It has been a long, long winter. A brief moment of sun, however, came out in recent days and it was difficult not to be excited about the world again. And yet, this recent storm has turned my mind back to my foot, which is much, much better but not yet ready to handle the stress of 70-mile training weeks that I had been capable of doing. I had planned on racing this upcoming weekend, on May 2, in Reno, Nevada where my running career began. But now my mood resembles the rain and snow because I know I cannot race. Not yet.

Truthfully, I wanted to run this race less for a new PR than for redemption. So many members of the Reno running community don't believe in me anymore, and I wanted to show them that I am, still and always, a runner. I know it's a stupid reason to run a race, but there it is. And my disappointment, well, is less about not being able to run (I will) but founded on my inability to run NOW and to beat the pants off certain individuals who have been especially cruel.

I'm embarrassed to admit all this; I thought I was a "deeper" person than that. But maybe it's OK, once in a while, to know our motivations. And perhaps knowing mine (which are petty) will allow me to seriously compete in more important races in the future.

It is exhilarating and humbling to know the pursuit of a dream is less of a crowded street with onlookers clapping and cheering with streamers flying and cow bells sounding than it is like this trail I took a picture of. It's quietness, solitude-- of struggle beyond the public eye... and perhaps even of others thinking the worst about you when it might not be true at all.

I've discovered, on this gloomy day, that if I'm really to become a good writer and runner, I've got to let go of my dependence on those crowds and smiling (or frowning); that I have to let go of Reno, of things said, of expressions projected my way. I have to set my eyes forward, run and write with purpose. But most importantly: I have to do these things for myself and myself only.

1 comment:

Chrissy said...

I love the last paragraph of this post. Inspiring and beautiful!