Monday, May 19, 2014

Finding Fuel

The last couple weeks have been very interesting and both exhausting and exhilarating.  I'm not used to being out of my element or "down in the dumps" for very long, but after dealing with my grandmother's death last weekend in a very personal and profound way I found myself in a bit of a daze.  I was angry...but not really sure why.  I was uncharacteristically very short tempered and impatient.  I was tired, just physically and emotionally drained. 

I think I have a subconscious way of motivating myself that rarely gets challenged or disrupted.  Grief disrupts everything.  All processes that function in my mind and body on a regular basis got a red-light and it was VERY odd for me.  My mantra is "GO", and it was not translating into action.  Now being nearly a week out from that and having some closure at the funeral I've found myself reflecting on how I process the things that happen in my life.  I am used to being in control, having a plan, pushing through it... but I think there are times when I need to be ok with being a little bit emotionally out of control.  Not 'train wreck" out of control, just not gripping the reigns so tightly all the time trying to sit tall and wise in the wretchedly bumpy wagon seat of life.  

When it comes to training lately, I haven't had to dig very deep to find my next shred of motivation.  This spring has been one of the best training cycles to start the year that I've had in a long time.  Maybe it's just time, maybe I'm being more consistent, maybe it's my body maturing a bit.  I'm not entirely sure but I do know that I haven't had ANY lapses in "What's next?" motivation.  NONE.  I'm not finding myself in a place of feeling lost, and I know all too well that can easily happen. 

Taking a look deeper I think this is maybe the happiest I've been while training hard in a long time too. (The happiest just in this sport, not life in general)  I love this...I am enjoying it to the fullest every day, and the 'every day' doesn't feel like a grind.  If you're having a hard time finding your next bit of mental fuel it's time to get back to basics.  It's time to process the mountain that you've made it into and get back to that feeling of trying to hold back a smirk while you're sailing along without a care in the world.  It's time to toss the watch in the drawer, put on some tunes and legs the body get back to what they do best.  It doesn't mean to not have a plan.  Hell, I sometimes live and die by the "plan".  But I think it means that in order to feel freedom and accomplishment to the fullest during training, you have to first enjoy what you're doing, and then be ok with a deviation from that plan as necessary.  "Know thyself" isn't just some Shakespearean-blurted warm fuzzy.  It can be one of the most rewarding ways of living in the day to day push for mental and physical motivation.   

Things get in the way.  Life gets in the way.  Everyone jokes by saying, "The struggle is real" almost like a "first world problems" type tongue-in-cheek swagger, but let's be real.... the struggle IS real.  I want it to be real! I want it to be real enough that it makes me FEEL something.  If it wasn't real we'd all be jogging around at our full potential with nowhere to go and nothing to fuel us.  I have untapped potential that needs fuel every single day... life-changing, adapting, powerful adrenaline-inducing fuel. 

We can't stop pushing to find what fuels us or we will become a mere shell of ourselves, and the winds of "whatever" will be overjoyed to wisk us away into a numb oblivion. 


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

I'm back... with a vengeance

Well hello there.  It's been a while... nearly 4 years, exactly ;)  I haven't been very prolific in this blog world but that's about to change.  A lot has happened in my life over the last few years, so instead of spending gobs of time rehashing every step I took to get here, allow me to summarize for your reading pleasure:

Highlights from my last 4 years:

  • -Well, I'm still running hard, training hard, racing, trying to qualify for Boston (hence the blog name) and generally more hungry than ever to improve and to be competitive in the sport!  Running, CHECK.
  • -This year I got sponsored by Hammer Nutrition and I'm PUMPED to be on their team.

  • -I have two lovely young children.  Isaac is now 5, tall and skinny (like his daddy) and Ava is 2 and energetic! 
  • I've switched jobs twice, and now currently I'm happily employed at the Four Seasons Hotel here in St. Louis as Purchasing Manager, and doing a variety of things. 
  • Still living in St. Louis, still in Valley Park, still working on my house and trying to be a manly-man-fix-it-boy.  Still failing at one of those things.
  • I've been fairly consistent on Twitter and Facebook and have enjoyed working with different groups of newbie runners in training for various races. (Love the first-timers especially!) 
  • I eat a lot of cheddar brats and I enjoy a sudsy brew on the regular....CARBS. 
Ok, well that about does it... you're officially caught up and now a semi-expert on my life. This was just a little swan dive back into the blog-o-sphere so I will do much better in the near future about putting out updates and generally more well-written pieces.  I love to write and in all seriousness I hope whatever I write finds a way to fuel you and encourage you. 

Plain and simple.