March 31, 2017

It's the Journey, Stupid.

Miniature Golf Date
Just the other day I surprised myself. I was driving with my daughter who was home from college for Spring Break. We were off to play miniature golf, and enjoy some quality father-daughter time that is so hard to come by for us these days.

I looked at her and just started talking. The thoughts turned into words that started flowing outside of me. Like my sub conscience was talking for me. It was surreal, and I just found myself listening to what seemed like someone else’s conversation. Statements about how I didn’t think I could run ultra races anymore, that life was different now, and running like this just didn’t seem to mean anything to me anymore, at least like it used to.

There are thoughts. They come from the emptiest places, where self-doubt lingers, resolve begins to melt away, and personal commitment is at risk. They are not drawn to weakness, or insecurity, or indecision, but they uncover them.  They float in and out of our lives. They hide behind good days and expose the bad ones.

She nodded, and then we laughed, like people would do when they realized they’re talking about something really strange, or odd, and they were having a serious conversation about it anyway. Like someone not wanting to stick a needle in their eye anymore, so they are actually talking about not doing that to themselves anymore. Surely it's not this bad? 

I realized that the apathy that owned these words was nourished by a race – a marathon actually – that I ran recently. That I went into this race with high hopes and left with a new dose of humility was, in retrospect, a bucket of cold water on whatever flame was burning. But one thing I’ve learned in ultra running, is not to build a fire on the results of a race or races, but rather on the journey that I take and the experiences I encounter all along the way.

Time to get back on the journey.

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