This post first began 45 minutes ago as a Facebook status update. Unfortunately it became too philosophical and complex -- in my own mind -- to be posted there for "everyone" to see. I feel safer somehow making this a blog note, kind of public, not as public, if that makes sense.
I realized last night as I was trying to fall asleep, that most all the folks I consider my ultrarunning mentors -- old school ultrarunners, amazing athletes, my dearest friends -- are race directors. Either there are a lot of local ultra distance races, or I am associated with the best of the best. More likely, I am just hooked up with the best.
I consider these people the "best" because they are not only doing the sport they love to do, they do it with consistency, year after year, and have targeted a purpose greater than themselves. Quite a lot of these races are fundraisers for charities, or awareness campaigns, or tributes to beloved colleagues, or even just chances to get non-running folks into running and becoming healthier. These race directors get up every day to normal lives like my own, taking care of work duties and household tasks, and family affairs, AND they find a way to stay fit AND make a difference to others. Their efforts really make me want to do something worthwhile, too.
As a side note, quite honestly, I have not been running. I have been so disconnected from the people I love that I fear I won't find my way back. I used to tell Bob that I was always one run away from quitting. If I am honest with myself, right now, I have all but quit.
What happened to me. What happened to the motivated, energetic Suzanne who would preface a run with "it's only" ... 16 miles, 26 miles, 50 miles. How do I find the road back to that place, to that person?
Ah, but all this is tied to a greater issue within me. The not running and the barely showing up are indicative of a greater challenge. It may be depression, or loss, or sadness, or illness, or age, or an odd mixture of circumstance over the last 3 1/2 years. I haven't been able to pinpoint it, cannot be objective, don't have a clear thought to save myself. I go about my day pretty well, but usually right before bed, when I am trying to fall asleep and the thoughts won't stop rushing through my head, I desperately consider huge issues: like how I must have a purpose on this earth.
I surely didn't just get assigned the role of mom as the only thing to do of importance. My girls are raised, Alicia is an adult ready to graduate from college and have her own family and business, and Savanna is such a mini-adult she goes to school full time and works a job all so well she is graduating in the top third of her high school class. I know this was the most important purpose of all -- being a parent -- and I am thankful to God that I was given the chance, twice, to do this job. My purpose as Mom won't really ever end, thankfully, because I will always love my daughters more than life itself. But I have set them off to fly. So in a way, the largest part of my job is done.
Now, there must be another direction.
While the connection between race directing and running and parenting and finding purpose might not all connect for you, my reader, it makes sense to me in this way: others are doing something with enthusiasm, consistency, importance. Others who are my friends, my role models, are doing all I have to do in my world AND more... and are doing it with grace and ability and *consistency.* Why would I ever have the right to sit here and say, I cannot do all this, when they do.
My excuses are only excuses.
Even as I sit here on my couch, Saturday morning, 10 a.m., I realize today must be the day I make progress on something grand -- something more grand than just showing up and checking the box. Like anyone, I won't be perfect. I will make mistakes, I have my shortcomings, and will have failures. But I have to TRY first. I have to break through this endless cycle of crying over the mess, and find goodness in all of it.
Perhaps that will be my resolution for 2013: to find direction greater than just getting through the day. I want to lead an effort that gets me jumping out of bed in the morning, while making the lives of others better. I feel good only when I do for others. I know this at least: it is in my being, giving to others is a gift to myself.
The tie to my role model friends is simple. Friends like Tanya, Roy, Rob, Lloyd, Joe, Mark, Bill, Steve, and so many others I respect in our sport, just keep on making that difference -- they do for others.
So, during this season of resolution, and setting goals, I feel moved and motivated to take steps toward being greater. Life cannot be just about doing enough to get by, or just enduring yet another season. This cannot be only a resolution for the new year, it needs to be an overarching personal goal.
It is time to get off this computer, stop theorizing about the meaning of life, and go do my passion. Stop waiting for someone else to motivate me, stop making excuses for why I cannot do something, and just go and DO it. Clean up the daily, hourly mess, fix the broken-everythings, and move on to MORE.
Somehow, in doing the things I love to do, the answers will follow.
How The Cows Were Cool
4 years ago