This post goes out to all those folks making great strides towards, what has become, perennial, expected success.
This week in running I was served a healthy portion of huckleberry-humble pie. For those of you expecting a recap of an epic 160+ mile week in the mountains, I apologize. As much as a dog is doggy, I am humany, replete with physical, psychological and sociological limitations. Inspiration and character are longitudinal virtues. A look at my life, from birth until now, will hopefully yield a strong sense of fortuitousness, strength of character and inspiration through focused and channeled passion.
Before I get to heady... I am tentatively injured; the pain in my right knee, a source of a lifetime of frustration, can no longer be ignored. I am easing off of my training regime sooner than usual; things are not out of hand, the situation is still tenable. Doubtless, a few more weeks at 130+ miles would render that joint ineffectual. Time to pull back the reins. Of course, this is never easy. I love running. I love training. I love running and training at high levels (lots of miles), but alas, often what we need is what we least want or would ever choose for ourselves. Changes are to be made and opportunities are to be seized with this change in regime. What I will have more of... time, energy for daily activities, external focus, love, compassion and passion. There will be less brooding over possible impending injuries from lingering pains. In short, freedom.
Intense, competitive and fast 50 mile training is probably out of the question for this fall. Any training that I do will be geared towards slow, long ultras (100k or 100 miler). Speed work, during this training cycle, has not only become painful and downright pathetic, it is of no real interest at this point and affords nothing close to enjoyment. Slow, trail-running is where I will be while nursing this knee. Too, woods running is infinitely more appealing to me right now. Enjoying running for what it is, in balance with the rest of the whole (life). Next spring, after a restful winter, I hope to return to competitive ultra-running. For now? I intend to turn all of my surplus energy saved from not training as hard towards friends, family, work and new pursuits.
Run for the love of that impetus that finds you out on your feet - health, weight loss, enjoyment, freedom, worship, suffering, competition, etc. Run for joy; because you are able, and that is a blessing. Never forget to give thanks to the Creator of the universe for your bipedal mobility. Live in that moment - running, living, socializing, whatever it may be. Be all there. The sky is the limit and everything in that space between heaven and earth is within the realm of possibility. Do it. Live for what is meaningful, no what is extreme. Often meaningful pursuits are extreme. Just as often extreme measures are patently absurd. If your pursuit finds you at an extreme, respect it, tarry not, and use it as a launch pad to new and wonderful things. Be unprecedented - for the sake of God, human achievement and not personal advancement (insofar as it truncates personal growth). The former brings glory to God and all, the latter... anger, frustration, and eventually devastation. Learn humility, have a bite, a nibble a taste of your huckleberry-humble pie before you are forced to devour the whole. Practice it. Wait not for the walls of your world to crumble. Rather, build paths, outward and yon, connecting to those people and places that bring life to living - and likewise in reverse. Live for empowerment.
All this to say, I was building a small temple; it has been obliterated. Hello world, hello life. Let anticipation of the unexpected be your modus operandi. Peace.