This post is going to have very little to do with running. But, that may be the point, as you may realize if you read until the end.
There are two words I overuse. More specifically, I use them in non-serious circumstances when they are also used to refer to more serious things. Those words are crisis and complex. You know you’re doing it if it’s become an actual joke between you and a friend. In fact, I called her last weekend and the first thing I said was, “We have a crisis! So much gin and no tonic!” That is a perfect example of my typical use of the word crisis…now you understand. To avoid a “boy who cried wolf” situation from ever occurring, I ensured her I would use the term “emergency” in case of a true “crisis.” (In case you were wondering, the aforementioned crisis was averted and she bought a sufficient quantity of tonic for the evening.)
The second word, complex, I don’t use as often. When I do, however, it is usually in the first sentence of an explanation by which I’m trying to really get someone to understand a bigger picture: “You see, I have this complex….” I don’t use it as often because usually people laugh or have some other reaction to the word that causes me to think I shouldn’t. Then I turn it into a joke…because I guess “complexes” can actually be real and serious, and mine aren’t really. Also, I think people automatically think of high school English class or something…not my intention. Past “complexes” have included things like being accidentally left out of social plans, having people feel differently about me after returning from a long trip, and having people accuse me of overtraining when I was getting injured a lot when I was actually being very smart (still 100% true in hindsight).
One such complex, one I’ve dealt with lately, is the feeling of not being able to answer questions with a one-liner. Without going too much into it right now, I basically find myself answering questions like, “I’m doing ____, but I’m hoping to do ____,” or adding “for now,” and just a lot more “buts” in general. I had more than one conversation about this recently, and a few people seemed to approve of the word I used, “limbo,” as an acceptable term that eliminates the “buts.” I still think that should be reserved for if you really don’t have time to explain anything, but I digress. My point was, one thing I have had a major complex about (my definition of the word anyway) is my living situation the past year and four months. I wanted to live right in downtown. That was the plan. As long as I was in limbo in others areas of my life, I was going to be in the center of it all and live right in town. I tried. I tried so hard. If I had this blog in July 2012, I wouldn’t have written anything…I had no computer (it broke) and no house. I was working a ton and training for my first tri with 6am swims…I wasn’t going to move back home. So, my car was my closet and my friends’ futon was usually my bed. I found a temporary place to live, but in September when I moved to where I am now, it was such a relief to have a place that I thought it wouldn’t matter that it was five miles up the road. My ridiculously big room made it tough to truly hate. Its proximity to good biking routes was nice, and I never had to worry about parking permits or noises during the night (except for chickens…that’s another story). I’m realizing more and more: it does matter now. I want to live right in town, so when I say I live there, I live there. With no “buts.” I want to walk to my friends’ houses, to restaurants, to work, to bars, to the bookstore, to the library. That’s what I’ve wanted this whole time. So, after the crazy week of the two finals and planning for some holiday festivities, I channeled my energies into making this happen. AND IT’S HAPPENING. It’s not the closest place ever like my friends’ house is, but it’s close enough that it would be silly to drive over there in a car. And close enough that it will be not crazy to bike or walk home from work in the dark. I’ll take it. So, after a whirlwind of activity and less than a week of hard work (I may have gotten a bad cold from losing sleep over this…not to mention Christmas!), I am moving within the next week! This may not sound like a big deal to some people, but because of this…complex…it is. I may still be in limbo…but here’s to one fewer limbo in my life.
Another word with a definition up for debate. Can you be nostalgic about something that happened, maybe a physical keepsake from it, two and a half years ago? A year ago? A mere seven months ago? Because I totally just did while I was starting to clean my desk. This always happens to me before I leave a place – I think of all the memories I had here and how I’d really just be happy to stay…kind of like the hours before a haircut when you enjoy the length and wondered what was driving you so crazy a few days before. In the end though, it’s easy to remember what was driving you crazy. The bad things, the sad things, the frustrating things. It’s not a matter of running away from the past or not being able to stand remembering things that can’t be again, but rather appreciating the chapter and moving on to something more exciting, and if not anything else, certainly new. I’m not the kind of person to throw everything out and start anew though, and I don’t plan on it this time either. That handwritten phone number and name? Keeping it. That bib number from an awesome race? Keeping it. Holding on to memories isn’t always a good thing, but I’m learning that they’ll just fade to the background in time, whenever they’re ready.
RUNNING VS. TRAINING
I once heard someone say that just because they are running doesn’t mean they are training. I hear it a lot at the store too: so many people aren’t actually training for a race, they’re just running. I found this baffling at first. Having been injured so frequently, I was always “training” for something, even if it was the next season months away. I got worried at the end of this “season” that I wouldn’t know how to run and not train, and be fresh for actual “training” for Boston. I may have pleaded for help. Good news: I think I’ve figured it out! Perhaps the key was forgetting about that mile I never ended up being able to
do race, and being so busy thinking about everything else (mainly, moving!). I’ve been running, but it doesn’t feel like “training” quite yet – which is good, I think. My highlight of the week, running-wise, was an eleven miler with two friends. I mapped a new route, it was 68 degrees in late December (seriously…what?!), and we talked the whole time. I got stuck telling a good story on a huge uphill and didn’t pause – that’s a win. I’m looking forward to organizing my 2014 races and sharing them on here, as well as recapping 2013 (what a year…)!