These past few days have been a lesson in self control. With Green Monster Trail Challenge, my first foray into trail 25ks on the horizon this Sunday, everything has required a modicum of conservativeness.
A week where I craved long hard runs but was reduced to easy jogs on the Rails to Trails.
A week where I would’ve benefited greatly from the inspiration of the woods, but the government has me locked out of my favorite trails. I say that with the knowledge that the shutdown is a lot graver than its repercussions on recreation. As a very moderate Republican I am pretty stressed about the situation as a whole, and I can’t wait to talk about it in the near future.
A week where work has felt like work, home has felt more like a fortress of laundry and to-do lists than solitude and comfort, blogging has landed on the “fuck this altogether” stack of chores.
But I am so looking forward to this race – or possibly just “this experience” because at this point I’m not feeling my usual tank truck confidence as a competitor.
Things have been changing around here lately, and a taper week was definitely not the solution.
I had to learn really how to rein in my energies and discipline myself. And I found it very, very useful. I rebelled against it at first, but it’s a good thing to have. -Patti Smith
I don’t know why my dad put a copy of Horses in my hand at the ripe old age of 12. Maybe he thought I wouldn’t get it. Maybe I didn’t at that time. At least not the actual themes of the lyrics themselves. What I did get from it was a deep appreciation for Patti. Maybe I didn’t know what she was screaming about, but I knew it was important, and I knew she spoke with purpose.
Some girls have Marilyn. I had Patti as my imaginary mentor through my youth. The Godmother of Punk rock, so articulate, so inadvertently sexy, so passionate… Patti Smith was the epitome of everything I wanted to be. Her music painted the background of many good times and worse times of my high school career, and Horses is still a go to for me when I want to be inspired by something familiar.
Though I would hardly say Horses is something that will make you comfortable, it still to this day elicits a controlled rage in me that translates well to running and even writing. And while I’m no longer an angst filled teenager, I like to think the older I get, the more rock and roll I become.
In ten days I will run my first trail 25k. And I’m not afraid. In retrospect, I wish I would have found myself here sooner.
Like walking past that cupcake a hundred times before losing all your self control and jamming the whole thing down your windpipe, the woods have been calling out to me for some time. I tried to stifle my urge to get out there, my inner voice saying “you mustn’t run! You will become weak! You will become fat! You are a terrible runner and so you just should not do it!” Now that I’m here I don’t think in terms of weak and strong, fat and thin, can and can’t, but instead “Where are we going today?” It might take us a long time, or maybe not.
In ten days I will be scratching my itch to go somewhere, I will be eating that giant sprinkle covered cupcake with reckless abandon as I scale 15.53 miles of backwoods trails with my only hope being that it’s as good as I envision. The countdown is on, and I cannot wait.