Thursday, May 23, 2013

The long and winding road

After a few days of rest due to a cranky calf muscle, I returned on the road today to complete my week's long run. After 4 days spent icing, stretching, massaging and rolling the hell out of it, the calf did not throw a tantrum and it behaved, which allowed me to keep a steady pace and finish 10k without any incident. Win!

Now, many times when I run on this trail I arrive at this spot and all of a sudden I get thinking instead of zoning out. Today for example, I was going to write a post in the morning, quite the pity party. Yeah, the kind of party with sad clowns and a leaky inflatable castle. I decided against it, I thought I'd give running a try and if that didn't cure it, I'd exorcise it with a naked dance around my BBQ while cooking a pair of old sneakers on it.

So when I got to the spot, I took a picture and started thinking about all the witty things I could poop out of my brain. It gave a new purpose to my run. It was obvious to me, but how could I make sure that everyone gets it? Was the picture I took even showing everything I wanted it to? (actually no, there is a port-a-potty on the right that didn't get in the frame, boo).

But let's analyze it because I'm all about analytical thinking these days, job interviews and all. First of all, this trail is a winding road. Hold onto that thought while I say something about the 5 seconds that preceded the moment I took this picture. I crossed another road, called Sunny Meadow. Why did Riri cross the road? Well, to get to the next point, of course. Mindblowing, I know. Next point being that life itself is a winding road. I'm sure you weren't expecting this, right? (yeah, right). And within the 5 seconds that followed, I had to make a decision: continue onto the paved path to the right or cut through the grass straight ahead, thus taking a shortcut. Guess which way I went? (hint: there is a 50% chance of getting this right). Today (like all other days until now), I followed the road and that brought upon me a great sense of accomplishment for not cutting around corners, literally. I know it's just 10 extra meters, maybe, but when you take the long road towards reaching your goals, every step and drop of sweat counts.

This road ahead of me - be it in my quest for finishing an Ironman, landing a new job or bringing two boys into adulthood, it's never easy. I knew it from the beginning, that no matter how many twists and turns it throws at you, without hard work and dedication, you won't get to reach the end. And so I made a lot of hard choices until now, but I never left the paved road. I still have my eyes on the prize and with every day that goes by I try to keep my head up high and keep looking ahead.

There will always be distractions (see the park and the monkey bars on the right) and there will always be opportunities for taking shortcuts. I haven't found a reason to leave the main path yet (even though I throw in some trail runs for good measure). I just need my port-a potty for the shitty days. Thankfully that one is on the paved road as well, but I confess that I had to go in the bushes a few times before. Anyway, I don't like to take myself too seriously, after all life is too short not to take a few risks - like updating this silly blog with craptastic jokes instead of writing cover letters and sending resumes.

And I guess that's it. I ran out of ideas, not that I would need any more to make my point. Got it? Now tweet this shit, it'll bring you luck and I promise you won't get a saddle sore in the next 7 days. And you will get a PR in the next 12 months without performance enhancing drugs.

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