As much as I am an addict to running, I rival that with my addiction to riding waves.
Ever since I was young I played sports. For the most part (and my mother may challenge this) I felt I did pretty well in them. My success kept me playing. Through high school I played volleyball, basketball, soccer, and softball.
Surfing was my big break through in doing something that I was really, really bad at. Up until the day I tried surfing most sports came fairly easily. This was not true when I got out in the water with a surfboard. I absolutely sucked at it. And what surprises me is that no matter how much I got beat up on the water, I loved it almost instantly.
I guess love comes in many forms. For me this was such a challenge. It required the physical of getting out in the water and paddling past crashing waves. It required the mental challenge of being okay with looking like a clown in front of everyone in the lineup. And surfing takes guts because you are in one of the most powerful forces in nature, water.
For me running and surfing are very similar. They both require mental toughness. You have to focus on the task at hand. Both allow me to clear my head. And both are HARD.
So no matter how many times I wipe out, I will always paddle out for another set. And no matter how many hills I encounter, I will always take one more step towards the top.
I don’t recommend biting off more than you can chew. However, when you do reach capacity you discover a lot about yourself. You find out just how much you can handle. And you discover what keeps you on the right side of sane.
The past few weeks have been a whirlwind in our house. At age 50, Jim, has gone back to school and is a freshman in college. Our daughter Dominique is a freshman and is on the track team and in the chorus. And a few months ago I started working on my master’s degree.
As a result of the hectic schedule, it was difficult finding time to do my homework, while also making sure I could attend track meets and cook dinner. I found 4 AM was the best time to do homework. Sleep is something I love and compromising it was not easy. My afternoons were filled with coffee to energize me just enough to finish the day. Jim and I found a few moments here and there to have a date and share war stories about school.
My run is the only thing I refused to compromise. I was finally getting back in shape after the foot injury and I was not about to go back to square one again. No matter how exhausted I was from rushing to a track meet, work, or writing a paper I had to devote 30 minutes to a run around the neighborhood.
Thirty minutes doesn’t seem like a lot. But in reality those precious minutes were just what I needed to clear my head and get away. My short runs were a mini-escape. Just enough to keep me moving forward and sane.
One of my classes has ended, track season is winding down, and Jim is almost done with finals. I think for a while we’ll be sure to take smaller bites.