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Apr. 16th, 2010

I posted here yesterday that I had just finished reading a book by Dean Karnazes. He's a bit of a crazy man, in the best kind of way.

There's Badwater, the 135-mile race across Death Valley that he's run 6 times, winning once. (Finishing that is a victory in and of itself, I would think.) There's the Endurance 50 - 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 consecutive days. A 40-mile race across Antarctica. You get the idea.

Dean is about surpassing physical limits. To dig down deep and see what you're made of. And I appreciate that. I will not - do not want to - achieve some of the racing accomplishments he has, but I appreciate them and the mental and physical toughness that go into them.

In short, he inspires me.

I've never been much of an athlete. Yes, I ran cross-country in high school and college, but that was a bit of being a follower. My friends were runners. I did it for comraderie, not because I was a gifted runner or, frankly, even a very interested runner. It was just something to do with friends.

Which is why I completely fell off of it in my twenties and thirties. I occasionally did some casual runs, even a 5K or two, but never anything serious. Never anything that involved training. Or really even caring about it.

Something's changed. Someone commented to me the other day that I seem restless. My manner, my voice. It's like I'm seven again. I have a hard time sitting still. While I'm at work, which has just seemed tedious and boring and a whole lot of sitting lately, all I can think about is how much I'd rather be outside running. (The gorgeous weather contributes to this feeling.)

In some ways, I feel like I've devoted most of my life up to this point to the intellectual, to books and school and pieces of paper. And, it feels, well, disappointing. I'm content, but, as I said, restless. Like I'm missing something.

Now, it seems, my body demands attention. If I'm alone, the only time I really feel alive is when I'm running or lifting weights or doing Pilates. When I shut my mind down and go.

Society tries to box us in early in life and keep us there forever. It is one thing everyone must learn to resist if they are to grow into their true selves. How the hell can you know what you want to do at 40 or 50 when you're 18? It's an absurd notion. Perhaps it made sense when life expectancy was much lower, but now it's ludicrous. People aren't made to do the same thing for 40 or more years.

So I'm regressing. I'm once again becoming the hyperactive child I was when I was younger. Standing next to the chair at my little school desk rather than sitting in it.

Perhaps it's a midlife crisis. At least I'm not buying a Porsche and trying to hook up with 18-year-old girls. I'm very happy with my car and my marriage, thank you.

There's just part of me that needs something else, too.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 17th, 2010 04:54 pm (UTC)
I don't suppose you would be interested in running a marathon? Specifically, the Chicago Marathon. My mother's job, the American Lung Association, is sponsoring spots for 10 runners. There is a donation amount that has to be reached (I think it is $1K but don't quote me on that). Anyway, since you seem to be doing a lot of running lately, thought you might be interested. Let me know if you are!
Apr. 19th, 2010 04:31 pm (UTC)
I might be interested. I'm planning on doing my first marathon this October with my friend Drew up in New York.

When is Chicago? I admit my ignorance. I'd definitely consider it, if there's no conflicts and training continues to go well and I can afford to get up there.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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