It's raining here, and has been since yesterday. I live in southern California, and we don't see much rain 'round these parts. Rainy days always make me feel so at home, though. I grew up on the east coast, where we had plenty of rain and puddles and chilly days. And I spent much of my 20s again back east, walking through rainstorms to get to work, plodding through sticky, wet subway cars and even running my first race - the Marine Corps Marathon 10K - under foreboding storm clouds (Hurricane Sandy was a real peach).
I love the rain, even if it does make everyone a little slower... a little lazier. Is that really a bad thing? These days we have our heads so glued to screens and schedules, that a little slowdown is probably for the best. Force people to look up, and out. Or else, you know, slip or splash or trip. User's choice.
And is it just me, or does rain make us more introspective? I mean, I've never needed much of a good reason to start reflecting, but the rain pushes that tendency into overdrive. The past couple of days I've found myself thinking about my running career, and my career in general, and which way I'm headed, more so than usual.
(Side note: As I sit here typing, my puppy is hiding under my feet with a toy, busily trying to distract herself from the thunderstorm outside...she's not too keen on rain, apparently.)
My running career (aka hobby... obvs), is sort of .... broken. Gone? I'm not sure. It's definitely in that fuzzy, in between space that most of us hate to find ourselves in. I was talking about it briefly with my physical therapist this morning, over a painful big toe that apparently didn't appreciate my high heels Saturday night... and maybe reversed all the good PT had so far done for it? Good one, JZ.
I thought I was okay with the idea of no longer running, ever. Truly. I thought I had come to terms with it months ago, as I was no longer able to run without pain. After all, it feels like a lifetime since I last ran five miles, never mind 10. But talking to my PT, I had to bite back tears. Because really......... that in between space? It's sort of depressing.
I know there are far, far worse things in life, and I'm glad for overall good health period. Really - I never take that for granted. And I've been injured before (many times, #runnerproblems), but I wanted to be able to make the decision to not run anymore myself, on my own terms. Not out of necessity, due to pain (and lest I screw up the only feet I have, which need to last a few more decades or so). Maybe it's the rain, making it feel bleaker than it is... right?
But when something is so ingrained within you, it's not always easy to just let it wash right off and start clean. Or even to sit in that grey zone. I said this a few posts ago, but running has been a key part of my identity for ten years. I wanted to be able to choose to keep it or not in my 30th year, but instead I feel like my back is up against the wall, like it's an all or nothing poker game and I'm probably going to lose.
Note I've never played poker, so... is that even an appropriate analogy? IDK.
I was reading an interview with Jillian Michaels this weekend in Health magazine, and she talked about how (in fitness) we often feel like things have to be black or white, all or nothing. I think we also far too frequently view life like that, too. Like it HAS to be sunshine or rain, hello or goodbye, and no room for the in between. The grey. Well what if we could just be okay with giving a little bit when we can - in fitness, and in other things - instead of just assuming it's now or never.
I want to apply that to my running. I mean, obviously I have to get to a point where I can (hopefully) run without pain, but even if I can only do two miles from here on out....... why can't that be good enough? Do I have to be so focused on getting back to being able to running longer miles, and three or four times a week? Can't we just be grey in some areas of our lives, and let that make us stronger?
Rainy day food for thought. ;)