“All runners are tough. Everyone has to have a little fire in them, that even in tough times, can’t be turned off.” – Shalane Flanagan
I was walking the other day. One thing you don’t think about when you are used to running: is what do people even do with their hands when they are on a walk. Like, clearly I don’t think about it when I’m walking around doing errands. But on a purposeful walk, what even are they doing?
I have a vague memory of running feeling equally uncoordinated.
Eventually, the walking starts feeling less like an alien inside your body asking you to move, and it just feels unremarkable. Like you’ve never done anything else.
Injury always takes you back to the beginning again, to remind you what the hard parts are, what you have taken for granted, all the things you haven’t thought about because you’ve been on auto-pilot for a long time.
The funny thing about my injuries is that I go long stretches without ever having anything to complain about, but when I do get hit with something it’s usually a few months to sit back and take it all in.
So much of the time, you don’t ask yourself the questions, because you don’t want to know the answers. But you do know the questions. You just cover them with routine and habit and expectations until they suffocate or drown under the weight of repetition.
And that’s what those questions have been doing, drowning over and over. Your brain will ask you in different ways, so they don’t seem like the same question, so they can bubble to the surface. The brain is interesting like that. It can recognise that something is broken. It recognises the broken pattern, but it can’t foresee how to fix it. So it just repeats it over and over, hoping that one day, you might have a breakthrough maybe. But mostly it’s just repetition. Looking for the broken piece of the code that will make it all make sense.
This year, it would be easy to just say it’s 2020. Way too easy.
But it’s not, so for now I’m just sitting there with the questions, trusting that the breakthrough will happen at any time.