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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Welcome to My Life, Take A Seat, Get Comfy

I've spent the last couple of months resisting, pushing mightily against a fierce and worthy opponent; it is an opponent that, ultimately, would always win.  But I had to try, because that is what I do...I try.  I guess that's a good quality; being willing to risk it, to fall on my face, just to see what I could do.  I do not like to recoil in the face of adversity, though it does cross my mind (c'mon, I'm human).  Instead, I like to try my hand at it

It's trivial really, this opponent.  Truly.  You'll laugh when you see it.


Yep, see.  I told you so.  I have never, never, NEVER EVER been mathematically inclined.  It's always been a sort of achilles heel.  I have one of those weird photographic memories where I can file away an image or concept for short term use.  And, often, it sticks around long term; but not in the case of mathematics.  I memorized my way through every math course I've ever had.  I learned every acronym, short-cut, and catchy rhyme imaginable to make it through some gnarly math scenarios.  And it worked.

Now, you see, there's this class I have to take as a prerequisite for my program, but you can try to test out of it.  Booya.  Of course I was going to try to test out of a semester of anguish, frustration, short tempers, and, not to mention, the enormous financial cost of a 4-credit hour course.  Blech.  So I self-studied my brains out.  I tried...three times.  I briefly prevailed on the first try, only to find out the requirements had just recently changed, but were never published anywhere for me to see.  Talk about deflated ego.  Crushed in fact.  So I tried again, no dice.  A third time, still no freakin' dice.  I'm pretty sure the proctor could have caught and bottled the disappointment that oozed from me on that third try.  If she would have asked a question, or otherwise elicited any kind of response from me, I probably would have cried.  But instead she just looked at me blankly as she handed me my printed results and I turned and walked dejectedly towards the campus bookstore.

And that's the end of the rope for me.  As the saying goes, "when you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on."  So, I bought my insanely overpriced books for the class, tied a knot, and am now holding on for dear life.

I guess it's meant to be.  I'm supposed to take this extremely expensive (read: out-of-state tuition) math class.  Fine.  You win, grand plan, you win!  It's embarrassing; intermediate algebra, bringing me to my knees.  I laughed at myself on the way home after my third failed attempt.  Why do I resist it so?  Why has it always been such a battle?

So where am I going with this seemingly unrelated drivel about resisting?  That, while I do not yet know the outcome of the coming semester, I do know that I have full control over my thoughts and fears.  And so, seeing as one of my new years 'resolutions' this year is to get over irrational fears, I say 'when in Rome.'  I can handle this.  I'll do what it takes to emerge victorious.  I will be the algebra queen!

Speaking of resolutions, I guess I usually like to write about what I've resolved to do at the start of each new year.  I kind of like the tradition here on Serious Case of the Runs :)

In addition to getting over irrational fears, I've decided to say yes more and welcome more into my life. In fact, just yesterday I said yes to something I thought would never enter even an extreme outer orbit of my life.  Endurance cycling.  Yes, you read that right.  Geof asked if I would like to join his company's team for the MS150 ride in June.


*more crickets*

I had three reactions to this:  first, it was, "HA!  No F@*#ing way!  I'm not a cyclist, I'm a runner!"; next was, "I'd truly rather run 150 miles...can I do that instead?"; and, finally, "ah crap, yes...YES, I'll do it.  Why not?!"  This all ran through my head in the matter of probably 30 seconds, as I responded to his text as soon as I hit the next red light on the drive home.  Then reality began to sink in.  How on earth am I supposed to train for a 150 mile bike ride?  Oh, that's right, by riding.  Crap, crap, CRAP!  My butt is going to hurt so much!  But as I began to really think about it, we live in one of the most amazing places for endurance cycling.  The smooth and winding long canyon roads are a cyclist's mecca.  I guess it won't be too bad, and it'll sure be one hell of a cross-training effort for our trail running season.  Boom.  Silver lining = found.  Plus, this means I'll now have to get real clips and cycling kicks for Stiletto :)

So what else have I resolved to do this year?

No more hitting the 'snooze' button.  No excuses.  Our 4 a.m. wake-ups start to wear on me over the course of a week, and I've been known to hit the snooze button...a lot.  Like, really a lot.  And that really gets in the way of running.  So, snooze no more!  That means getting to bed a touch earlier than the average 82-year old, but whatevs.  It means more precious miles await us in the morning.  So far, so good.

My last 'resolution' is to run sub-24 at Wasatch (if I get in) or the Bear.  I can do it, especially considering what my training was like leading up to the 2012 Bear 100.  Now that we live in the lap of trail running heaven, a really great training season shouldn't be a problem :)

Ooooo!  I got a new pair of trail shoes!  The Brooks Pure Grit 2.  Mmmmm, yummy new shoe smell.  They are pretty...heinously ugly (I hope they come up with better colors, lol!), but I took them for a spin this morning and really, really enjoyed them.  It feels like there is a rock plate of sorts in them, which completely rocks (heh), and the tread/grip is incredible.  I mean, seriously incredible.  Who knows, perhaps I'll put these in the line-up for the Red Hot 55k next month in Moab.  I should take them for a spin on the southern Utah red rocks before I make that commitment, though ;)

So, the moral of this long, not-much-of-an-obvious-point post?  Live and let live.  Stop resisting that which you do not fully understand or appreciate.  Open those arms of yours and welcome a little bit of discomfort, a little daring, a little change, a little "why not!".  Sometimes that which we push hardest against turns out to be the best thing that's ever happened to us.  I have no illusions about algebra or cycling becoming the twinkle in my eye, but I do think that there is a place for these things in my life, and I'm now willing to allow them in.  I'm throwing up my white flag on these, and a host of other things I've resisted for a long time.  It is freeing, emancipating in a way.  It's incredibly tiring to push so hard against certain things, especially when it's for no apparent reason.  This is true in all aspects of life, training, racing, love.  Stop hating, resisting, and discounting the things that you've never even given a chance.  You never know, you may find the 'love' of your life, whatever that may be.

I now welcome you (i.e. that which I have resisted) to my life, take a seat, get comfortable.  I'm so very glad to have you, finally :)

Paige, out.

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