A friend of mine asked me about my relationship with athletics. He was curious about my involvement in sports as a youngster and my current passion towards the fitness world. It was a valid question, to which I really had no answer. Like most things, it sort of blew right over me, but I have found myself hashing and re-hashing just what it is about sports and fitness that has attracted me for most of my life.
Life moves very, very fast for me, and I often feel ill-equipped for this world. I am very indecisive, insecure, and unsure about most everything. The act of learning has always given me anxiety. I feel as if my brain can only hold so much data, and if it’s overloaded, it will corrupt the file and I will lose everything (true story). My “final decision” is just the beginning of a very long list of situations, scenarios, and circumstances, in which I have about 500 “final decisions”. I cannot start a task until everything in my environment perfectly suits me, which means many tasks don’t get started. Every question requires a thousand “what if” scenarios, always leaving loose ends in my head.
Classrooms suffocate me and make me feel small. The way that my clothes fit often give me anxiety. Often a suggestion is viewed as a threat. I have always been a slow learner, but never left behind. When I am in a room full of people I feel that “everyone knows”. I am not sure what exactly they know…but they know, and that can’t be good. The medications only leave me wanting more medicine, and the diagnosis and the reasons just don’t seem important. I am this way because I am, and it’s just the way it is.
It’s all just so much. The fast pace. The commitments. The learning. The decisions. There are deadlines, and homework, and tests, and presentations. There are bills, there are taxes, there are relationships and family. There is gossip and arguments, disagreements, and resentment. There is so much thought that can be put into details, but I feel like my mental organizer is broke. It can go on forever, the ride of insecurity. I can never think through all the scenarios that are possible. I feel like I will break.
….But then there are sports, and lifting, and running.
This is when life slooooowwwws way down. This is when the variables, the outcomes, and the strategies become few. I guess I get a feeling of being in control, like there is not so much chaos, not so many unknowns. There is only so much that can go wrong, and so much that can go right. I feel more protected when I am in the field of play. I feel like I am blanketed with the feeling of safety, like the margin of error can only be so great.
I can remember as a child, I couldn’t wait for a ball game. I felt like I was going on a 60 minute vacation. I never wanted the games to end. I even remember the anxiety starting to creep in as it drew closer to the fourth quarter. It wasn’t even so much about the winning or losing, but just having to go back to reality- to the world of indecisiveness, anxiety and unknowns. I hated when the whistle blew or when the time had expired. I hated to go back to the confusion of reality. The disorganization, the loose ends, and all the mistakes were there waiting. I could be so foolish, and I felt that I was always one bad impulse decision from being in trouble again.
Today, it’s the running, the distance, the endurance. It’s the knowing that on the trail I am in complete control. Sure, there are injuries and health risks around me, but those things are limited and most of these situations involve black and white solutions. The control that comes with knowing that I have three, five, ten, or even twenty hours of black and white in front of me, well the physical exertion is a small price to pay. It’s knowing that the only rule is “move forward”, the pace and the speed are strictly up to me. It’s knowing that even if there was a problem, it would not be able to find me- not until I’m finished with the task that’s at hand.
It’s the camaraderie, the community, and the common goal that’s in front of us. It’s the knowing that the right decision is “always keep going”. There is no reason to question this, unless your body says, “no”. There is no wavering, no second thoughts, no regrets, and no doubt. It’s simply keep going. Keep going till you’re done.
Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,