I survived! Fatigue February! Almost gobbled me up quite a few times, though I was able to get out alive, and thus stronger. First, I’ll admit that in December of 2011 I finally broke down and gave into all the hype: I bought the Black Keys latest album, “El Camino”. What I found was the hype was non-existent, as they’re the real deal, though this isn’t a album review, this is about how one song spoke to me.
Now, this time it didn’t come to me while meditating in a hot bath of Epson salt. I was actually out the door for a cold, and dark second run. Despite fatigue from running and working, the second run has somehow become something I look forward to daily. There’s something tranquil about clipping off a few miles under the cover of darkness, where the street lamps can barely catch your shadows. These second nightly runs became Reflection Time, and on this particular night, I was rationalizing what exactly I was doing to myself by running this much, and this far into a state of overall fatigue, when the lyrics “Everybody knows, a broken heart is blind” echoed through my mind over and over.
I reached the crest of Gillespie Hill and could see the lights of Boulder shining to the north of me, illuminating the Flatirons like paper silhouettes. It hit me. I had a broken heart. Rest assured, some little filly didn’t break my heart, I’m referring to running. For years you focus on something big. It takes up the majority of your thoughts, for some, it consumes them (I‘m sure for actual Olympians this is much more intense). Four+ years ago I watched the 2007 Olympic Marathon Trials in a basement while living in Manhattan, Kansas. I told myself I’d be on the starting line for the next Trials, before promptly hammering out 20miles just under 6 minute pace. I figured I was well on my way at the time. Though, when the gun sounded in Houston this January for the 2012 Trials, I wasn’t on the line.
“You know me, I had plans, but they just disappeared to the back of my mind”
In the fall-out of these “plans”, I had become blind in one perspective. I’ve gone at running with reckless abandon, blind of the consequences of such rigorous training, running for the sake of running, running to release. When I began to think about it, I’ve got friends, great athletes, who I generalize as “Oblivious Runners”. They run with reckless abandon. It doesn’t matter who’s in the race, or what the distance is, they approach it the simplest of ways: to Compete. They’re blind (I say this as a good thing). They’re definitely on to something, and ironically enough, most of them don’t even know it.
“Oh can it be, the voices calling me, the get lost, and out of time”
At the top of that hill I decided. There’s two ways to go. (Fortunately for me, at the top of Gillespie Hill, both ways go downhill), when your plans are squashed, which way do you go? Do you allow perceived failure (failure is a perspective) to stop you? Or do you find another way? You either Quit or you Go Back At It Harder And Smarter Than Before.
Dreams may “disappear" to the back of your mind, but they’re still in your mind. So you’re either cursed to play the “What If” game or you confront it head on and find out what you’re really made of. Granted, I was at the top of the hill when the combination of Boulders lights, the Flatirons, and The Black Keys spoke to me in a fiery echo of the song “Little Black Submarines", I had two down-hills to chose from. One took me home the short route, the other would add on a few more miles in the cold and dark February night .
I knew which way to go.