Summer is here and I am facing my first one in a few years without running. It is indeed hard to bear as my friends train for marathons, ultras, hikes, mountain traverses and all things outdoors. There are times when my foot feels OK and times when I wake in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and an almost phantom like pain sears in the toe area. The irony is not lost on me that the patience needed in order to endure this for the past six months has been taught to me by running. When running a 100km race as I have regularly in the past, managing the low points and accepting the changes is what lifts you out of the funk, it's being OK with feeling absolutely diabolical. Because you know with the right attitude it will most likely pass. What can crush the will to go on is negativity and the inability to accept what is happening, when you accept, you analyse what to do next. YOU JUST KEEP MOVING. It doesn’t have to be fast, it just has to be moving. Wallowing because something I love doing is no longer possible is not what living my life is about, what defines me is my ability to bounce back and to start rebuilding over again. When something in life tries to break you it's nothing personal, it's not some big conspiracy to beat you down or desecrate your hope. Chances are there is someone in the world who is having it a whole lot tougher. I was reading Truman Capote last week and came across the line "There are more tears shed over answered prayers, than unanswered ones". To me that resonates because of our ability to always wish for things, to always want something that seems out of reach. I was once the manager of a very reputable pub/restaurant in Notting Hill, West London. Rock-stars and actors were my bread and butter and I had everything: money, popularity and lots of booze at my disposal. When I sobered up and took stock of my life after a rough personal time I decided to simplify my existence. I count the consistent things I have in my life and focus on them thoroughly, I have less and less time to ponder what I "wish" I had. Sure I'd love a MacBookPro instead of this heap of crap I'm typing on now, but is that really going to make a difference in my life? Not much. I'd like a bigger apartment, sure. But my kids are cool with this so where's the drama. There is none, there is only drama if I create it.
Some people are addicted to or obsessed with the melodramatic and making the problem bigger. I was talking to one of my dearest friends last night and we looked at the definition of obsessions and compulsions. She is a wonderful person who puts others before herself and was asking me "Mally, is it an obsession?". No it's not. Some people have an innate goodness in them that furthers the lives of others. Obsession is having blinkers on and cutting out the world in the sole pursuit of something, to the detriment of some the other facets of life. When one is passionate about something it's important to keep the balance and make sure other aspects of living are not neglected. I tend to attack things from time to time with a single mindedness and am improving in the balancing act. Things happen, accept them and move forward. The past is where it belongs, use it as a lesson and not a well in which to stare down into hoping to go back and change things. What the running has shown me is how to take the setbacks and turn them into victories. I have reached the half way point in my book and aiming for a December release, much anticipation from friends for more information but they will have to be patient. My new business here in freelance writing is starting to really go places with many prospective (and very importantly, interesting) projects ahead for the rest of the year. Teaching adults the skills they need in their professional lives continues to be fulfilling and heading up the new advanced English curriculum for the Mayor's office in September presents new challenges and learning opportunities for me. Maybe if I hadn't been in that hit and run back in December it would not be working out this way. The injury time has let me work in other areas and as long as I am growing, moving and never regretting then I am doing what I was put on this earth for. Living.
Keep Moving Forward