Monday, August 26, 2013
The Dark Side
Two words can alter a season. A season can alter a lifetime. So when the words "stress fractures" echoed around the doctor's office, alarm sirens went off in my head. Numbers three and four in just 3 years of running. This is The Dark Side of running. The runner is a gambler. Every time he steps out the door he is pounding the shit out of his body. In my prior visit to the doctor he warned me that I was taking a huge risk by continuing to run with pain in my bones. I explained to him my reasoning (it's my senior year dude! Fuck it!) and then added, the risk is inherently there from the moment we lace them up for the first time. Suddenly I felt the need to reevaluate my place in this sport. To review: We put ourselves through hell and back in training, and hope that we don't get HURT so that we can put ourselves through as much hell as possible to get in shape for the next race, which is an opportunity to literally put ourselves through Dante's Inferno 10 times over, so that we can beat our best time from before, which, for 99% of us, only makes us painfully aware of how much we suck. And all this with the typically trendy *runnerproblems* hashtags on twitter constantly plaguing us in real life. We're picked on for our short shorts, we're too skinny to be truly attractive, no one takes our sport seriously, and we're consistently snubbed by the media. And I can't even stay healthy enough to put myself through that. What the hell am I doing? Is this whole pursuit bringing me down? After some thought, I have decided that no, it's not. I'd be far more miserable NOT running. Because, somewhere, deep inside of me, is a burning desire to test my limits in this game we call distance running. I wouldn't be at peace with myself unless I'm doing everything in my power to reach my goals. Therefore, I must not give up hope on this seemingly innocent sport which has shown me its Dark Side. Message boards, PEDs, accusations, injuries, bad coaches, they all need to be put of my head. For once I can return to the innocence of the pursuit, I feel I will enjoy it much more. My goals are still huge, my lungs are still powerful, and my legs are still fast. I just need to get healthy. Keep Calm And Run On.