RunNerdier

musings on running, life, and everything in between


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Rage Against the Dying of the Light

It’s been a very long time since I’ve written here. And there are a million reasons as to why I’ve stayed away. Writing about running seems so inane when there are so many other things going on in the world that deserve more attention, more words, more light. But I just got back from a run because I needed to clear my head. Because I needed to feel my body and realize I’m alive.

You see, that is resistance. That is survival. That is what it means to fight back against forces that feel overwhelming.

I have alot of friends who have felt paralyzed, crippled by overwhelming despair and depression around the onslaught of policies that further marginalize peoples. Personally and professionally, I have also been dealing with a number of other issues that have made me want to throw up my hands in despair and yell, “Can I have no respite?! Must I be on defense in every aspect of my life?”

But on  my run today, I realized something. I am alive. And I have choices (something others in many parts of the world don’t). And marginalized peoples have fought back and resisted and survived since the beginning of time. We will continue to do so.

When I was in 9th grade, I was walking through a subdivision with two Asian American friends. At some point, a group of white middle school boys on bikes chased us, yelling racial slurs and sexually explicit things at us. We ducked into an apartment building until they left, shaken and feeling utterly vulnerable. Why am I telling you this story? Not to get sympathy. But to raise the fact that things haven’t changed so much. The ugliness and harshness that are in our current society have been there, under the surface, waiting for their moment to emerge. Maybe that’s why so many friends of color weren’t surprised by all the events that have unfurled.

Those boys didn’t grow up and change into upright citizens. They just grew up and found a bigger playground to terrorize. While every day seems to bring a new horror, a new injustice to rage against, we have to remember that people will survive. They will resist and fight back. The will to live and to thrive is one that we can not sell short. So take heart, we may need to take the long view, but we will get through this. So rage, rage against that dying of the light. Just because the candler flickers doesn’t mean it’s gone out. Oh, and go for a run.

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By serendipity, I got this in the mail today right before I wrote this.

I find it serendipitous I just got this in the mail today as well.

 


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When you fall out of love

With running

Life

The usual

It’s been a long hiatus. And to be honest, I’m not sure how often I’ll keep this updated either. It’s tenuous lately. My resurgence of interest in running and such. And the school year is starting, which for some parents is glorious, but for me means the startup of my regular work calendar again. So…here’s a stab.

The last couple of months have been rough. I’ve been pretty straightforward about my ongoing struggle with depression, but it reached a pretty bad low point a few months ago. I think what further compounded it was the fact that I felt like I was doing every possible thing I could to deal with it, but it wasn’t enough. It feels unfair that I have to be doing so much more to stay afloat or feel “normal” (whatever that is) than the average person. Is it a chemical imbalance, family trauma, psychic wounds, blah blah blah? I don’t know. But I cringe every time someone asks me if I exercise or sleep enough or whatever, because I want to scream, “All of it, I do all of it!”

And actually, the last couple of months, even the running has fallen by the wayside. Yes, I’ve been trying to get myself to grind out at least a run or two a week. I had been hating even that minimal amount, though, and was mostly doing it to stave off the creeping weight. I eat ALOT, and mostly run to eat. When you’re not marathon training, it begins to catch up with you. And while it really is probably just 3-5 pounds, it was enough to make me feel worse physically and emotionally. And I realize that nothing was giving me pleasure. I wasn’t interested in anything. Maybe sleep. More B horror movies. Escape. Not life, not my kids, not my writing. Definitely not my running. Nothing that required me to engage.

So I’m trying some new meds and starting to feel better. I’ve even begun ramping back up my running. I’m actually watching the Olympics track and field events. Hitting double digit long runs. Thinking about races. But it’s still a struggle. The new meds make me tired, so early runs have been difficult. I’ve had to play around with dosage and timing to figure out what doesn’t make me feel like I need a 3 hour nap at 10:30 am or that I’m treading mud at 3 pm. Which means running alone and in the awful heat and humidity. I’ll say that running while playing Pokemon Go has helped motivate and distract me (and give me excuses for stopping).

I’m not 100% sure if I’ll stick with these meds or need to get back on that merry-go-round, but for the first time, I’m being pretty open about my struggles with folks. Even the fact that I know a couple of my students read this blog, and I’m talking about this is something. My less-than-perfect behavior has probably been most indicative of my struggles. I’ve had alot of impatience, crankiness, and general snarl near and far. My ability to have any emotional reserve in response to life has been about nil. I’m sane and grounded enough to know (mostly) when I need to make amends for that behavior, but it’s still not fun. It would be better if I just didn’t do it to begin with. And I’m still leaning towards isolation. My general belief of, “If I don’t interact with people, then I won’t have to act out and apologize later” isn’t really a great one.

On the road back from this cycle of depression, I’d realized that I had slowly been socially isolating myself. Other than kid-oriented activities or running with friends, I was engaging in almost no social activities. A friend took me out for dinner in the city, and I realized it had been literal years since I had done that. Years. How did that happen?

So I’m not saying I’m cured, but I felt the impulse to write today. So that’s something. But one could say it’s something for any of us to show up in life today and engage. To do what you can. To try your best. Even watching the Olympics, I thought about all the athletes at the back of the pack. The ones with no chance to win a medal. How do they motivate themselves? How do they push to keep going? How do any of us? But we do. Onwards and upwards friends.