Like a good bonfire

When you do something, you should burn yourself up completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself.

– Shunryu Suzuki

Last Friday’s run sucked.

I felt so slow (and was in fact slow), I had a weird pain on the bottom of  my foot, I just wanted to stop… but I didn’t. I got through and finished. It never got any better … and then it was over.  I remembered that things can’t *always* get worse, at some point they have to reverse course – or end.

A concept that I’ve carried with me since swimming competitively in high school was the image of an hourglass. That’s what the pain in hard physical effort is like, the sand falls to the base of the ampoule – the constriction … but then it opens again – this is the passing through – and if you keep at it, you always pass through. Or you stop. No idea if there is a name for that point or not.

Today’s run was on-on. After it from the first step. If you want to run fast; you have to run fast. If you want to do anything really; and do it well, you have to do it well at least some of the time – otherwise you won’t know what “really well” feels like. If you always do something mediocre; you can’t expect to do it better than mediocre at some point in the future – it doesn’t work that way.

I was thinking a lot about how bad I felt on Friday’s run today and the counterintuitive truism that the tough experiences, the ones where you want to roll over and die, the ones that make you question why?… the ones where you feel more like *fleish mit oigen* than an actual human, are actually the experiences that have the most to teach.


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