Monday, March 05, 2012

Staying Fit

Recently, on an online message board for Voiceover folk, a post appeared that asked "How do you stay fit?"

I thought about it for sometime - days even.

If that same question had been asked this time last year I would have reported, with nary a bat of the eye, "running and yoga... alternating".

But somewhere... sometime... between thence and whence, I went from just "running" to "running FROM".

(Those of you familiar with my thoughts on running... i.e. "you don't need to get there FAST... just get there" might guess... and rightly... that gradually, all those things I was running FROM caught up to me and I got lost in a whole PACK of them... a running, sweaty, panting pack of stuff I just wanted to get AWAY FROM!)


I stopped.

Not entirely... but mostly.

But this post on that Voiceover message board, coupled with a talk I sat in on way back during Faffcon 3, a Un-Convention for us speaky people,  had me thinking.  Thinking DIFFERENTLY.

What if "fit" didn't just mean combatting the sedentary hours spent talking to myself in the padded room and the orange sherbet with dark chocolate chips that I scarfed last night?

What if "fit" meant getting up in the morning with the dawn... excited to begin another day... CARPE DIEM and all that?

What if "running FROM" moved not just into "running" but actually "running TOWARD"...

And so this morning I set out on what was, just months ago, a regular three mile run...

It was cold-cold and my breath made foggy shapes in front of me but I was EMBRACING the DAY...  thinking differently, gosh darn it all, I was running TOWARD...

As a runner, I am the predictable sort... I have routes... mapped and charted distances that I run day in and day out.

But today, when I reached where I would normally turn RIGHT to run UP a ridiculously, horrendously long hill, I decided instead to turn LEFT... run DOWN hill, and perhaps see new things... DIFFERENT THINGS!

"Hooray!"  I thought, "I am OUT OF THE BOX!  I am thinking DIFFERENTLY!  I am RUNNING TOWARD!" and headed off on a new path... down a new road... had you been there, you might have noted a little bit of a spring in my stride even.

I was feeling QUITE the thing, actually, until this appeared...

"I am local." I reasoned... and kept moving... I ran for nearly 1/2 mile and around several bends until the road stopped.  Where once there had clearly been a bridge there was nothing... air...  no way across.

Dead End.

I stood there for a bit... waiting.  (Honestly, I'm not entirely sure what I was waiting for... for the sky to open up and shine, as if upon the GRAIL, on a way across... over... through?  I don't know... I just stood there.)

But in the end I turned around and headed back and across on the route I normally run.

The jaunty spring was gone... my doughnuts were frosted, quite frankly... I'd run nearly a MILE out of my way and STILL had to run up that HILL and now a din of high pitched voices were gabbling about in my head...  going on about failure and stupid and QUITTING.

Half way up the hill,  panting and spewing angry words, I began to walk... and then I stopped altogether and stood in the middle of the road... my chest heaving... my hands on my hips and I contemplated just giving up and turning around.

But something in my gut... a deeper voice from the basement of ME cut through the cackle in my head and urged me on... FORWARD to the purple mailbox near the top of the hill.

"Just make it to that mailbox"... it urged.

"Now... run."  basement voice said again... louder but still calm... so as to be heard over the din of trash-talkers chatting it up in my noggin.

And so I did.

I ran all the way home.

As I showered I considered the morning's feat... and the definition of "fit"...

Perhaps "fit" has less to do with dawns and CARPE DIEM and more to do with enjoying the new roads... even if they lead to dead ends... knowing how to find your way back... and listening to that guy in the basement... the one who calmly urges you forward... TOWARD... UP the hill... even if you have to walk until the going gets easier...