One Week Done

I honestly can’t believe it’s been a week already since I had surgery. The next 11 weeks stretch out ahead in a way I can’t even let myself consider. I can’t think about how it will be the new year before I’m putting back to back running days together, or the fact that racing season is in full swing about 5 months after that. I can’t think about the fact that I haven’t raced at a truly world class level in four years. I just can’t allow it.

And yet despite my best efforts, my mind jumps there anyway. While writing fall training plans for Little Wing, while eating a sandwich, returning emails. And when it jumps there I punt it forward several months so it never rests long in the waiting place. Instead of panic about lost time, images flash into my mind of fartleks in the forest; rhythmic breathing; work. I can see myself doing the work, and it brings me satisfaction as if I am doing the work. I don’t bother correcting myself, or talking myself down as I would as a younger athlete. I don’t spend energy saying, “Yeah, but…” I plant no seeds of doubt. The time will pass anyway, whether I spend it debating the probability of my success, or assuming it will be so.

As I look over to watch my son sleep on the airplane seat next to me, a few short hours from finally returning home, I can see him waiting at the finish line for me. I can’t quite deduce which finish line, and as I attempt to focus into the vision for clarity, it vaporizes leaving only a sleeping child again. I want the vision back, but the more intently I reach for it, the less available it is. Another reminder: it’s time to get comfortable with the mystery.

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