My long distance friend Art (you can meet him HERE and HERE) does not approve of my top four goals. They need to be more specific, he says. How fast do you actually want to complete the race? Exactly how much sugar do you plan to cut out? Or perhaps more importantly how much do you plan to allow in? Don’t be vague, he says. If we are going to accomplish anything we need quantitative goals.
But he’s not realizing that answering these questions would amount to much more than a random blog post proclaiming my readiness. It would mean researching average triathlon finish times in my age group, then putting myself to the task of not just creating a training plan but practicing and completing it. It would mean cultivating a true awareness of every single time I put sugar into my mouth and forcing myself to decide every. single. time. is this something I really want to do? Do I need this or can I get by without it?
Art is demanding effort.
I want to yell, “You know what duuuude?!!”
Because here’s the thing: Jenny has been living effortlessly for the past year. Jenny has been sinking into the oblivion of boredom and repetition. Jenny has become… dun dun duuuunnnnnn…. complacent. And how dare he challenge her to get back into action in real time on a scale of authenticity just because she said she was ready to do so???? What kind of friend does that?!
But before I complete the angry rampage I remember that it’s a really awesome kind of friend who does that. One who knows you’re at your best when you’re trying your hardest.
I really have given myself a year off. A year to relax and not work too hard. A year to rebuild relationships with family and friends I haven’t been around in two decades. A year to not make public strides as a Strong Independent Woman. A year to take it easy basically. This is nothing short of a tiny miracle.
Can I ask honestly, how many of us actually give ourselves time to rest when we’re tired? I was exhausted at the onset of 2016 because cancer and winter and suicide (not something I talk publicly about but I lost a good friend in a shocking act of suicide exactly a year ago, less than a month after E was cleared of her ductal carcinoma), because twenty years of working multiple jobs nonstop to climb ladders, because supporting myself without a partner or a hand to hold or a shoulder to lean into to fall asleep on at night…
Wait a second. Sorry, for a second there I totally forgot that none of these things actually matter. How often we slip into defensiveness when we perceive a pointed finger. I lived my life. All I have to do now is own what I said six days ago. I had a very relaxing year and I’m ready for it to be over. That’s really all Art is asking for. And thank goodness he is.
So last night I went to the gym and put thirty miles on the bike and today I’m forcing myself to write a blog post about it even if it’s not prolific or meaningful or even remotely interesting. It feels really good. Thank you, sir.