Well that didn’t take long. Only a couple of runs in and it already begins………the purge. It is amazing how much your mind can screw with your body.
Back at the end of the last century (always wanted to say that), it took me two to three years to start running again. Why? Because whereas my mind was stuck in the early eighties when I could run sub 5 minute miles and 36 minute 10K’s, my body belonged to a 35-year-old out of shape couch potato. Those 9 to 10 minute miles were a struggle and downright embarrassing. And very humbling.
That was the first time I had to go through the purge.
The Purge: the conscious act of admitting to yourself that you are not as young as you used to be, as fast or strong as you used to be, or as in overall shape as you used to be.
So you move on and start over.
Once you can come to terms with that, you are free to start with a clean slate. And for me, the beauty of the clean slate is that every thing you do is a new personal best.
Now don’t take this as sign of defeat. No, I will never be a 17-year-old again or probably run that fast again. But I have done things after the age of 40 that would have 17-year-old Timbeaux pissing in his pants and crying for his mommy.
Back then, I could do stupid but not crazy.
Yes, I actually raced all of those distances!
Unfortunately, they are fresh enough for my mind to still feel the exhilaration of swimming, biking and running with no effort. But it won’t take long. I think a few more 2-3 mile runs with my lungs burning, a few more days waking up hobbling, and a few more times that long quiet muscles scream at me will quickly stoke the fire needed to burn those memories.
After that, I will be fine. I can start afresh and attack whatever race/event/idea I can come up with. I know where I stand. And this race sticker sums it up best.
So, if you are dealing with your own demons of the past that are keeping you from starting again, purge them. Nobody expects you to be able to do what you used to. And if they do, show them a mirror and tell them to kiss off. The purge is about you acknowledging the past and moving on.
And with that, I have to go suffer through another ridiculously slow and painful 3 mile run.