Thursday, February 6, 2014

Passion: It's a Double-Edged Sword

“Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, 'This is the real me,' and when you have found that attitude, follow it.”  ~William James
So you care about something.
You really, really, care about it.
It gives your life a certain zest, a certain vitality.
It makes everything else in your life sweeter, and more precious.
It isn't 'your life' but it's an essential part of your life.

Perhaps others see it as silly,

But for you, it is an essential part of the whole.
You are a tiny Geist,
You are your own little world,
But you are also an essential piece in this huge reality, 
and each part is a crucial piece.

Like a puzzle, the picture may be clear with a few pieces missing,
but it is not complete, and whole.
And, if you are missing essential pieces,
the picture is rendered a meaningless collection of shapes and colors.
To change ones life: Start immediately. Do it flamboyantly.
Read more at“Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, 'This is the real me,' and when you have found that attitude, follow it.”
Passions make us whole,
Though life, in appearance, may continue,
even when the passions are lost, denied - ripped from us.

Do you get that?
Do you feel that?
Do you have that?
And this is when we are tested. 
“If any organism fails to fulfill its potentialities, it becomes sick.” ~ William James
The scariest part of being passionate about something is that that same passion can cause so much pain and angst because we care so much about it.

Last night:
I toss and turn from 2 a.m. until 5 a.m. and then doze, on and off, for the next 2ish hours until the alarm buzzes at 6:50. Why??? Stupid running. Stupid damn running. This is not precipitated by any 'important' worries - just running. The tears are bottled up in my throat all night long. I try to quiet the voices of doom...of weakness...of stupidity...Fail.

And, actually it's all about the fact that I haven't 'really' been able to run for almost 3 weeks when I should be training for Boston...When I had finally felt that I was in shape to do something that mattered to me...When I can feel myself losing it...and fast.

7:05 a.m.:
My husband notices that I'm bleary eyed. "Are you okay?"
"No. I was up from 2-5, and after"
"Why? Is it JUST the foot thing? Or something else..."

JUST!!!?? JUST!!!?? Why YES, it IS JUST the f-ing foot 'THING'.

And this 'foot thing' is not 'just' an injury. It's a repeating story. 13 years ago I tore my Posterior Tibialis tendon falling while bouldering and since I had no health insurance at the time my treatment and rehab was less than optimal. I was in a cast for 6 weeks and then I was on my own. It took me about 2 years to get back to what I felt was full function. Importantly, this isn't just a typical post. tib. injury because it has complications. And that past injury continues to return when least expected. And in this case I really did not see it coming.

Worse, the long term complications can be devastating (  Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction) for a runner - and I'm not AWFULIZING - or am I?
“The strenuous life tastes better”  ~ Willam James
And so I lie awake nights thinking about all of this. And it is JUST my foot. And this is JUST Boston...and I've gone through this before and I will go through it again. These are the risks we all take.  And I think people are probably tired of listening to it. So I TRY to stuff it. And this is the only way I let it out...And crying inside my head at 2 a.m.

I believe most of us who are passionate about something understand the fear of losing what we most love - be that a lover, a child, an ability, whatever. It is safer not to care. Then I could just shake this off. I could use this time to do other things I care about.

But I don't want to do that, I say, shaking my fist at the heavens. I just want to run.

What I need right now, is Faith. 
"Faith means belief in something concerning which doubt is still theoretically possible ... faith is the readiness to act in a cause the prosperous issue of which is not certified to us in advance." ~ William James, "The Will To Believe"
Maybe I'm being silly about 'The (stupid) Foot'. But, I don't understand people who seem not to care.
There are times I wish I cared less. And then I realize that if I did, I would be dead, in a sense.

I gnash my teeth and claw at the forces that test me, that try to deny me what I care about - and at times I feel weary, head in hands, and I weep.

But then I pick myself back up, and I press on. Because I have no other choice.
The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another. ~ William James


  1. So heart-wrenchingly honest and raw. I BELIEVE. BIG LOVE

  2. You are not being silly. Running is a huge part of who you are. And it is by no means "just" running, "just" the foot or "just" Boston. What matters to you matters. It is hard to continue to fight (rehab) and do all the things to try to get to your goal when physically, mentally, emotionally, the fear and worry drains you and tires you just when you need to marshal all your resources to press on and do what it takes to get to the best point you can and then make the smartest decision you can.

    I sympathize.

    I didn't tear my PT tendon, but gave myself overuse tendinitis in it in 2004 when training for a marathon - and it flared up horribly during the race - and I'm still working my way back to my first full marathon since due to that and a number of life circumstances. (and now from a different more recent tendinitis in August that knocked me out of my goal Nov marathon - rehab, XT, deciding to DNS that race, resetting my goal for mid-March and dealing w/ coming back and the fear, the constant ever present fear of re-injury/new injury and of not hitting my goal of BQ - it's hard…..not fighting cancer hard, but in its own special way hard) PT is a sucky place to have a problem because you use it all the time. But just because it COULD be really bad doesn't mean it will be. Give yourself the gift - believe that it IS possible that it will be okay, or okay enough, while doing whatever you can about the symptoms and the training.

    Sending you waves of support, good healing thoughts and all good wishes.

  3. Your post really spoke to me. I am passionate and idealistic... and an injured runner (plantar fasciitis for 1 3/4 years now... despite rest and drs appointments and cortisone shots and icing and stretching... it was supposed to be a stupid foot thing that went away quickly) who can't really train right now and who has struggled to keep dreams alive in other areas that I am passionate about. I feel your angst and frustration. In a non-creepy way (because this is the internet and so many things are creepy) I wish we could be friends and that I could be there for you. As disappointing as this advise will be, I think the only thing you can do is believe that things will get better... because they have to, because if they don't the world is really depressing.

    1. I had PF for about 2.5 years on and off, with the PT stuff complicating matters (they are all connected), and so I understand your issues as well. I was always able to keep running with the PF with taping and a lot of very painful dry needling, but it always held me back. I was never a 100%. I played around with shoes, running distances, got orthotics that were a total waste, did many round of shock wave therapy (ouch), and on and on. Eventually it just seemed to get better. All the therapy may have done something, but in that case, my body really did it - with a little attentive listening on my part. I'd say, just don;t stop searching, and while you're searching your body will heal. The searching and striving just distracts us from the day to day suckiness of it. We FEEL we're doing something to help. We FEEL we have some say, some control.

      There are moments, sometimes several moments when I'm running - even today - when it felt all good. I felt no pain. Hmmm. Maybe this is all in my head. Maybe I should just will it to not be so. Maybe it's gone away. Like that! bamm. And then it's there again. And I am crushed by it's reality. I want to pretend that, act as if, is not really there. What if I just ignore it?? Oh. yes. What if...

      And Katie, if you've taken the time to read this and comment, then we are friends, because this is all very personal to me. keep listening to your body and your heart and be willing to take risks to find out what does and doesn't work for you. PF is different in every single person I've known to have it and it responds differently. So, conventional advice aside, listen to what helps YOU.


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