Writing the Rails for 13.1 Miles. . .


May 22, 2014 by Ray Yanek


I really do plan on keeping up on the blog a little more regularly, once I get past this end-of-semester grading and graduation panic, that is.  Getting back into a blog rhythm is one of my summer goals.

In fact, in the flurry of essays and final exams I’ve been grading, I’ve been setting a lot of goals for the summer.  Most of those goals revolve around the writing I hope to do and I’ve also set some fitness goals.  Actually not just some fitness goals, but one big-ass, Godzilla-sized fitness goal.  One that, when I actually stop and think about it, kind of freaks me out and makes me question my 40 year old sanity…

You see, I paid $50 and signed up to run a half marathon this September.

A half-marathon.  13.1 miles.

And to put this task into perspective, maybe we should revisit the Jingle Bell Run I wrote about back in early January…

I needed something though, something to work at and train for and in the process I hope to shed a few pounds and gain some confidence by the mere fact that I followed through with a challenge like this. And this will be a challenge, something that I’ll have to dedicate myself to and stay committed to.  I’ll have to get my ass on the blacktop or in the gym even when I’m tired, sore, hot, worn out, or just plain don’t feel like doing it  I’ll have to carve out time in a hectic summer schedule that includes a full-time summer job, a close to full-time gig coaching my kids’ softball and baseball teams, and everything else that happens in the summer.

I’ll have to commit myself to the training, just like I’ll need to commit myself to achieving the lofty writing goals I’ve set for myself as well.

Let me pause for a minute for a sudden urge to wring my hands nervously….

Okay.  Better now.

But looking at all those thing I just wrote above is still making me a little nervous.  Part of me is wondering if I’ve bit off more than I can chew.  Part of me is wondering if I can juggle it all.  Part of me is wondering how I’m going to look in those overly-snug compression shorts.

But then there’s a deeper part of me that understands that this is something, for some reason, I need to do.  In a hectic, full life. I think I need to have personal goals to help keep me–me.  Or maybe it’s something I need to do to recover a sense of me that I sometimes feel like I lost. Not just recently, but a long long time ago.

But that’s a story for another day.

It’s odd, because I can’t help feeling like my summer goals of writing and running this ½ marathon are, in more ways than I can fully realize at this juncture, connected and like they are going to work well together.   There are all the old cliches that compare writing a novel to running a marathon, which is true, but what I’m talking about feels like something deeper.

I realize I’m being vague and I apologize, but I plan on trying to explore these connections in future blogs with the hopes that as things become more vivid for me, I’ll be able to express them more clearly to you.  But my instincts are telling me these connections and insights are true, that I’ll come out of this a better, stronger, wiser person.

And let me end by saying that if I’m listening to my instincts and feeling that these are the right things to do–maybe that’s the first of the positive steps this journey will take me towards.

Take care and sorry about putting that image of me in the compression shorts into your head…





2 thoughts on “Writing the Rails for 13.1 Miles. . .

  1. […] But before we go on, this is a “Writing the Rails for 13.1 Miles” post. You can learn more about what I’m doing with these posts here. […]

  2. I hope it’s an intensely creative and healthy summer for you.

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