September 23, 2014 by Ray Yanek
Okay, so I’ve finally come crawling back, alright?– dirty, defeated, humbled and with the chorus of you should have never left these pages because we KNEW you’d take for ever to come back, ringing in my ears.
Yes, I’m the prodigal son, the drifter, the bad seed.
And to make matters worse, not only have I abandoned this blog for 3 months, I also never followed through with what I said I was going to do in one of the last blog posts I wrote before falling off the blogging wagon.
*hangs head in further shame before admitting that….*
I didn’t run the half-marathon like I said I was going to.
Before you start sending my mother sympathy cards for birthing such a disgrace into the world, let me explain myself…
My summer consisted of hot days coated in floor wax, Diamond Dry and barbecue sauce. I worked with the maintenance crew at the high school where I teach during ordinary time; I coached my daughter’s travel softball team AND my son’s Little League baseball team. Throw in some get-to-togethers with friends, some smoked meats, and craft beers and that was pretty much my summer.
I did train, though. I trained hard–unfortunately often at the expense of my writing both this blog or my stories. I pushed myself through those early “Holy Shit I’m Never Going to Fucking Make this” 5k’s though and on to the smooth and fulfilling 8 mile jogs.
I’m happy about that and proud of my progress.
To be honest, I think I could have ran the ½ marathon on Sept. 12th, even though I took some time off from working out as the start-of-the-school year rush came into full swing. The run may not have been pretty; I may have had to go back and recollect pieces of my patella, tibia, and bits of bone from my heels, but I could have done it.
So why didn’t I?
My wife’s birthday is coming up and she desperately wanted to go see Garth Brooks in Chicago. We managed to score tickets and a hotel. The concert though, landed on the same weekend of the race. So the plan was simply to go to the concert and do the Monster Run half-marathon in October. I was good with that decision.
I was okay with pushing it back a month because in reality, the decision to run the race wasn’t about simply throwing up a massive goal to see if I could accomplish it. I wanted to run the race, not because of the race itself but rather because of the work it would take to finish that race. It was about the journey, not the destination. I wanted to prove to myself that I could discipline myself to train, to eat properly, to slim down, and become more fit. Even though I did run fairly consistently and I’m very proud that I was doing 8 mile runs, I don’t feel like I accomplished those other, more important goals of becoming more disciplined and consistent with healthy habits.
I know this sounds like an excuse, but a part of me doesn’t feel like I deserved to run (and finish) that race, when I didn’t follow through with the work as I should have. If I pushed the race back to October, I thought I could give myself sort of a second chance to prepare like I wanted to.
Unfortunately, that has yet to happen…
So now what?
Truthfully, I don’t know.
The October run would be a little over a month away. I could probably be ready, and maybe four weeks would be sufficient to get me started on that healthier lifestyle thing I was really trying for.
The problem is though, is that I’ve taken another two weeks off because of that continuing school rush, coaching my daughter’s school softball team and my son’s soccer team, not to mention that the fall travel season starts now.
And I’m tired, man.
I found another race on November 9th. That would give me another month to get my shit together. Plus, they serve beer at the finish line…
Hey, it’s motivation, okay?
However that race is the same weekend that I take the high school creative writing club to Millikin University for a weekend literary fest. We get home late Saturday and I’d have to get up really early Sunday to make the 7am race, which is in a suburb an hour and a half away.
Still though, beer at the finish line…
Are these excuses?
I don’t know.
I keep thinking about what I said above. When all this started, I wanted to test my ability to be disciplined and use the training as a jumpstart to a healthier and fitter lifestyle. I wanted to prove to myself that I could be consistent in something, when consistency is often a weakness of mine.
But if it’s about being consistent and living a healthier lifestyle, maybe that’s all the goal I need. Maybe I don’t need a big, flashy sign post at the end of road.
A huge part of me though, is not happy that I didn’t do what I said I was going to do.
A huge part of me is not happy about that all. And an increasing larger part is starting to stare down that run on Nov. 9th.
That run that has beer at the finish line.
I’ll keep thinking about it and while I do maybe I should also strive for discipline and creativity in something else that’s very important to me…
Both my stories and this blog.
I hope to see you all again, and really hope I see some old friends soon.