February 16, 2017 by Ray Yanek
I went for a jog Tuesday evening. The weather had warmed, slightly. My thoughts were already running so I felt as if I should make my body match.
I haven’t run in awhile, mostly because of the Illinois winter and running on a treadmill makes me feel like a fat hamster. Tuesday, after I broke the first mile, (the first mile is always the hardest) I realized how much I missed running.
In the past, running became about more for me than just improving times or wracking up mileage or reaping physical benefits. Running became a form of a meditation, a place where clarity could be found between the beating breaths. So many times, unbidden and out of nowhere, writing ideas ended up pouring through my head like the sweat ran down my shirt. On the road, I found the way through countless story knots that previously seemed to twist on forever.
On Tuesday, I could feel the run in my hips and knees, in my ankles and feet but, afterwards, as I sat down with my notebook to record the ideas before I lost them, I knew I would run again as the weather continues to warm.
Last August, I joined a Crossfit box that opened here in town and I’ve surprised myself with my dedication– always at least three workouts a week, often four, sometimes five. I’ve tried a thousand other workout programs over the years. I’ve done push-up after push-up in my basement while some dude from a DVD yelled at me. I’ve followed routines I found on the internet and thrown plates around in the high school weight room after hours. I never stuck with any of them, though. Never as religiously as I have with Crossfit, anyway.
I’ve drank the Crossfit Kool-Aid. I admit. I love it for a variety of reasons, but it’s the community that coaches has created that brings me back more than anything. I look up to the people I work out with. I want to do the things that they can do. They challenge me, inspire me, encourage me, pick me up when I feel that I’ve fallen short. We laugh, we bitch. We groan. We do it all together.
And I look forward to the near-death experience that is Crossfit every, single, day because of this blessing.
I’m introverted by nature. I prefer quiet and calm and solitude. I need time alone.
Writing is mostly an introverted activity. You spend hours lost in your thoughts, weaving through smoky tendrils of created places and people. You turn inside and seek God in the intuitiveness that storytelling requires.
Writing is lonely work, but on the good days, it is magical work.
And I miss writing terribly when I don’t do it.
It wasn’t lost on me that when I read the acceptance letter from Lindenwood, the emphasis wasn’t on being admitted to an MFA program, but rather on being welcomed to a community.
And I hope that, after a time, this post will finish writing itself…