Saturday, October 10, 2015


A few years back, I read a book called Think Fast: Mental Toughness Training for Runners, which had some great quotes in it.

Regarding the post-race high:
"We're drunk on the pain and fatigue we've just felt, on relief that it is over, and on pride that we've endured it. And we must talk about it."

Regarding runners in general:
"The picture that is starting to emerge of a runner, then, is of a self-battling, inward-looking loner."

And regarding the limits of the human body:
"The running that keeps you healthy may not make you happy, and the running that makes you happy may not keep you healthy."

Interestingly (to me), for all three quotes, and many others I jotted down, I could easily swap "running" for "writing" and they would still hold true - maybe even more true - particularly the last one.


I recently reread a certain book for the first time in nearly four years, fully expecting to be embarrassed by at least some of it, and fully wrong in that prediction. It was so good... It made me laugh so much, and it made me so proud of the person I was back then, and I sped through it. Yet when I was done, I was almost sick with it all, because it was heartbreaking. It's an incredibly sad story. I never thought of it as a sad story, because it's funny and ridiculous.

But it's devastating. It hurt to live through and it hurt to write about. I thought that I covered that up - I thought that I made the whole adventure "okay" because I made it "light." But there is darkness underneath the light, and that darkness is real and true and was powerful enough to upset me in the present, seeping in while I was distracted by the details of the story.

I can make all of the excuses I want about my hesitations with the Breakaway book, but I've always had a hunch about the real reason I've not gotten further in the process than I have. In order to take it to where it needs to be, I have to go somewhere inside of me I haven't gone in a long while, and I don't know that I want to. More specifically, I don't know if it's worth it. But that sounds so melodramatic, so instead I blame time or confusion over what to write - which are very valid excuses in their own right, but more symptoms than causes. I've known all of this, and yet I was thinking that the final product would come out clean and separate from the process of creating it. I see now that's not true, at all. My process is right there, black and white as the words on the pages.

I always assumed the best thing I could have done for myself was write it...but in reality that might have come second to moving the hell on afterward.

Not everything needs to be endlessly revisited.*

*By the person whose life it was. Everyone else should read the book! It traumatized the author years later! And it's funny! Hooray!


  1. Maybe I'll think of something witty and pithy to say later, but for now I need to rely on cliches: I support you; I like this post.

    1. Nothing witty or pithy required! Thank you, on all counts (and while we're on the topic, thank you for being there with me through all the JW craziness!!). :)