Restart Your Engines!

“Never too old, never too bad, never too late, never too sick to start from scratch once again.” -Bikram Choudhury

A good friend of mine said to me once, “Honey, make all the plans you want, just don’t pack a bag.” Well, I made some plans, packed ALL my bags and ended up a million miles from my intended destination. Yes, I found myself left holding the bag alright.  A bag filled with a house purchase that fell through, three days to find a new one before being homeless, a neighborhood that I’m unfamiliar with, an interruption in my training program and, because God has his own plans, a few unexpected blessings. Understanding that there are bigger problems than mine out in the world is progress, but there is a teensy little part of me that still wanted to take a flying leap from the back of the moving van.

Monday I punched the restart button on my training after missing a week and a half to spend time finding a place to live, moving and acquainting myself with the new surroundings. No workouts? Check. Eating like total crap because I didn’t have a kitchen for a few days? Check. Feeling like I’ve been ripped out of my own life? Double check. “A change will do you good,” says Sheryl Crow and I think that instead of fighting it, I’ll just roll with it.

How was Monday’s run? The one word that comes to mind is struggle. Not quite a FAIL, but definitely a struggle. It seems, however, that the unexpected hiatus in my training did my body some good. I had been dealing with lots of muscle tweaks and a reoccurrence of some pain in my previously sprained right foot, but I experienced none of those on Monday. The lack of training, although not great for my mental state, ended up being what my body needed. Last week was scheduled to be my taper week anyway, even though a complete breakdown in discipline is probably not what my coach meant by ‘tapering.” He graciously offered to help move some furniture this weekend and after we were done and discussing my frustration he said to me, “Sometimes life just gets in the way. It’s ok. Start again Monday.” Such a reasonable and smart fellow.

Part of Monday’s struggle was the lack of familiarity with my new neighborhood. There are No BBQ joints, music stores and hat shops to guide me along my way, only similar looking houses, lots of open space, a confusing street sign situation and a crap ton of bugs. I was concerned that I hadn’t eaten any protein pre-run, but as it turns out I inhaled plenty of protein in the form of gnats and what I think were a couple of mosquito hawks. I’m not sure I made the best first impression on my new neighbors with the out-of-control swatting at my face, the choking and the spitting out of pterodactyl-sized flying insects, but it did make me wonder. What is the actual protein content of a gnat? Are they a delicacy in some far-off part of the planet? Why am I always thinking about food? I did some research after my run, and although I now know how to rid my theoretical potted plants of gnats, I’m no closer to knowing their protein content.

At the end of the day, plans will change and life will throw freight-train sized curveballs, but learning to dodge them is the reason, I think, that they exist. Realizing that I am not the cruise director on the USS Robin’s World is Step 1 in the manual of living a life that is continually growing and evolving. If I am suffering from boredom then I am not paying attention to the opportunities for growth that are endlessly buzzing around me. Yes, make all the plans you want, just don’t pack a bag. If  I ever do decide to ignore my friend’s advice and start the bag-packing again, I’ll make sure it’s lightweight and contains only the things I need: God, a few good friends, cute shoes and a water-proof sense of humor.


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