Windows has crashed all of 2 or 3 times on me, one of them being when I was halfway done with this post. But, I guess I’m thankful that we have Windows to operate on… I guess. I like Apple, but I also like to build my own computer and make it mine. Apple’s products you can’t really do that. But I’m getting off topic, as per usual…
What I was really touching on was the cliched “Day-before-Thanksgiving-let-me-express-how-grateful-I-am-for-everything” post… and how grateful I am for everything. Not in each moment like we should be, but when I remind myself of them.
I took myself out for some hill sprints earlier today. Right before I did that, I gulped down an edible. I wanted to get higher than I was going to be on the top of that hill.
It’s a unique state of mind that you arrive at when your body is totally redlined for an hour. Your first sprint up the hill, you think “Wow, that was exhilarating!” Your 2nd sprint is where the novelty wears off. The 3rd sprint? Fuck you, I’m done with this shit, let’s go home. Pushing through that constantly worsening mental and physical state 7 more times is literally weakness leaving the body. The thoughts and the urge to stop get louder and more frequent. It happens in between steps, between breaths, the whole walk down to your start before you do it again.
“Quit. Go home. You can tell everyone you did 10 and no one would know. You’re risking injury now. That’s good enough.”
Evil, lazy…. weak. ALL FROM WITHIN YOUR OWN MIND. Why would our minds work that way? Why would it tell me to quit and not improve? I’m trying to improve and my mind and body want to stop.
Fuck you. You’re doing all 10 and you’re doing your best. You’re giving it your all. YOU HAVE MORE IN YOU… PUSH.
*weak crying and whining noises*
I want to tell you that I felt great when I started to jog home. Nope, not even close. The pain set in and I had to stop so I wouldn’t hurl all over the sidewalk. I thought my hip was going to lock up on me. My feet felt like they went 12 rounds with Tyson.
But when I got home and collapsed on the floor I felt better, kind of. I’m still aching, but I feel alive… I feel accomplished. These moments when you push your body to the brink of death are important. Take the suck with the good, even if the suck is self-induced. I prefer it that way.
The euphoria afterwards is like climbing a tree. The higher you get up the tree, the better your view. You have it easy on the ground, climb higher and see beyond the trees. It’s otherworldly. I can run that fast? I can push that hard? My heart can handle that? When you induce said suck, you get reminded of the depth of the “Suck to Great” spectrum. I’m so thankful that I only needed to go that far. That’s not a spectrum I want full awareness of.
My health is one thing I think I take for granted all too often. Not as much as a lot of people I know, but enough that the guilt from it can be overwhelming. I’ll eat the junk here and there, I’ll drink a little too much (biggest drinking day of the year, anyone?? *Raises glass*), I don’t stretch enough. I should see the doctor more often. Blah blah blah, etc. Take your pick.
Since I got home, I don’t think there’s been one deep breath of fresh air that I haven’t taken notice of. Once you take the “thing” away, you realize how nice it is. Not being able to breathe is scary, getting it back and overcoming that fear is glorious.
Health is wealth. I’m not sure where the quote is from, but it doesn’t matter. I heard another one saying that young men will give away their health for wealth, old men spend their wealth to get back their health.
We can get distracted easily and lose sight of what we have and what’s important. Again, cliche, I’m aware. But take a deep breath right now. Fill your belly button, then your sternum, then your chest with air. Slowly breathe out. That’s life filling your body and then leaving it. Take a sip of whatever you’re drinking. Did you make the cup? What about the liquid? Oh, it’s clean too? Did you go to the bathroom and use running water? Wait… you were able to WALK to the bathroom? You spoiled bastard!
We can play this game all day. There’s too much in our lives to be thankful for. Seriously. It’s not about taking inventory on this one special day, it’s about correcting our dialogue. Put your mind where it needs to be. More intelligent people than me will say to write down 3 things each morning that you’re grateful for – from water to an activity taking place. Who cares what it is, there is not a single thing you CAN’T be thankful for.
But you have to look at the positive. For instance, I’m not thankful for a death in the family, but I’m thankful for all those good times we shared and what we were ABLE to share, not the moments we’ll never have.
It’s internal dialogue and it’s not easy to correct. It can come on as crippling depression, a thief of confidence, an impulsive demon. How you beat that demon is up to you. For me, sometimes it means doing something really physically and mentally difficult. For you, it could be as simple as taking a couple deep breaths. I’ve found my method for improving my state of mind by following a lot of people who’ve fought the same war and methods that worked for them. It’s merely a collection and slight modification of habits and behaviors I’ve read work.
So far, so good. Every day is a battle. We win some, we lose some. My goal is to win as many as I can and hope that by the end I’ll have won the war.
The war is not out there. The battlefield is internal – both mental AND physical. Be thankful but not just tomorrow – every damn day. Use tomorrow as a socially acceptable day to be obnoxiously thankful. Say it out loud, say it in your own mind. Say it. Focus on the positive. Win tomorrow. Fuck it, win today. It’s not over.
You’re alive, motherfucker. This is a wild ride, enjoy the fuck out of it.