Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Being Uncomfortable

What do potato chips, kosher dill pickles, and leftover Del Taco tacos have in common? I mean, besides their ridiculous sodium levels? Nothing, except the fact that they were all on one plate, comprising my "lunch" today. A strange moment of laziness led to me eating whatever I could grab in 30 seconds or less after I waited too long to eat, post-run, and then had an urgent need to have calories in my mouth.

PDawg: undoing the good in any exercise since 1979.

It feels like it has to count, though. This exercise thing. Perhaps today I was in it for the mental benefits. I certainly feel not crazy. This morning I dropped the kids off at school and went for a run along my favorite path. The one with bunnies and ducks and nature. The one I used to take all the time when I was training for real a few years ago. I didn't know how far I was going to go--which is a very unHeather way for me to be--but I set out anyway. When I got to a mile and a half I wanted to give up and turn around but I didn't. I ended up running four, total. Two out and back.

I'm doing this thing with Henry lately where I tell him that being hurt and being uncomfortable are not the same. As in, I'll clip his fingernails and he'll wail, OW, OW, YOU'RE HURTING ME. And I just don't think that's a way you can go through life. Because getting your fingernails clipped does not hurt, Dude. And if you think that getting your fingernails clipped actually does hurt, the world is going to knock you on your butt so hard before you're out of high school. So we talk a lot lately about how being uncomfortable is a thing, but it's not going to kill you. You can actually be uncomfortable for quite a long time without it messing you up too bad.

That's how I ran a marathon in 2011. Sometimes it's how I get through all the papers I have to grade. I tell myself all the time I only have to do this for __ more hours. Sometimes minutes.

It's what I was telling myself today. Let yourself be uncomfortable. I'm not a good, fast, or graceful runner when I am in shape, and you would not believe the extent to which I have let my cardiovascular health suffer while I have been in grad school. So today was sloppy. And labored. And honestly? Loud. I wheeze. And stomp my feet like a Clydesdale. But I knew it wasn't going to take me out, so I just let myself be uncomfortable.

Being uncomfortable is good, though, right? I think way too many people aren't very willing to go there. At the first sign of something getting rough, they bail. There's only good or bad. That's what I see in my classroom. I used to see it in my ballet students who wanted to get through a whole class without breaking a sweat. Girl, please... why are you here? So if there's something I could develop more in myself, it would be the ability to sit in that feeling. To just let the discomfort happen without trying to make it stop at all costs. (Almost like a physical form of negative capability? Peace with discomfort? Is that taking it too far?)

So yeah. Yay, running.

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It was hot, though. One thing I didn't remember from my old running days was why in the summer, I used to run right when the sun came up. DUH. This morning I was running at about 11:00 AM and it was just this side of misery. The thing is, everything is more beautiful just as the sun is rising, anyway. Morning is my favorite time. Not Sweaty 11:00 with people taking weed walks on the running path. Yes, that kind of weed. I have more than one reason to start setting my alarm.

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Cookie kept me company while I stretched and did some work on the computer after the run. And we're not really sure why, but all of the sudden she's acting like she's finally domesticated. Perhaps she has figured out that the humans are the ones with the steak (she's a total beggar for any kind of thing we're eating) but she was by my side all day. Not typical behavior for this one.

More domestic mama stuff today: I made another batch of granola because I have sorely been missing it. I always have to have granola.

And we devoured another fruit salad made of fruits that grew within a half mile of my house. I am already sad for the days that these fruit salads won't be around anymore. And I wish there was a way all this produce-eating we are doing now could somehow be stored up for the dark days of winter. Yeah, we try, then. And we probably eat more than most even in winter. But we don't like it like we do in June and July. And even Clementines get kind of old. There's just too much fresh produce that tastes amazing right now. I am so much less motivated to love fruit and buy local in, let's say, February, when all that's at the farmer's market is ROOT VEGETABLES.

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And... new books continue to come in the mail. I have a couple (above) on my nightstand right now and my Kindle is all loaded up. (Though I spent yesterday on a happy diversion into the works of Kafka, inspired by this piece.) I decided to try to beat last year's 36 books (I think that's the most I've ever read in a year) and read 50 this year. I'm at 22. So I have a lot to do this summer. Or, I should say: I get to do a lot this summer. Because reading is my favorite thing. I wish there was a chart like at the library when I was a kid. And then reading could be a thing that I win.

And now, because I'm experiencing a different kind of discomfort--muscle soreness--I am going to go. Night, Internet.


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