The problem is that for the past few weeks, I haven't been keeping it real with myself . . . at all.
If you've never seen it, there was a skit on the Dave Chappelle show called When "Keeping it Real" Goes Wrong. The skit always ended with an exaggerated version of what would happen if we really did say exactly what we were thinking. Think: getting thrown in federal prison, receiving a violent ass-whooping and then losing your home because you couldn't pay the medical bills, etc.
TL;DR: we aren't free from the consequences of our actions (or statements).
But this is about when keeping it real goes right.
|Not this kind of funk.|
This is the GOOD kind.
I sat down several times over the last few weeks to write a blog to correct this. I struggled to feel more happy and positive and content with where I physically am right now. I searched for perspective. I tried to come up with my reasons to celebrate every day. And I was failing a lot of days. I was letting myself get sucked into a bitter/petty Pity Party.
I was in a major Funk.
Lately, I don't feel good most of the time. I don't sleep most of the time. Many days are a struggle to get through whatever tasks are ahead of me. (This includes my training.) But, as anyone who has battled chronic illness most of their life knows, life with chronic illness can be a roller coaster.
Which really means that being chronically ill is not terribly different than just living life in general. Life is a roller coaster: sometimes we're up, sometimes we're down, and everyone deals with shit. (How can I forget this when I myself talk about it ALL THE TIME?)
Today, while going for coffee and bagels, while preparing (despite not sleeping much for the last 3 days straight) for another "bunched run" where I'll run 10-12 miles this afternoon and another 10-12 in the morning, I found myself frustrated that my Fitbit battery was low.
I realized that my only real problems in life are coffee, sleep, and my Fitbit battery.
Of course, I know these are not really problems.
So then this hit me: my REAL problem (the FUNK, that is) was just as much mental as it was physical.
What I needed was not inspiration, motivation, or laughter. What I needed was a big ol' dose of Get the Fuck Over It.
EVERY athlete, even the healthiest of athletes, will come to the point of their training plan where they start to mentally and/or physically become fatigued. I especially feel this when I get tired of marathon training: all I do is run, run, run, do yoga and lift weights (with one ride a week thrown in for cross-training). Sometimes I'm just DYING for the days when, if I miss a workout or don't feel so great, I can swap one sport for another sport.
This is not something unique to ME. I am not special. I am not a precious flower. I am just a person who physically does a LOT. People who do a LOT get tired.
One of my favorite expressions for snapping out of those moments when we get too sucked into our own pity parties is the struggle is real. After seeing my cats all pile on top of the couch one Saturday morning for snuggles, I decided to swap out the "TR" for an "N."
So, whenever I need a reality check, I tell myself this:
Swap out a few letters . . . see how any expression changes from negative to positive or neutral. Sounds like a silly exercise, but it works.
Every morning, I see a gentlemen practicing tai chi in our neighborhood park. He walks to the park with purpose and flow and rhythm. And when he gets there, he tunes out everyone and everything and is completely peaceful in his practice.
For all I know, this dude has all kinds of internal demons. He may hate himself. His kids may have disowned him. He may be flat broke, or have some life-altering, crippling illness from which tai chi is his only refuge/exercise. Or he may be just as peaceful and purposeful as his practice suggests. Only he knows the truth.
It reminds me that we all have something going on. Some of us just choose to make it public, or to let it disturb our inner/outer peace.
Lately, I have needed a reminder that this is a choice.
And that, ladies and gentleman, is when keeping it real goes right.