I'm taking an acting class this summer, and for those of you that have known me since high school, you probably remember that I was incredibly active in the theater program. It's been a lot of fun getting back to it, and I'm taking more away from it now than I ever thought I would. In the past few class periods we've been focusing a lot on forward motion. When you are on stage, whether working with a partner or solo, you have to be moving forward. If you are stuck in a moment, the audience loses it's attention with you and the connection you have established is gone. It's possible to get it back, but if even for a moment or two, it's gone. We read a chapter out of Michael Shurtleff's book Audition and since I know most people reading this aren't interested in reading it, I'll paraphrase. The chunk we read was Shurtleff explaining how important it is for the actor to be fighting for something. The actor should not be fighting against something (ie: 'i want you to stay standing' vs. 'i do not want you to sit down'. You should be fighting for the person to stay standing). There should always be a positive goal on the forefront of the actor's mind to achieve and once you get it, you can have a fraction of a moment to silently celebrate, but almost immediately you must find a new goal and work towards that. You must always be fighting for something. In the middle of a 4 mile trail jog I realized that this stage strategy has been the way I have lived my life for quite some time now.
I got my first pair of running shoes for my 22nd birthday (which is in the month of September). I ran my first 5k in December 2011, my first half marathon in the following May, and my first marathon in July. I had only been running for a year (and two weeks) when I ran my first ultramarathon of 50 miles in September of 2012. Shortly after I set my sights on this 100 coming up in 5 weeks (holy shit). If that sounds boastful, then I write my apologies, for I'm just trying to set the reader that may not know me up to understand what I'm writing. I had set my eyes on a goal, attained it, and set a new one. I have always been fighting for something.
What I fight for is forward momentum. If I'm not working towards something, I feel stagnant. If I'm not training for a race/distance, I have a hard time lacing up my shoes. This, in turn, has helped me drive forward in other aspects of my life. I've set higher goals for myself and I've shoved anyone who gets in my way to the side with the absence of an apology.
I am absolutely terrified of being stagnant. I cannot understand people who settle and get comfortable in their lives and stop moving forward. I cannot understand people who float by day to day doing the same god damn thing with no further goal in mind. I loathe the idea of returning home at night and knowing that the next day will be the same, or that the next year I will be in the same place doing the same things and talking to the same people and living the same life. Why do people do that? Why do you stop fighting? What happened to your positive action? Again, do not misunderstand me when I say 'positive action' as optimistic pep.What I write is a meaning of positive action as in forward momentum. I have already planned on attending grad school because that limbo of post-graduation-searching-for-a-career-that-probably-isnt-even-there-right-now scares the fucking shit out of me. Serving tables every day? No way. Not my style. The only difference I'm making in that industry is people are paying me to give them food and pour their wine. Positive action? Not on my scale. Much like being on stage, when you're not moving forward you're losing the connection. So get out of there. Do something different. Change something or maybe even change absolutely everything and I can promise you that you will feel more like you are living.
I can already hear the argument brewing of "I have a career and I'm comfortable in it and I'm doing what I love". Whatever. Good for you. Except you're probably not. If you're in a field where you directly help people (or the environment) (I am not talking about professions where you make people feel good about themselves, either. I'm talking about actually helping people) then perhaps you are familiar with this feeling of fighting for something that I am talking about. You are fighting for people. You are fighting for a positive change in some way. If you're a businessman or a banker or (my personal favorite) have a hand in the oil or plastic industry, go fuck yourself. go plant a fucking tree or something because you actually have no idea what the fuck I'm talking about.
Running gives me an outlet to not be stagnant when I feel as though the schooling will never end. I'd often rather throw my head through a wall than have another pretentious fuck speak rudely to me when I'm opening a wine bottle for them or serving them a $45 entree. I am fighting for myself to get through school and better the world, and running makes that real. I fight for longer distances, and when the distance appeal wears off I'll fight for faster times. Stagnation leaves my brain as I'm literally running, but also using this sport to make the best bonds with the best people that I've ever met, and having the opportunity to see parts of the world that I probably never would. Instead of driving on the Black Hills I'm going to be running through them. That's a really wonderful way to see the world. It's a really wonderful way to live life.
so what are you fighting for?
And fight hard. Good God, give it all you've fucking got. And when you feel like you're maxed out, dig deeper and give it more. Attack the shit out of whatever you are fighting for. Please. Attack it like you're fighting for your life. Because that is, actually, exactly what you're doing.
++a week in training
monday 3 miles solo, 4 miles with Joe
tuesday off. walked around Cedar Point for like 10 hours.
wednesday 6 miles at urban herd. the boys wanted to race towards the end so we brought it in real fuckin' hot with something that had to be like sub6s, no joke. literally the last mile was sub-6.
thursday 6 miles with Katie at Al Sabo. Planned on doubling that with Lauren, but she overslept :P been there, done that.
friday full body workout. super fucking intense.
saturday 10 at the arbs. a child peed on me. that's what this blog post was originally going to be about. look for that gem later.
sunday off. overslept for the run and then worked 10.5 hours. F dat.
total miles: 29? really? i'm doing this all from memory this week but I could have sworn it was more than that. Oh well. Point is, recovery week from the 50 went well and I am feeling fly as fuck.