In a perfect world, I'd never get sick and running would always be fair. Unfortunately a couple of weeks ago, I got the flu and had to take my first sick day in several years. The runs after the flu were absurdly hard on my lungs and body. Luckily, I now appear to be turning the corner with a decent sub 36 Temescal-Green Peak yesterday.
I think the big lesson from the humbling past few weeks is to appreciate the long and patient process. I actually ran better on my climb up Green Peak due to finding higher and higher gears where I could keep my effort level below extreme but maintain a running stride.
Being sick actually gave me a better sense of commonality with my community of coworkers and friends that were getting sick. In that sense of the matter, I understood what it was like to be so vulnerable and human while experiencing a painful variant of the flu and the overly dramatic burning feeling in my lungs and legs while trying to learn to run uphill again.
The humbling feeling made me realize how weird and crazy this sport is, and how crazy it is that so many people do this for fun.
Watching the election (aka government reality tv) during my flux between civilian and athlete made me understand a little bit better how such contrasting ideas of entitlement are being sold (on both sides, but I undeniably lean liberal). I understand what some people feel entitled to, because the alternatives appear to sound as crazy as running up a mountain. I'm not referring to one party in particular, as all have different demands of government, but I feel like the day to day pandering of votes is not to the crazy individuals that work hard for the sheer enjoyment of working hard.
I do admit that I am lucky to work where I do, and have the skills to do my job and be compensated enough to have my basic needs met and allow me freedom to work and run for enjoyment, which is such an abstract concept for the most of the electorate. I guess my point is that maybe the gainfully employed, safe, and balanced budget households in this country are actually well off regardless of the car they drive or items they own, as long as they can find happiness in their job. I understand how they might poll with large numbers saying the country is getting worse, but I don't agree because I see such opportunity in the basic gifts of being an American citizen, regardless if I am as well off as my parents were. I find that my path to happiness isn't through a candidate's ever changing words, but through enjoying the gift of opportunity of sport and career (but I get all the complaints!).
So, thank you flu for coming and teaching me a deeper level of empathy that the endorphins and pine trees blind me to. Although, I'm not too bummed though to be back sweating and feeling the burn... 😌