(yes i skipped #2. i couldn’t wait to write about this one)
Prompt: Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors)
There are many days during this year that I felt joy, laughter, and happiness - and yes, I’m sure some would define those moments as feeling alive. However, I do not believe that in all those experiences that I felt the most vulnerable. It is during those moments of sheer vulnerability where we get a slight glimpse of that which is larger than ourselves and a sneak peak into a grandeur scheme of how our life is to play out. As a result, the feeling of being alive.
In retrospect, I really did not like this weekend, but as it came full circle a few months later, I am able to see why these moments needed to happen. The date was Sunday May 16, 2010. What is a really happy day in “runner land” – the 99th Bay to Breakers – was, to me, a time of burnout and frustration. I had this date written out on my overambitious running schedule for the year and of all my runs, this was the one that could not be missed! However, I admit to not dialing it down and recovering from a 12k, 2 half marathons, and a 200 mile relay in the span of a month and a half (yes an event every other weekend it seemed). Oh, mind you, this was May and I had many things planned out for the remainder of the year. Rookie running mistake #1.
To me running a burnt out 12k for Bay to Breakers manifested frustration not only in running, but in my personal life too. I had decided a few weeks prior to start looking for new apartments to save money. This was a grand undertaking since I had settled into a routine. I spent the two days before B2B to look at some places and was in the midst of a minor panic attack as I envisioned all my belongings (that somehow accumulated in two years since I drove out here with only items in my car…) packed and U-hauled to a new place. Stress. An added stress was waking up early, barting to the the start, and running a race. Many of my running friends weren’t running this, and I wasn’t in the mood for the partying bay to breakers style. So I traveled and participated solo.
As I stood in the corral, I felt alone and (cliche) was standing among thousands of people who I am sure would have befriended me since they were dressed as Tetrus, pirates, hula girls, mario, batman, or naked. A slight San Francisco chill was in the air as I maneuvered between people. The streets were filled with spectators enjoying themselves, inviting runners over to partake and continue, but I was on a mission to get home. We entered Golden Gate Park and knowing it was downhill from there onwards, powered through to Ocean Beach. When I finished the race, I got on the shuttle bus, slowly froze, and barted back.
I wish I could have told myself to LIGHTEN the *&@$ up!. In thinking about this day, I truly let my stress impede every opportunity for enjoyment to enter my life. In seeing how things eventually came together and reflecting upon the series of events, the life lesson of managing my worrying was learned. Recognizing when you do not have control of certain things and realizing that you are making it more difficult yourself is a continual process, but atleast I am beginning to look for those positives that my stress is trying to push out.
I really loved this prompt. Sometimes we do not see for months the puzzle pieces falling together during a seemingly crappy day.
[Maybe I will give B2B another chance this year? As I look at next year, many of my plans will not revolve around races. Sure, I have a few that I want to participate in, but I saw the extreme and the injury and would like to settle somewhere in a healthy medium ]