The kind of tired I am right now is not that kind of tired, nor is it the chronic insomniac’s up-in-the-wee-hours-pacing-the-floors-like-it’s-my-job tired, though I’ve had plenty of that in my life. This is different, and it’s not something anyone would want to brag about. In fact, I write this post with considerable risk that a huge red international “no” symbol will descend on me after I’m cattle-branded with the word “WHINER” on my forehead. So be it.I have a runner’s heart, which means it can carry me through hours of intense physical activity. It’s also a human heart, of course, and it’s been drop kicked, stomped on, sucker punched, smashed, crushed, shredded, pulverized, and all the other extreme settings on an industrial strength blender. I once said I’d had enough of love and relationships and was resigning myself to living a solitary life. Friends smiled eagerly when I said this, because as we all know, this is precisely when the heroine discovers that the nice guy she’d only ever considered a friend is actually The One. Nah, that didn’t happen. He dumped me for someone else. You should see them, they’re super cute together.
I am tired of thinking I’m strong and then learning, again and again, how fragile I really am, how very easily damaged.I have a runner’s body, which I never had before, which means I’m in the best shape I’ve been in, ever, in my whole life. It also means I’ve injured bone, muscle, tendon, ligament, toenail, and even teeth in the process of training for races. I’ve had a major league pitcher injury (rotator cuff), a football player injury (groin), and a hockey player injury (yeah, the teeth again). Some of these were minor setbacks. A couple of them made racing difficult and disappointing. I’ve never before had an injury that made me miss a race altogether (unless you count the hangover I had before the 5K in Chicago one weekend with The Ex). Until now. My first ultramarathon, the one I’ve been looking forward to for most of this year, the thing that put excitement and joy back in my life after yet another major downer of a winter, is not going as planned. In fact, it’s probably not going at all.
I am tired of wanting things, going after them, working so hard to get them, and failing. Again and again and again.I have a runner’s mentality in so many ways, and that means, among other things, an obsessive need to keep moving. Run through the rain, run through the pain, run and keep running and do not stop until you’ve reached your goal. It also means, an honest runner will tell you, that sometimes you really hate being this way. Can’t I stop? Please? Why the hell not? Why the hell am I still doing this? When my novel got accepted for publication, a “see tolja so” chorus serenaded me for months from well-meaning friends who had heard me wanting to give up on ever seeing the book in print. I smiled at them, and in general I act thrilled to the toes about this dream-come-true news, but to be honest, the main emotion I feel about this isn’t elation but relief. Good. I did it. Now I can stop being depressed about it and focus my negative energy on something else.
I am tired of listening to myself think these things, and I hate having to tell them to others. I dread meeting new people because the thought of having to go through my stories, my past, my life, engenders nothing but weariness.There are wonderful things in every day. A good meal, a fun book, friends who make me laugh. I value these things immensely. I know I should focus on them and not all the other crap, but as you know, you with the amazing life that keeps you so, so busy, it’s hard to focus when you’re tired.