Fool - Cat Power
Yesterday I felt so strong. My pace dropped from 12 minutes to 11:12 on a five mile run . My feet didn't hurt, my stride felt even and proud. Even my gut felt taut. Then I get up this morning before the sun and I drag it out there and it's a whole new day. The entire route is constant bargaining in my mind. The counting meditation goes off course like a drunken has-been in a motel lounge, and I'm not sure until I get my watch to hit an hour that I'll make it through the route at all. But I do. And even the time is faster than usual. Still, I felt bad for most of it. And here's the thing I learn when I run: just because it feels labored, doesn't mean it ain't good for me. Just like the book. Just like direct communication. Just like following a budget. I don't do it because it's a good time. I do it for a million reasons, and that's not one of them. It has to be the experience itself, because when I return home, I literally have nothing to show for it.
Of course it takes forever to get used to this thing I am doing. Not only does it go against everything I have taught my body since college, but I get out there and I got none of the things that get me through. No camera. No pen. No keyboard. Sometimes I wish I had a court reporter for my brain with that machine they have there, and a ticker tape running out of it recalling the proceedings. Then I would know what happened, be able to slide the paper through my fingers and click back on all those thoughts and ideas. All the images my camera wasn't there to get. All the times I chose to keep going when I could have chosen not to. I would have proof. Proof that I persevere and exactly what that looks like. Maybe then I'd have some kind of true story about the running. A document that proved anything at all. The thing that ran through my head today a bunch was nothing to show for it, nothing to prove. There is no book to hand to somebody, a smooth matte cover with my name on it. No stack of photographs, color corrected and glamorously lit. No trophy. No nothing. It's the hardest thing I've ever done that I can't show anybody. For all you know, I mist myself down with salt water and pose in bandanas for fun. It is April Fool's Day after all.
But I posit here to you that fools get a bad rap. That we should all take a note from the wise Fool, that the Fool always survived the wrath of a wicked king. So no matter how silly a thing feels, like running after 25 years, being foolish keeps you alive.
Happy April 1st.