The Fork (Stupid Fork)

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

My friend Matt text me and asked me what my workout was going to be today.  I told him “I ran and  it was like running in a personal swimming pool of my own body sweat.  And now, HOURS later, I am still soaking wet and will never ever be dry or smell right in my lifetime.”  Yep, I’m super gross.

Okay, I didn’t say ALL that, I was tired.   I said, “I ran.  It was hotter than a mother effer.” 

Humidity doesn’t bring out my zen runner side.  That’s for sure.  Today’s run sucked.  I ran a good pace and all but I didn’t really enjoy it.  That’s rare.  It was a nice little 10K and had a nice course.  My rationale after the fact?  (Besides the heat)  I’m bored.  I’m sore.  I don’t think my hamstrings will ever be normal again.  I’m whiney.  See previous six or seven sentences for proof.  Here’s a few more, just to drive it home:  I’m cranky.  A milestone birthday rapidly approaching (30 on July 8th), family health issues, training dissatisfaction (self-imposed not injury specific), disappointments, and a general malaise with my surroundings have led me to a place I seem to stumble upon with varying degrees of regularity and with various catalysts… 

I’m going to affectionately refer to this place as a fork in the road and not what it seems to really be – a death march to nowhere.  And this fork offers options… I feel like I take them, but admittedly, there’s no progress, short term gains, safe, easy… not invested.  Don’t get me wrong, life’s good and the view from the fork isn’t too shabby –except that it’s the same damn place all the time.  And somehow it always takes me by surprise.  And as I stare on the view with sincere incredulity, a “What the hell are you doing here” look on my face… the fork seems to shrug it’s shoulders with indignation as if to say, “What the hell do you keep doing back here?” 

So I have to ask myself, am I taking the same trail over and over again unknowingly or do all roads lead back to this place?   My previous reply was a confident, “Well, I just need to find a new fork.”  But this morning, it was startling to me how wrong I have been.  New fork?  No.  Nope.  Not better. The answer has to be somewhere in the traveler, not the trail because the trails only exist where we make them, right?  So, that’s my damn fork and I need to either change myself to make it the right fork, change myself thus discovering a new fork, or change my perception of where I am.

I’ll be honest. I really dislike that answer regardless of the fact that it’s right. It’s one more thing on my to-do list.  My friend Shonda told me last week, “No one tells you when you grow up that being an adult sucks.”  And it does.  Money, stress, accountability, juggling a million balls all the time, the simplicity seems so far away and I work like a dog, I’ll kick my own ass in the gym but listening to my voicemail and remembering dance recital show bows goes undone.  Does it make me weak to admit that there are days I am completely unhappy and completely unsure and completely overwhelmed?  Yes.  Probably.

As I write this, my friend Matt sends me another text “Hey girl, get your shit together.”  And I immediately laugh out loud in this stuffy, empty room, (I could go to an air conditioned room too by the way.  I’m just wallowing now) because he’s right.  I need to just suck it up. 

And so… off I go, down the “get your shit together path.”  I am not overthinking the direction.  That doesn’t seem to matter.  Today, all that matters is that I get moving (whine-free).  The fork isn’t pretty but it’s mine. 

Thanks, Matt, for the reality check.  (I won’t tell anyone that you had to do girl push ups at the end of your workout yesterday.  That just wouldn’t be right.)

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Jim Salter says:

    Awesome. This was a very motivational piece. Thanks for posting it. 🙂


  2. Chris W. says:

    You made me think of one of my favorite belief. here are the words:

    I have seen athletes perform the impossible. Even against every fiber of their being. A living war cry in the face of adversity.

    They overcome by sheer exertion of will, shattering the fallacy of the unmovable object by becoming the unstoppable force.

    They choose to believe in their own capacity for greatness, and they are rewarded.

    Belief is a place where the irrational exuberance of childhood finds new life. Where the burden of the past is shed. The favor of the promise of the future. Belief is a chance to give all of the hard knocks back. To FREE OURSELVES. To become anything. It’s not wondering if you can, but knowing that achievement is as simple as trying—over and over and over again.

    These are the words of Patrick Cummings, a CrossFitter at CrossFit Fenway in Boston, MA


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